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Hays High boys ride huge second half for 70-42 win over TMP

Rick Peterson Jr.
rpeterson@dailynews.net
Hays High's Jace Linenbeger scores two of his 26 points during the the Indians' 70-42 win over TMP on Saturday at HHS.

A career night from Jace Linenberger and a monster second half for Hays High powered the Indians to a 70-42 victory over crosstown rival Thomas More Prep-Marian on Saturday.

Linenberger went for a career-high 26 points and the Indians outscored TMP 42-17 in the second half to clinch the Gerald Mitchell Hays City Shootout with a 3-0 showing.

Hays led 23-11 in the first half but TMP finished the half strong, cutting the deficit to 28-25 after Bryce Seib’s tip-in at the buzzer.

Hays High coach Alex Hutchins thought the Indians were trying to do too much in the first half, but settled down after halftime.

“Not in these exact terms, but (at halftime) we discussed playing to hit singles and make contact instead of swinging for the fences every time,” Hutchins said. “We felt like the emotions of the game might have got the best of us at times in the first half.”

“Don’t feel like we have to win the game in one play,” Linenberger said of Hutchins’ message at the halftime. “Settle down and get to work.”

The Indians did just that, scoring the first 16 points of the third quarter.

Linenberger feasted inside all game long, starting with an 11-point first quarter.

“We had a game plan coming into it, and he blew that up early,” TMP coach Bill Meagher said. “From that point on, we’re trying some different things to see if something will work. He is a great player and played really well tonight. He’s going to be a challenge to guard every night.”

Linenberger finished the tournament with a total 63 points in three games.

“He’s a force,” Hutchins said. “We cater what we run to his abilities and (Dalyn Schwarz’s) abilities and that advantage of what we have inside.”

Schwarz added 13 points for the Indians.

“Me and Dalyn play great off each other, so we just did our thing,” Linenberger said. “The guards found us and it worked out.”

Linenberger’s big night helped the Indians’ offset a red-hot shooting display by TMP senior guard Lucas Lang.

Lang drained eight 3-pointers for 24 points.

“It was really nice to see him step up and hit shots tonight, and he’s capable of that every night,” Meagher said. “I also thought he did a nice job of leading out on the floor and driving off the bounce.”

“We knew Lang was going to shoot,” Hutchins said. “He’s been the number two option in their games in terms of shot attempts and them looking for them, and they hadn’t been falling. Tonight, even if after he hits a few, we’re starting to run out at him quick and he’s still hitting them. Sometimes you just tip your hat.”

After a solid showing in the first half, Meagher said the Monarchs (2-1) ran out of steam.

“I was really excited with our first half competing,” he said. “I thought we competed hard in the second half, too. I just think fatigue set in a little bit. We got things that we got to improve on, and that kind of got exposed in the second half.”

Carson Kieffer joined Linenberger and Schwarz in double figures with 10 points. Jackson Schulte scored 11 points points for TMP, finishing the tournament with 67 points in the three games.

Check hdnews.net and Tuesday’s print edition for more on the Hays City Shootout.

Hays High 70, TMP 42

TMP;11;14;8;9;—;42

Hays;21;7;26;18;—70

TMP (2-1) — Lang 8 0-1 24, Seib 1 1-2 3, Schulte 4 1-1 11, Werth 0 2-4 2, Rome 0-0 0-0 0, Harris 0 0-0 0, Wentling 0 2-2 2, Unrein 0 0-0 0, Ginther 0 0-0 0, Chiu 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 5-10 42.

Hays (3-0) — Krannawitter 2 3-4 7, Kieffer 4 1-2 10, Nunnery 2 0-0 4, Linenberger 12 4-9 28, Schwarz 6 1-2 13, Oakley 0 0-0 0, Weimer 1 0-0 2, Dale 1 2-2 4, Hernandez 1 0-0 3, Wellbrock 0 1-2 1, Salmans 0 0-0 0, Cadoret 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 12-23 70.

3-point goals — TMP 9 (Lang 8, Schulte), Hays 2 (Hernandez, Kieffer). Total fouls — TMP 23, Hays 16. Fouled out — Seib, Werth.

TMP's Lucas Lang hit eight 3-pointers for 24 points in Saturday's 70-42 loss at Hays High.