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TMP boys torch nets in 60-point win vs. Oakley; TMP girls pull away

By Randy Gonzales
Special to Hays Daily News

As cold as it was outside, the Monarchs were just as hot inside.

The Thomas More Prep-Marian boys basketball team made 10 straight 3-pointers during one span, and swished 17-of-23 (74 percent) treys for the game to cruise past Oakley 90-30 Monday night in Al Billinger Fieldhouse.

“I think this group is capable of shooting well,” TMP coach Bill Meagher said. “Now, 17 of 23, that’s pretty special. I do think we can consistently hit at a high level.”

The Monarchs were led by their senior backcourt on Senior Night. Point guard Lucas Lang hit four straight 3-pointers to get the Monarchs out to a 12-1 lead. He finished with five treys and scored all 17 of his points in the first quarter, giving TMP a 30-10 lead. Shooting guard Jackson Schulte scored 22 of his game-high 24 points before the break, sinking four shots from beyond the arc. Schulte scored TMP’s last 10 points of the first half, giving the Monarchs a 53-18 lead.

“When you’ve got guards who are smart and are good leaders, that gives you a chance to be really good,” Meagher said. “I thought the rest of the guys fed off their energy tonight.”

Meagher also reflected on how his time with this group of Monarch seniors is coming to an end.

“They’re just a special group of kids,” he said. “They’re great kids, on and off the floor. Tonight, it was sad to realize it was Senior Night and at some point those guys are going to be leaving our program.”

With another Mid-Continent League game Tuesday night at Russell, Meagher had a chance to use his bench. TMP (12-4 overall, 6-1 MCL) led 81-26 after the third and played the fourth quarter with a continuous clock. Junior Kenton Ginther came off the bench in the third quarter and hit three straight from long range for TMP. In Friday’s lopsided win over Smith Center, the Monarch bench also played heavy minutes.

“It was great to see those guys get in,” Meagher said. “They got a second game with quality minutes, just allowed us one more time to develop that bench a little bit.”

Oakley (7-8, 4-5) got 10 points from senior Dane Scheetz.

TMP Girls 53, Oakley 34

The Monarch girls pulled away in the second half to claim the MCL matchup. TMP, which scored the game’s first 10 points, let Oakley get within a 14-6 after the first quarter and led by just a bucket at the break, 24-22.

“We started the first quarter up 10, let them back in it,” TMP coach Rose McFarland said. “That’s something we discussed at half. We can’t be on this roller coaster, where we play good then let people back in the game.”

The Monarchs went on a 12-3 run in the third period to go up by 11 before taking a 39-30 lead to the fourth. Sophomore Jacie VonLintel scored six points in that span and junior Sophia Balthazor and senior Kyleigh Allen each swished 3-pointers.

TMP (12-3, 6-1) went on a 10-0 run to start the fourth and put the game out of reach for the Plainsmen.

VonLintel finished with a game-high 14 points, Allen added 12 and Balthazor scored 11. McFarland said VonLintel gave the Monarchs a spark off the bench.

“I thought especially in the second half,” she said. “She got us out on the break. She got rebounds and threw the ball ahead. She was down on the break as well.”

Balthazor connected on three 3-pointers to open things up on offense.

“She had some really good looks at the basket, took her time,” McFarland said. “I thought she hit some shots that really helped us.”

On Senior Night, Allen — the team’s lone senior — had a typical performance, McFarland said.

“Throughout her whole career, Kyleigh hustles,” McFarland said. “She’s been one of my top defensive players. She’s rebounded really well this year.

“She gets up and down the floor. She can knock it down from 3, too,” she added. “She’s just a great kid with a great attitude.”

Oakley (7-10, 2-6) was led by junior forward Liberty Booker’s 12 points.