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Hays High boys move to 16-0

Special to Hays Daily News

Hays High boys basketball coach Alex Hutchins sent a message at halftime of Friday night’s game at Colby: the defense was not good enough. Message received.

With Hays High — undefeated and ranked No. 1 in Class 5A —  leading 33-29 at halftime, Hutchins started three players off the bench in the second half. The Indians outscored the Eagles 18-6 in the third quarter and 22-5 in the fourth to cruise to a 73-40 nonleague win at the Community Building.

“I thought Colby played a solid first half,” Hutchins said. “At the same time, we just did not have the defensive intensity. That was a discussion at halftime. We did a much better job in the second half.”

Juniors Jordan Dale, Ashton Hernandez and Wesley Oakley joined senior starters Dalyn Schwarz and TJ Nunnery to start the second half.

“We had some guys come off the bench, did a really good job for us,” Hutchins said. “We decided to go with the five guys we felt like were playing the hardest on that (defensive) end in the first half. Those were the five that stood out.”

Schwarz led Hays High (16-0) with 17 points and Nunnery added 13, including a one-hand jam after stealing the ball. Nunnery has looked for his shot more as the season has progressed.

“A part of it was how patient he was setting up teammates earlier in the year,” Hutchins said. “He did a great job moving the ball, giving us opportunities to score.”

Colby (6-11), which dropped its seventh straight, got 17 points from senior Payton Wahlmeier.

Colby girls 42, Hays High 31

The Eagles rallied in the second half to claim the nonleague victory. Colby trailed 25-17 in the third period but scored the final eight points of the quarter to tie the game at 25-25. The Eagles then outscored the Indians 17-6 over the final eight minutes.

“I was just frustrated that down the stretch we didn’t have anybody step up and make a play, and they did,” Hays High coach Len Melvin said. “I thought that was the big difference.”

Hays High led 11-4 after the first quarter and 20-15 at halftime.

“We made a few shots in the first half,” Melvin said. “Defensively, we were really, really good in the first half.”

Colby (9-8), which snapped a three-game losing skid, was led by junior Brooklyn Jones’ 13 points.

Hays High (5-11) got nine points from senior Re Green. The Indians will play another nonleague game Tuesday, at Abilene.