Buzzer-beater helps Hoxie boys remain unbeaten

By Randy Gonzales
Special to Hays Daily News

The Hoxie boys basketball team, undefeated and ranked No. 1 in Class 2A, survived an upset bid by Ellis Tuesday night, winning 63-62 on a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The Railroaders took the lead on their home court on a basket inside by senior Daniel Eck with 8 seconds remaining and Hoxie called a time out with 5.2 seconds left. The Indians inbounded the ball to 7-foot senior center Harlan Obioha, who passed it to senior Gavin Tremblay coming off a double screen. He knocked home the 3-pointer from the left wing to improve Hoxie to 17-0 on the season.

Ellis senior guard Brady Frickey led the way for the Railers in the Mid-Continent League thriller, scoring on drives to the basket and also from beyond the arc, swishing three 3-pointers, on his way to 34 points.

The Railers used a deliberate offense to frustrate the Indians, finding open shots after several passes. Ellis (13-5) got 15 first-half points from Frickey, and led 15-13 after the first quarter. The Railers looked to take the halftime lead after a late bucket by junior Sam Honas, but Obioha made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the visitors a 35-33 advantage at the break.

Obioha scored 19 points in the first half but was held to four after intermission. Frickey scored three straight baskets near the end of the third, including a dazzling, end-to-end slalom through the Hoxie defense for a layup to help give Ellis a 47-43 lead going into the final eight minutes.

A Tremblay trey gave Hoxie a 53-52 lead, but Frickey scored eight straight points — including a pair of 3-pointers —  to offset a basket by Obioha for a 60-55 advantage. Obioha was fouled with 1:42 left and sank both free throws to make it a one-possession game. Ellis looked to run the clock down but the ball was knocked loose and Hoxie had the arrow on the alternate possession with 1:04 remaining. Trembley, who scored all 12 of his points in the second half on four 3-pointers, knocked home a trey with 50 seconds remaining to tie the game.

Ellis took time off the clock to set up a final shot and scored when Eck made a backdoor cut to the basket, got a pass from Honas and laid the ball in before Obioha could get the block. Hoxie then took the time out to set up the game-winning shot.

After Frickey’s 34 for Ellis, Eck added 14 points and Honas finished with 11. Obioha recorded a double-double for Hoxie, scoring 23 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. In addition to Tremblay’s 12, senior Caden White also scored a dozen and junior Ashton Dowell netted 10.

Ellis girls 48, Hoxie 33

The Railer girls jumped out to a big early lead and never looked back. Ellis was up 10-2, then led 16-4 midway through the first quarter and 18-8 going into the second. Ellis expanded the lead to 32-17 at halftime. Hoxie had a better second half, being outscored in the third period 9-7, and outscoring Ellis in the fourth quarter, 9-7. 

Ellis (10-8) got 16 points from senior Abigail North, 12 from sophomore Hannah Schiel  and 10 from sophomore Emily Eck. Junior Hayley Jacobs also scored 16 points for Hoxie (8-10)