Ulysses, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Entering Friday night’s games in Ulysses, Scott City and Ulysses had two games that looked as if they would be pretty even on paper. While one was a thriller, the nightcap took most by surprise. The Beavers would come out with a pair of wins to stay undefeated in Great West Activities Conference play. Scott City won the girls game in a 38-37 thriller, while the boys rode the wave of hot shooting en route to a 68-53 win.
Scott City came in thinking it was going to be guard play that would win the game for them. It turned out to be the opposite in the scoring department. In fact, it took the first 27:05 before a Lady Beaver guard scored their first point.
After a 2-2 tie, Scott City never trailed over the course of the first half, leading by as many as seven points on three occasions, including an 18-11 halftime lead. In the second half, Ulysses clawed back, scoring the first five points in a 50-second span to pull to within 17-16. They would eventually take their first lead of the game at 20-19 with 1:19 remaining in the third quarter on a Cristen Edwards free throw. The lead would be short-lived, as Lyndi Rumford’s three gave the Lady Beavers a 22-20 lead late in the third quarter.
Scott City (5-1, 2-0 GWAC) took a 24-22 lead into the fourth quarter, and saw Ulysses take their second lead of the game on a Gina Ballesteros three pointer at 27-26 with 4:33 left. Bailey Latta answered back with a two pointer to give the Lady Beavers the lead back at 28-27 with 4:13 left. A toe on the line prevented her from making it a three-point basket. Scott City led by four with 1:50 to go, only to see the Lady Tigers score the final four points in regulation to tie the game at 31. Luz Gomez hit the shot under the basket to tie the game with 1:29 left. The Lady Beavers had a chance to win late in the game, but two missed free throws with 2.2 seconds left forced overtime tied at 31
In the extra session, Kaitlyn Roberts and Ballesteros exchanged three’s as the game was tied at 34 with 2:31 left. It would be a second senior that stepped up for Scott City. Emily Smith scored the final four points for the Lady Beavers, including the go-ahead basket with 59 seconds left. Ulysses (6-2, 2-1) had one final chance. Balleseros hit a three-point play to pull to within 38-37 with 7.8 second left in overtime. Scott City ended up turning the ball over, but the Lady Tigers were unable to come up with a shot in the end.
Emily Weathers led the way for Scott City with 11 points, all in the first half, while Emily Smith added 10. The Lady Beavers were just 8-21 at the foul line and had 21 turnovers. Ulysses was led by Gina Ballesteros with 17 points, including four three’s. The Lady Tigers were 11-15 at the free throw line, and committed 17 turnovers
With the win, Scott City has now won five straight in the series over Ulysses for the first time since February 2002-February 2004. It was also the Lady Beavers’ first overtime win since January 22, 2016, when they won over Fountain Ft. Carson 58-54 in the Colby Orange & Black, and it also snapped a three-game overtime losing streak.
Coach Sarah McCormick Postgame
Entering Friday nights game, Coach Brian Gentry knew there would be a great chance his team would enter Ulysses down two starters in Joe Evans and Marshal Faurot. While they did warm up, it looked as if it would be a long night for Scott City. Boy did they prove everyone wrong. The Beavers used the “next man up” mentality, and posted an impressive 68-53 road win.
While most of the first quarter was a tidal wave of lead changes, it was the Beavers who took the lead and hung on for good. Nine lead changes and two ties later, Scott City used an 8-0 to lead 19-13 lead with 2:23 left in the first quarter, and built their lead to 24-17 at the end of the period. Their last two points of the first period turned into a 9-0 run that pushed them to a 30-17 lead at the 5:09 mark of the second quarter. Scott City led 34-20 with 3:50 left in the half before the Tigers put together their first big run of the night. Ulysses (5-3, 1-2 GWAC) made one final surge in the half with a 6-0 run to get to within 34-26 with 1:03 left in the half. It would be Hunter Yager in his first start ending the half on a high note for the Beavers with a three to give them the 37-26 halftime edge.
Both teams were unable to get anything going in the third quarter, as they each scored six points. The Tigers were able to get to within 37-30 with 6:16 left in the the third period, but that was the closest they would get the rest of the night. Scott City (3-3, 2-0) took the 43-32 lead after three quarters, only to see Ulysses score the first four points of the final frame to get to within 43-34 just seconds in.
The Beavers would use an 11-2 run over a 1:24 span to lead 54-36 with 5:11 left and would grow their lead to 58-39 with 3:41 left. While Jaidon Taylor got fire in the final quarter from behind the arc for Ulysses, Scott City was able to counter every run down the stretch, as the Beavers snapped a brief two-game losing streak to the Tigers.
Jordan Horn led the way for Scott City with a career-high 25 points, while Hunter Yager had a career-high 16 points. Reid Brunswig and Zach Carson had seven and six points respectively, all career-highs on varsity. The Beavers were 10-18 at the foul line and had 10 turnovers. Ulysses was led by Jaidon Taylor’s 18 points, 15 in the fourth quarter, and 15 points from Bryan Garcia. The Tigers were 7-8 at the free throw line and had nine turnovers in the game.
Scott City also hit a season-high 68 points. Their 68 points were the most since scoring 75 against Purcell, Oklahoma on December 10, 2016 in the Clarion Inn Roundball Classic.
Coach Brian Gentry Postgame
Scott City will host Holcomb on Tuesday. The Longhorns swept Goodland Friday night. Holcomb’s girls defeated the Cowgirls 57-34 to improve to 4-3 overall and 1-1 in league play, while the boys defeated the Cowboys 63-45 to get to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the GWAC. Ulysses hosts Hugoton Tuesday. The Lady Eagles fell to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in league play after a 56-46 loss to Colby, while the boys lost 63-60 to fall to 0-2 in GWAC play and 2-4 overall.