Kismet, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–The third meeting in a season can be the most difficult, especially if you are the team that has won the first two in a series. Playing to a 79-78 double overtime thriller February 1, Hugoton and Scott City battled one fine time with a trip to the sub-state finals Friday night at Southwestern Heights High School. Unlike the first two games, this meeting would not have a lead change. The Eagles used a big first quarter run, and held off the Beavers comeback efforts in a 70-60 win.
After the game was tied early at two, Hugoton would go on a 17-3 run over the next four minutes to lead 19-4 with 2:35 left in the opening quarter. The Eagles couldn’t miss and Scott City struggled shooting throughout the night. Slowly, but surely, the Beavers would come back. Trailing 19-7 after the first quarter, Scott City (13-9) would score the first three points of the second quarter, only to see Hugoton answer with an 8-2 run over two minutes to lead 27-12 with 3:39 left in the half. The Beavers found some life before the break, closing the final 3:31 of the half on a 12-3 run to get to within 30-24 at intermission. Scott City almost made it a three-point game, but a three-quarter court heave just missed off the backboard and rim.
Hugoton (16-6) started the second half with the first eight points to lead 38-24 with 5:04 left in the third frame. They would eventually lead 48-32 with 2:41 left in the third quarter, when the Beavers responded with a 13-2 run to make it 50-42 heading into the final period. Scott City would then score the first four points of the fourth quarter in the first minute to make it 50-46. That’s when the Eagles would respond and close out. They used a 13-4 run over four minutes to lead 63-51, and eventually worked their way to a 70-60 victory. The Beavers were only able to get it to 65-59 with 1:32 left in the game.
Four players were in double figures for the Eagles, led by Carlos Montiel with 14 points, while Sawyer had 13 points, and 12 points apiece came from Damian Lewis and Michael Mirabal. The Eagles went 15-22 from the free throw line and had 13 turnovers. Scott City was led by Marshall Faurot with 23 points, while Joe Evans added 11 and Parker Vulgamore finished with 10. The Beavers shot 19-29 from the line and had 10 turnovers. Hugoton won the rebounding battle 30-25.
With the win, Hugoton has won five straight in the series, the most for them in the recent series history. Since 1989, Scott City leads the series 18-13. The Eagles have won the last two meetings in the postseason, with the last coming in a 50-48 win on March 2, 2004. Scott City has own six of 10 meetings in the postseason against Hugoton since 1965, which includes a pair of third place sub-state games. Before Friday, the teams had never met in a semi-final game.
Hugoton heads to their fourth sub-state finals game in the last five years, as they will take on Larned Saturday afternoon at 3:30. The Indians got out to a hot start and never looked back, as they defeated Colby 60-37 in the first semi-final game of the day. Larned improved to 16-6, while Colby ended their season at 13-9.
Scott City saw four seniors end their basketball career with, Jaren Berning, Joe Evans, Marshall Faurot, and Parker Vulgamore.
Coach Brian Gentry Postgame