Cimarron, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Coming off early season tournaments, Cimarron and Larned met up Tuesday night in Cimarron. Both teams had identical records on the boys and girls side at 2-2, so something was going to give. The doubleheader would see tightly-contested games, as the Lady Bluejays get a 37-35 win at the horn, while, Larned rallied late to win by one at 68-67.
Cimarron Girls 37, Larned 35
The first game of the night would be closely contested, as the teams were tied five times and had four lead changes. Cimarron started out 6-0 in the first five minutes of the game, before the Lady Indians rallied to pull to within 8-6 after the first quarter. The Lady Bluejays would score the first four points of the second quarter to lead 12-6 in the first minute of the second frame. That would be their final points of the half, as they went on a seven-minute, 37-second drought. Larned (2-3) would end the first half on a 9-0 run to take a 15-12 halftime lead. The Lady Indians would push their run to 15-2 over nine minutes, and lead 21-14 with 5:30 left in the third quarter. After a Bluejay timeout, Cimarron (3-2) went on a 10-3 run to pull to within 24-23 with two minutes remaining in the third quarter. Larned scored the final four points in the third to take a 28-23 lead after three quarters. In the fourth quarter, the Lady Bluejays used an 8-1 run to take a 31-29 lead with 4:01 left. The teams would exchange the lead two more times over the next three minutes, before being tied at 35 with 34.6 seconds left. After the teams exchanged the ball, Cimarron had one final shot with four seconds left. Clara Bartlett got behind the Lady Indian pressure, and Taylor Jantz was wide open to lay it up on the right side as time expired, giving the Lady Bluejays a 37-35 win.
Cameren Bartlett led Cimarron with 18 points. They finished with 23 turnovers and struggled at the foul line, going just 2-12. The Lady Bluejays won the rebounding battle 36-28. Larned got 13 points from Ivory Muldrow. They were 8-17 from the free throw line and had 18 turnovers.
Larned Boys 68, Cimarron 67
Larned started out about as hot as possible, as they had a 10-1 lead, just 98 seconds into the game. The Indians would build their lead up to 10 at one point, before settling for a 18-10 lead after the first quarter. Their lead grew to 13 in the second quarter, with the last at 30-17 with 4:46 left in the half. That’s when Cimarron came to life. A 15-4 run pulled them to within two at 34-32 with 1:32 left in the half. Larned (3-2) would end up taking a 37-34 halftime lead. In the second half, the Bluejays started out with the first five points, taking a 39-37 lead with 5:49 to go in the third frame. The second half alone saw six ties and eight lead changes. It would go back and forth, before Cimarron grabbed a 51-50 lead after three quarters. Following the Indians first two points of the fourth quarter on a pair of free throws, the Bluejays scored five straight to grab their largest lead of the game at 56-52 with 6:54 left. Larned answered with a 9-2 run to lead 61-58 with 4:30 left. Cimarron countered with four straight, and grabbed their final lead at 62-61 with 2:44 left. The Indians would drain a three with 2:29 left to lead 64-62, only to see the Bluejays tie it right back up at 62 with two minutes left. Unfortunately for Cimarron, two costly turnovers in the final minute would hurt them, as they fouled with 20 seconds left, and Larned drained their free throws to go up 66-64. Another Bluejay turnover sent the Indians to the line, and they drained the free throws to go up 68-64 with 8.6 seconds left. Cimarron hit one final three to make the final 68-67.
Larned was led by Brock Skelton with 18 points and Chance Sanger added 14. The Indains shot 16-17 at the free throw line, and were 8-8 in the fourth quarter. They had 11 turnovers in the game. Cimarron got 31 points from Matt Mowry, as the Bluejays shot 13-17 from the stripe. They had 14 turnovers, and outrebounded Larned 21-16.
Cimarorn will be at Elkhart for their High Plains League opener on Friday, before hosting Holcomb next Tuesday. Larned will next be at Nickerson on Thursday, December 20.