By BRETT MARSHALL
HAYS — The only time the Greeley County boys basketball team lost during the regular season was when they gave up 58 points in the championship game of the Scott City Invitational in December against Wichita Sunrise.
Since then no team had scored more than 46 against the Jackrabbits, who reeled off 23 straight victories en route to their appearance Tuesday in the Class 1A state tournament at Gross Memorial Coliseum.
Against a tall and talented Baileyville-B&B squad, the Jackrabbits lost 50-46 in the first round, ending their season.
Nobody could fault the effort by the Jackrabbits who came in to the game the smaller team.
The problem though, wasn't so much the height disadvantage as it was the slow start for Greeley County, who trailed 16-8 after the first quarter and then fell behind by 18 midway through the second eight minutes.
"I thought because of their length that it was tough for us to score in certain areas that we usually like," Greeley County coach Jeff Starkey said. "I felt like we weren't patient enough to score in the lanes, but they made it very tough."
One reason was the inside game struggled for the Jackrabbits as B&B's 6-foot-6 junior center Logan Haug had blocked four shots to go along with his 10 rebounds and 13 points.
"We just don't see that kind of player very much and he definitely affected the way our offense played," Starkey said. "Despite that, we were able to find a way to get back in the game."
Greeley County (24-2) slowly got its way back into the game after the Falcons built a 29-11 lead in the second quarter. The Falcons' leading scorer Kyle Havercamp was saddled with two early fouls and sat for much of the final three minutes of the second quarter. He would later sit for nearly half of the third period as well as the Jackrabbits fought their way back into it, reeling off 12 unanswered points and went to the locker room down 30-23.
"I thought once we got it down under 10, we were back in the game," Starkey said. "I can't fault the effort of this group."
Greeley County chipped away at the deficit through the third quarter, pulling to within a basket late in the quarter before ending it down by four.
In the first 1:42 of the final quarter, the Jackrabbits went on a 7-0 run, coming on a pair of free throws by Jonathan Miller, a steal converted into a layup and free throw by Kellum Schneider, then Isaac Wilson hit a bank shot to finish the run. Logan Haug answered with a fast-break layup with 6:26 to go.
With 1:14 to go Ryan Huerter hit two free throws to make it 48-46, and B&B held the lead from there. With seven seconds to go Haug blocked Wilson's shot that would have tied it at 48, and Haverkamp hit two free throws for the final score.
"I tell you, the Haverkamp kid is a heck of a player," Starkey said of the Falcons' leading scorer with 17 points. "I'm proud of the kids the way they worked their tails off to get back in the game. We had our chances, ran plays that we wanted but just couldn't get the ball to fall."
Haverkamp was joined in double figures by Eric Huerter with 15 and Haug's 10.
Greeley County was paced by Schneider and Isaac Wilson with 11 points apiece and Stephen Houston added 10.
BAILEYVILLE-B&B (23-3) — R. Hueter 0-2 2-2 2, Haverkamp 6-14 4-5 17, E. Huerter 5-12 3-4 15, Heiman 0-2 1-2 1, Haug 5-7 3-4 13, Engelken 0-0 0-0 0, Steinlage 1-2 0-0 2, Sudbeck 0-1 0-1 0. Totals 17-40 13-18 50.
GREELEY COUNTY (24-2) — Miller 3-10 2-3 8, Nemechek 2-3 0-0 4, Houston 4-10 1-1 10, Schneider 3-5 4-5 11, I. Wilson 5-18 1-2 11, Splitter 1-2 0-0 2, A. Wilson 0-1 0-0 0, Robertson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-49 8-11 46.
Baileyville-B&B 16 14 9 11 -- 50
Greeley County 8 15 12 11 -- 46
3-point goals — B&B 3-10 (Haverkamp 1-6, E. Huerter 2-4), Greeley County 2-10 (Houston 1-1, Schneider 1-1, I. Wilson 0-7, A. Wilson 0-1). Rebounds — B&B 32 (Haug 10), Greeley Co. 27 (I. Wilson 8). Turnovers — B&B 10, Greeley Co. 10. Assists — B&B 9 (Haverkamp 4), Greeley Co. 5 (Miller 3). Blocked shots — B&B 7 (Haug 4), Greeley Co. 0. Steals — Baileyville 2 (Haverkamp 1, E. Huerter 1), Greeley Co. 6 (Miller 3). Team fouls — B&B 15, Greeley Co. 18. Fouled out — None.