SUBLETTE — It had been a tough Friday night loss for the Sublette Larks at Wichita County.

Meanwhile, the Cimarron Bluejays had been on a three-game winning streak.

So what happened when the two Hi-Plains League teams met on Tuesday night was nothing short of surprising, at least to some.

Sublette used a smothering defense, red-hot shooting and a balanced attack to thwart the Bluejays, 71-59, in an HPL battle.

The victory improved the Larks to 9-6 overall and evened their league mark at 3-3, while Cimarron slipped to 10-6 and 4-3.

Defense was the sparkplug to the offensive engine for the Larks as they jumped out to a 15-7 first quarter lead, and then expanded it to 36-24 by intermission.

"We've been preaching to our kids all season that if we play defense, we can be a good team," said Larks' coach Justin Moore. "Tonight, I thought as a unit, we were able to get back, force some turnovers and do a lot of the things that it takes to win."

Balance on the offensive end was also a big plus for the Larks, as Trevor Leverett led the way with 14 points, while Taylor Williamson and Avigael Gonzalez chipped in with 12 points each.

It was Gonzalez, though, who provided the additional spark, as he grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for a double-double.

"He's a workhorse in there," Moore said of Gonzalez. "He comes every day and puts in a lot of hard work. Nothing he does is particularly pretty, but he just gets the job done."

The Larks took that first-half momentum and built on it during a 21-11 third quarter run that provided them a big buffer of 57-35 heading to the final eight minutes.

And they needed much of that padding, as Cimarron finally got untracked in the closing quarter, outscoring Sublette 24-14.

"I was very disappointed in the lack of discipline and mental toughness we showed early," Cimarron coach Dave Losey said. "Sublette played great, give them credit. They crashed the boards and did the things early to get us out of what we do."

Losey was pleased, though, with his team's fourth-quarter effort, albeit a little late.

"At the 4-minute mark, we got tired of having it handed to us," Losey said after his team closed on a 14-5 run. "But Sublette makes you work for things and tonight they were the better of it."

For the Bluejays, Christian Fischer led the scoring effort with 19 points, while Ty Clark added 12 as well as grabbing eight rebounds.

The Bluejays turned the ball over 15 times to 20 for the Larks.

About the only thing Sublette didn't hit on all cylinders was at the free throw line, where the Larks cashed in just 16-of-33 shots.


Cimarron 7 17 11 24 -- 59

Sublette 15 21 21 14 -- 71

Cimarron (59) — Cal. Fischer 2-6 2-2 6, Toothaker 2-6 0-1 4, Clark 5-9 2-2 12, Chr. Fischer 8-13 3-5 19, Boersma 3-5 2-2 8, Meis 1-8 0-0 2, Corpus 0-1 0-0 0, Fairbank 2-5 0-0 6, Neuschafer 0-1 0-0 0, Thomas 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 24-58 9-12 59.

Sublette (71) — Leverett 4-6 4-7 14, Lower 3-4 1-2 8, Morales 0-0 0-2 0, Gesling 4-4 0-2 8, Williamson 2-6 8-11 12, Martens 0-3 0-0 0, Cearley 1-5 1-2 6, Line 3-6 0-0 6, Gonzalez 5-8 2-7 12. Totals 24-42 16-33 71.

3-point goals--Cimarron 2-12 (Cal. Fischer 0-3, Toothaker 0-2, Chr. Fischer 0-1, Boersma 0-2, Fairbank 2-4), Sublette 5-9 (Leverett 2-2, Lower 1-1, Williamson 0-1, Martens 1-1, Cearley 1-3, Line 0-1). Rebounds--Cimarron 32 (Clark 8), Sublette 30 (Gonzalez 11). Fouls--Cimarron 26, Sublette 13. Fouled out--Cimarron (Cal. Fischer, Chr. Fischer, Meis). Technical fouls--Cimarron (Neuschafer, Fairbank).