By RANDY GONZALES

Special to the Telegram

HAYS The Jackrabbits knew the Chieftains wanted to get the ball inside to their 6-foot-6 junior center, Luke Yearout, who had 18 points and 16 rebounds in his team's first-round win the night before.

"I think their game plan was to pound it inside," Tribune-Greeley County boys' basketball coach Jeff Starkey said. 'I think it was pretty obvious what they wanted to do.

"I think we knew that coming in. We were able to keep the ball out of there. I thought our kids did a heck of a job."

Greeley County swarmed Yearout in the paint, making him earn every one of his 19 points and 10 rebounds. It wasn't nearly enough for Kiowa-South Barber, which fell to Greeley County 39-31 in Friday night's semifinals of the Class 1A Division II state tournament in Gross Memorial Coliseum.

Greeley County (22-3) moved on to today's 6:15 p.m. title game against Hope (22-3), a 57-39 winner over Otis-Bison in the other semifinal.

Yearout was held to eight shots, and got most of his points at the line, going 11-of-15.

"We didn't allow the ball in the post," Starkey said. 'That was the difference in the game."

South Barber (18-7) also had 6-foot-5 senior Dylon Molz (six points) and 6-foot-4 senior Kendall Clark (four points) in the frontcourt.

"When we prepared for this game, the whole thought was inside play, and how we were going to guard that ..." Starkey said. "We were just talking about keeping the ball out of the post."

Greeley County, meanwhile, got another big night from senior forward Jonathan Miller, who had 19 points after scoring 17 in a first-round win over Bern.

The Jackrabbits also forced South Barber into 20 turnovers, which was twice as many as their own total of 10.

"I bet they had at least half of those turnovers trying to get the ball into the post," Starkey said. "Our bigger kids did a heck of a job."

____

South Barber 9 7 7 8 -- 31

Greeley Co. 5 13 7 14 -- 39

South Barber

Yearout 4-8 11-15 19, Molz 3-10 0-0 6, Clark 2-5 0-1 4, Johnston 1-6 0-5 2, Wagenbach 0-1 0-0 0, Hitchcock 0-1 0-0 0, Total 10-31 11-21 31.

Greeley County

Miller 7-12 4-6 19, Robertson 3-9 0-1 9, Wilson 2-4 1-2 5, Yanez 1-3 2-4 4, Schneider 0-3 2-2 2, Houston 0-11 0-0 0, Govert 0-1 0-0 0, Total 13-43 9-15 39.

3-point Goals--South Barber 0-7, Greeley Co. 4-22 (Robertson 3-9, Miller 1-3, Houston 0-4, Schneider 0-3, Wilson 0-2, Govert 0-1); Rebounds--South Barber 34 (Molz, Yearout 10 each), Greeley Co. 27 (Wilson 9); Assists--South Barber 5 (Hitchcock 2), Greeley Co. 5 (Miller 2); Steals--South Barber 7 (Molz, Thurman 3 each), Greeley Co. 11 (Houston 4); Blocks--South Barber 3 (Molz, Yearout, Clark 1 each), Greeley Co. 3 (Wilson 2); Turnovers--South Barber 20, Greeley Co. 10; Fouls--South Barber 18, Greeley Co. 16; Fouled Out--South Barber 0, Greeley Co. 0.