By KEVIN THOMPSON
SCOTT CITY — Cruising along atop both the Great West Activities Conference, and Class 4A-Division II rankings, Scott City continued its storied run Tuesday with a home win against conference rival Hugoton, 71-51.
Scott City forced 12 turnovers, Hugoton committed 12 fouls, and the Beavers converted 13 free throws in the opening quarter in which they took a 19-6 lead.
The top team in Class 4A-II, the Beavers only made three field goals in that quarter, but they hit for eight in the second in taking a 38-20 halftime lead.
Trey O'Neil and Brett Meyer scored 14 each and Sloan Baker 12 for the Beavers, but it was the play of Chris Pounds that opened a lot of eyes.
The senior hit nine close-range field goals to lead all scorers with 19 points.
"His best game of the year," coach Glenn O'Neil said. "He's been practicing like that all year. He's been really aggressive and knocking down those little short shots. When he has a chance to hit to those 12- to 15-footers, he has the green light to shoot them."
His role is to play hard, coach O'Neil said, and sometimes he doesn't get a lot of opportunities, but this was a good night of capitalizing on the chances.
What helped Pounds was a number of passes inside to him when others drew the defense. He finished those shots, and it showed with other teammates.
"We had a lot of baskets that were off of assists, and I really like that type of basketball," coach O'Neil said. "It was nice to see the guys share the ball like that."
The quick-strike first quarter pleased coach O'Neil, but it was more of the consistency of the Beavers' play that impressed him.
The flow of the game was interrupted by the blowing of the whistle and the fouls both ways (Hugoton had 25 fouls and Scott City 21) but to play a Monday game without a whole lot of prep, and trying to get the win, was a real challenge, he said.
"And Hugoton plays hard," he added. "They're a physical bunch of kids and disrupt the offense with that physical play. Fortunately, we got some free throws in that first quarter to get that momentum."
Scott City still doesn't have much prep time with games coming up tonight at Goodland, hosting Great Bend on Friday and at Holcomb on Tuesday.
Hugoton, which committed 22 turnovers (12 in the first quarter alone), had 10 players score but only one in double figures, Jeison Rodriguez with 15.
After that low-output opening quarter, the Eagles scored double figures the rest of the game.
They were 18 of 42 from the floor (43 percent) while Scott City shot 24 of 46 (52 percent).
Hugoton 6 14 17 14 -- 51
Scott City 19 19 20 13 -- 71
Hugoton (7-8, 3-4)--Titus 2 1-2 5, Frederick 1 1-2 4, Sutton 1 2-2 4, Mendez 2 0-0 4, Heger 0 1-2 1, Leininger 1 1-4 3, Davis 2 0-1 4, Rodriguez 5 2-4 15, Watkins 4 0-0 9, Davis 0 2-2 2. Totals 188 10-19 51.
Scott City (13-1, 6-0)--Yager 1 0-0 2, Strine 2 0-0 4, Pounds 9 1-2 19, Hutchins 1 4-5 6, O'Neil 4 3-4 14, Meyer 4 6-6 14, Baker 3 6-10 12. Totals 24 20-27 71.
3-point field goals--Hugoton 5 (Frederick, Rodriguez 3, Watkins), Scott City 3 (O'Neil 3). Rebounds--Hugoton 26 (Leininger 5), Scott City 23 (Baker 8). Turnovers--Hugoton 22, Scott City 11. Fouled out--Yager. Total fouls--Hugoton 25, Scott City 21. Technical fouls--Hugoton (bench), Scott City (bench).
Hugoton girls 68, Scott City 33
The Hugoton girls, ranked third in Class 4A-II, came in to Scott City looking to add to their lead in the Great West Activities Conference.
The Lady Eagles improved to 13-2 this season and moved to 6-1 to stay half a game ahead of Holcomb for the league title with a convincing win over the Lady Beavers, 68-33.
Hugoton got out to an 18-4 lead after the opening quarter and upped that to 40-20 at the half.
Both teams agreed to start a half hour early and to a running clock as soon as the lead hit 30 due to travel concerns for Hugoton.
That happened at 3:26 in the third as the Eagles buried one of their eight three's in the game.
In the end, it helped keep the score from getting too far out of reach as the Eagles won for the fourth straight time.
As they have been doing much of the season, three freshman led the Eagles in scoring.
Melissa Fabela had 19, Amy Scott 18, and Kathryn Heger 15.
Coach Andy Gillen credits the maturity of those three freshmen with much of the team's success thus far because they bring strong ball handling, as well as the offensive threats, which makes the Eagles a force right now.
"We have three talented freshman, and we knew just from their summer games they were going to be pretty big contributors to what we were doing," he said.
He added that this team, while smaller than last year's squad, is quicker, deeper and more athletic.
"That helps us play that way where, if we get some people in foul trouble or need a breather, we can go to our bench," Gillen said. "All those factors go into where we're at now."
The Eagles' prowess from beyond the arc is built into their game plan, Gillen said, especially with a guard-oriented team.
"We make it part of our practice, and we have gotten better throughout the year," he said. "We have four or five girls who can really shoot. It helps when we can spread it around; it's tough to focus on just one player."
Gillen said he likes to mix up the defenses each night and opponent to opponent, just to keep other teams guessing.
"We've worked really hard defensively just to have three or four different looks that we can give teams, just to create some confusion and hopefully some steals for us," he said.
Gillen said his team is feeling confident.
"This is a team that thinks they can go out and win every game they play," he said. "The most important thing is, they go into every game knowing they can win."
Hugoton 18 22 21 7 -- 68
Scott City 4 16 4 9 -- 33
Hugoton (13-2, 6-1)--Armendariz 1 5-6 7, Fabela 7 1-2 19, Scott 6 3-4 18, Pena 2 0-0 5, Heger 4 7-8 15, Cornelson 1 0-0 2, Sosa 1 0-0 2. Totals 22 16-20 68.
Scott City (2-11, 0-6)--Latta 1 0-0 2, Wilcoxson 2 0-1 4, Yager 1 0-0 2, Winderlin 1 2-4 4, Orr 0 1-2 1, Wycoff 7 1-3 16, Nickel 1 1-2 3, Goodman 0 0-2 0. Totals 13 5-14 33.
3-point field goals--Hugoton 8 (Fabela 4, Scott 3, Pefia), Scott City 1 (Wycoff). Fouled out--Orr.
Total fouls--Hugoton 16, Scott City 15. Technical fouls--none.