Jays beat Satanta, 56-42, and Buffaloes outrun Mustangs, 67-57, as pair move on to Hi-Plains' title
By KEVIN THOMPSON
By KEVIN THOMPSON
Coach Tim Dusin knew what his Satanta boys were in for when they faced Cimarron in the first semifinal game of Friday evening in the Hi-Plains League Tournament.
Dustin's Indians are used to playing in the afternoon games in the consolation rounds.
But there they were, on the big stage, facing the second-seeded Bluejays for a chance at tonight's title game.
Coach Dave Losey's Cimarron team, however, was having none of that "underdog takes out giant" headline.
His Bluejays overcame a lackluster first half, took charge in the second, and ran their way to a 56-42 win to move on to today's 8 p.m. title game.
Down by three after both the opening and second periods, thanks in part to a solid zone defense by Satanta, Cimarron finally took the lead for good at 2:29 in the third when Ty Clark converted the free throw on an "and-1" play.
They took their own 3-point lead at the end of the third, built it to eight midway into the fourth, saw it slip back to three with 2:12 remaining, then scored the final 11 points for the win.
For Losey, it was a tale of two halves, the first one forgettable.
"We weren't doing a very good job against their zone," Losey said. "We weren't moving, and (were) turning the ball over. We struggled; I don't know if we weren't prepared."
The Jays committed seven turnovers in the opening period, leading to eight points. The Indians also hit a torrid 8-of-11 shots, seven of those under the rim.
The Jays stepped up the defensive pressure in the second half, forcing Satanta to speed up a bit, causing turnovers.
"We went zone and forced them to shoot from the outside a little bit," Losey said. "They were just tearing us up inside, which really was disappointing."
Caleb Fischer led Cimarron in scoring with 19, including all seven attempts from the line (four in the final quarter).
Seth Pachner added 15 and Christian Fischer 10.
Credit Dusin for getting the Indians playing well, Losey said, especially using their length inside and playing hard.
Losey said his players might have taken Satanta too lightly, something they discussed at length at halftime.
"They did a great job," he said of the Indians. "We had no idea they'd run that zone (in the first half). They've got some great athletes."
Garrett Miller and Tristan Colantonio led Satanta with 17 and 10 points, respectively, 18 of those in the first half to give their team the lead.
Cimarron's zone forced the Indians to shoot from outside in the second half, neutralizing that threat as the Indians converted just five field goals in the final 16 minutes.
Dusin had asked his team to step things up after their first-round win Tuesday, and they did just that — at least for 22 minutes.
"We played hard. We did the things we needed to do to put ourselves in position to challenge them," Dusin said. "We tried to do too much down the stretch that got us in trouble."
Dusin said his inside game was their strength early and they took advantage of that. Even when Cimarron played more physical in the second half, his players handled themselves.
"But we didn't box out (late) as best we could and gave up too many second chances, and that's where they got their buckets," he said.
Satanta faces Southwestern Heights at 4:30 today for third place.
Cimarron plays Meade for the title following the girls title game.
Losey's team last made the finals in 2012, when they fell to Meade, 67-58. He has nine seniors, many of whom played on that team.
A title would be a good way to end their league tournament careers, he said.
It will also be the third meeting this season between the Jays and top-seeded Meade.
Meade won the first by one point. Cimarron won three days later by two.
"We'll be ready. We cut back the turnovers and take care of things, we'll see how it goes," Losey said.
Satanta 16 10 8 8 -- 42
Cimarron 13 10 14 19 -- 56
Satanta (6-4)--B. Miller 2- 0-0 5, Colantonio 5 0-1 10, Turpin 3 0-0 6, G. Miller 6 5-6 17, Garcia 2 0-1 4. Totals 18-36 5-8 42.
Cimarron (9-2)--Ca. Fischer 5 7-7 19, Toothaker 2 0-0 4, Clark 2 4-5 8, Ch. Fischer 4 1-3 10, Pachner 7 0-1 15. Totals 20-42 12-16 56.
3-point goals--Satanta 1-9 (B. Miller), Cimarron 4-13 (Ca. Fischer 2, Ch. Fischer, Pachner). Rebounds--Satanta 16 (Colantonio 7), Cimarron 15 (Clark 8). Turnovers--Satanta 21, Cimarron 14. Fouled out--B. Miller. Total fouls--Satanta 16, Cimarron 12. Technical fouls--none.
Meade 67, Southwestern Heights 57
Meade advanced to its fourth straight title game in the Hi-Plains League Tournament with a 67-57 win over Southwestern Heights in the second semifinal game on Friday.
The Buffaloes held double-digit leads a number of times and withstood a number of Mustang charges to claim the win.
Jett Little scored 26 points, including 10 of 12 from the free throw line, to lead Meade, while Morgan Davis and Morgan Olvera added 14 and 11, respectively.
For the Mustangs, Alexis Loya and Nate Johnsrud both had 12 points and Frank Herrera added 10.
Heights was just 21 of 57 from the field (37 percent), while Meade shot 25 of 49 (51 percent).
The Buffaloes will be playing for their third straight title after winning the last two.
SW Heights 14 11 12 18 -- 57
Meade 20 16 14 17 -- 67
SW Heights (7-5)--Herrera 4 1-2 10, Martinez 1 1-2 3, Johnsrud 4 2-2 12, Coats 1 0-0 2, Lee 2 1-1 5, DelaTorre 1 3-4 4, Holmes 1 0-0 2, Jennings 2 2-4 6, A. Loya 5 2-2 12. Totals 21-57 12-17 57.
Meade (9-1)--Little 7 10-12 26, Friesen 1 0-0 2, Olvera 4 1-3 11, Lewis 3 0-1 6, Davis 6 2-2 14, Gleason 4 1-2 9. Totals 25-53 14-20 67.
3-point goals--SWHeights 3 (Herrera, Johnsrud 2), Meade 3 (Little 2, Olvera). Turnovers--SWHeights 9, Meade 10. Fouled out--Little, Jennings. Total fouls--SWHeights 19, Meade 15. Technical fouls--none.