South Gray holds off Hodgeman in 2A
Stanton Co., Elkhart, Meade also advance.
By BRETT MARSHALL
SUBLETTE — With just one practice in the week of the southwest Kansas snowstorm, veteran South Gray boys basketball coach Mark Applegate wasn't sure what to expect when his Rebels took on Hodgeman County in Tuesday's delayed first round Class 2A sub-state game.
And, it was just about all Applegate could have expected as his team showed signs of a layoff than no coach would have liked. In the end, though, the Rebels were good enough, holding off the Longhorns, 68-58, to advance to Thursday's semifinal against Stanton County as the tournament will move to host site Elkhart.
Tuesday's games were rescheduled because of Monday's weather conditions, and all seven remaining games were played in the two Sublette gyms.
After a surprisingly good start where they jumped to a 13-4 lead over the Longhorns, the Rebels turned right around and weren't very good in the second period as that lead nearly vanished as the Rebels took a 27-26 lead into halftime.
"As good as I thought we played in the first, we were just that bad in the second," Applegate said. "At times in the second period, and that was most of it, we went brain dead. We didn't do very many things right."
Part of the reason things weren't going well is that senior Trenton Holloway didn't see much of the ball. The 6-3 forward had just four points at the break. He finished with a game-high 27 after finally getting untracked.
"We did things that we characteristically don't do," Applegate said. "I hope we can work some things out before Thursday, because if we play then like we played tonight, it will be a quick end to the season and we'll be out of the game early. We'll have to play a lot better."
The Rebels managed to build a 45-40 lead after three quarters, extended it to as many as 13 (55-42) and then did enough to hold off a 3-point barrage by the Longhorns, who made four of their 10 treys in the final eight minutes. But it wasn't enough as Hodgeman could get no closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Taten Skinner provided solid scoring support with 15 points for the Rebels, while Austin Pfannenstiel and Brennan Harms shared scoring honors for the Longhorns with 16 points each.
The Rebels are now 17-4 while Stanton County, a 60-32 winner over Wichita County on Monday night, is 16-4. They are the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds.
On the other side of the bracket, No. 1-ranked Meade rolled past Syracuse 77-26, and in the night's final battle, between the evenly-matched Nos. 4 and 5 seeds, Sublette and Elkhart, the game didn't disappoint.
After falling behind by as many as 15 points in the first half, Sublette rallied but came up short as Elkhart won 59-55 to earn its semifinal matchup on Thursday against Meade.
Taylor Williamson, Avigael Gonzalez and Trevor Leverett accounted for 46 of the Larks' total, with Williamson pacing the effort with 21 points, Gonzalez with 14 and Leverett with 11.
The Larks managed one brief lead in the fourth, 47-46 with just less than five minutes left.
For Elkhart, it was Alex Gomes who took high point honors with 18 points. Braden Harbour added 14 points.
Meade was never in trouble with the Bulldogs, who struggled from the outset in contending with 6-7 post Randy Friesen.
Morgan Davis led the onslaught for Meade (20-0) with 24 points. Trevin Wiens added 16 while Chris Hardaway and Friesen chipped in with 11 points apiece. Tierney Cashler scored 9 for the Bulldogs, who finished the season at 5-14.
In Thursday's semifinal contests, it will be South Gray going against Stanton County and Meade facing Elkhart. The two winners will meet at 7:30 p.m. Saturday for a berth in the state tournament, which begins next Wednesday at Manhattan.
Class 2A boxscores are in today's Scoreboard.
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