LAKIN — High school basketball’s second season opened Monday on Lakin’s home floor as the second-seeded Broncs took out visiting Colby 63-44 in a Class 3A sub-state quarterfinal.
After putting up 104 points last Tuesday against Hugoton, the Broncs found that they didn’t need to score so many as the points were harder to achieve — at least early on.
Colby opened with a 4-0 lead and then hung around most of the opening period, tying the game at 11 with two minutes to play. Hunter Kirby scored the only two Lakin goals down the next stretch and the Broncs had a 16-11 at the first break.
Colby cut into that lead with a field goal midway into the second (22-19) but a mini-run by Lakin gave the home team a 32-23 lead at intermission.
The Eagles opened the third with two field goals before Lakin tried to go on another mini-run, but the Eagles kept pace, with Jordan Schippers scoring 12 of his team’s 17 points in the third.
Lakin held a 52-40 lead heading into the final period.
Colby scored just four points in that fourth quarter on just 1 of 7 shooting. The Eagles finished the game 18 of 45 from the floor, with just two 3-pointers.
Lakin, on the other hand, once again had no problem putting up shots. They just found many of them hard to put in as they shot just 21 of 58 from the field (36.2 percent).
But 13 of 41 of those shots were of the 3-point variety, and those 39 points off treys were nearly enough to outscore Colby.
Down the stretch, it was too much Broncs on the boards and a non-stop press that did in the Eagles, and Lakin (17-4) advanced to Thursday’s semifinals to be played in Colby.
The Broncs held a sizable edge in turnovers, committing just 10 while forcing Colby into 20 miscues, which turned into 17 points.
Lakin got the bulk of its points from three players, with Dawsen Shalberg leading the way with 20 points, including five 3-pointers.
Diego Davila added 18 and Hunter Kirby 16 in the win.
Colby (7-14) got 12 points from Schippers, with Calvin Staap adding 11.
Win and advance is always good in the playoffs, and that was good enough for Lakin coach Nate Schmitt.
“You know, we didn’t shoot it very well tonight,” he said. “We didn’t shoot it well in our warm-up, either. But we brought some intensity and I thought, tonight, our defense was really good, so we found a win to win without making shots.”
Lakin did a good job of following the scouting report on the Eagles, and it was truly the defense that won the game.
It was kind of funny, though, Schmitt said.
“Right from the start, we won our first jump ball in nine games,” he joked about Colby’s quick 4-0 start.
But in the end, the press was just too much for Colby.
“That’s what the press does to teams is things go in waves,” Schmitt said.
Lakin’s pressure stopped Colby for the next nearly four minutes as his Broncs regained the lead.
More of that in the second quarter, and again in the third before the final tsunami to put it away.
Lakin will play Goodland Thursday. The Cowboys were 59-49 winners over Cimarron.
Goodland plays in a tough league and has some quality player and more height, Schmitt said.
“We know they’re going to be well coached and play hard,” he said.
A win Thursday sets up a possible title game Saturday against top-seeded Phillipsburg, which has dropped just one game all season.