HUGOTON — The only given in Friday’s early-season Great West Activities Conference showdown between Hugoton and Scott City was that one team was going to lose its first game of the season.
The host Eagles came in as the fourth-ranked team in Class 4A-II. The Beavers were the fourth-ranked squad in Class 3A.
In the end, it was the Beavers prevailing in a 59-54 win that had both coaches happy it’s the holiday break.
Scott City overcame a sluggish first quarter and passed that along to Hugoton in the third quarter.
Hugoton jumped to a 7-0 lead in the first three minutes, but the Beavers cut that to 15-14 at the break.
Five lead changes in the second and Hugoton led just 31-29 at halftime, and then the Eagles went cold.
After shooting 14 of 26 from the field in the first half, they hit just two in the third, once at 7:42 and another at 2:40.
Meanwhile, the Beavers took a 4-point lead into the fourth quarter, where it became more of a trip to the free throw line. Scott City shot 22 of them and kept the Eagles at bay to get the win.
Trey O’Neil led the Beavers with 26 points but he was just 6-of-12 from the charity stripe.
Chantz Yager had 16, including a trio of threes.
On the other side, Kellen Watkins had 15 for Hugoton but was shut out in the third. Zack Leininger had 14, with eight of those in the first quarter.
Free throws would have made this an easier game to coach, Glenn O’Neil said.
“It’s good to miss them now and still survive,” he said.
The first quarter is just like the other three games this season, he said, where the Beavers started out slow and worked their way back into the game.
“We didn’t panic (tonight) because it’s happened,” he said. “We know there’s always a chance if we play some defense and rebound and come down and work. That’s the only good thing about it, I guess.”
Leininger, Watkins and Kinser accounted for all 15 of Hugoton’s first-quarter points, taking advantage of the Eagles definite size advantage inside.
More of that in the second half would have been nice, Hugoton coach Craig Szymczak said.
“We just kind of seemed to stand a little bit, and in the fourth quarter we got out of our rhythm,” he said. “Obviously Scott City is the team to beat in our league. We didn’t play scared against them. We had a big advantage down low and kind of got out of that in the third quarter.”
The first half was about as good as Hugoton has played, Szymczak said.
“We were having a bit of an inside-out game, getting the ball down low the first half. The first half we out-rebounded them 17-9 so we were getting on the boards,” he said.
But when Scott City came out of their man defense, it seemed to throw off his team matchup-wise.
“We had some confidence going and kind of hit a lull that third quarter,” he said, forcing them to foul more.
As the Eagles clawed their way back, the Beaver free throws, though sporadic, kept them in control.
Control is what the third quarter was all about as Scott City forced five turnovers and grabbed the boards when they needed stops.
Bo Hess got a block to stop one drive and the defense forced a bad pass on an inbounds play under the basket that turned into an O’Neil field goal to end the quarter.
Yager had the hot hand in the final quarter, hitting jump shots from the top of the key off screens as his teammates worked the ball inside and kicked it back out, just the way it was designed.
“I thought we got better on defense,” coach O’Neil said. “They got talking a lot more and got some deflections. But it was pretty much an ugly game both ways.”
Still, they held on, he admitted. But his team needs to learn what constitutes a foul and when to be aggressive, picking up 11 in the second half, including some when he wanted them to just run clock.
“The more they see it on film, the more they can correct that so they don’t do it any more,” he said.
Scymczak knows his team had this game, at least for a while.
“Our kids fought hard. I’m proud of their effort. I think we showed that we belong with some of these bigger teams,” he said.
Now they just need to learn from the loss in the second part of the season, he said.
Going into Christmas break with four wins is great, O’Neil said. But with football season extending to the end of November, his players haven’t had a week off since Aug. 19. The moratorium over the break is going to be nice.
Scott City 14 15 10 20 — 59
Hugoton 15 16 4 19 — 54
Scott City (4-0, 1-0)—Yager 6 1-2 16, Hess 1 0-0 2, Hutchins 1 7-11 9, O’Neil 9 6-12 26, Cure 0 1-2 1, Baker 1 3-6 6. Totals 18-27 18-33 59.
Hugoton (4-1, 0-1)—Armendariz 2 1-7, Leininger 6 2-2 14, Heger 2 0-2 6, Watkins 5 4-5 5, Duarte 0 1-2 1, Kinser 5 1-4 11. Totals 21-46 9-16 54.
3-pt. goals—Scott City 6-15 (Yager 3, Hutchins, O’Neil 2), Hugoton 3-8 (Heger 2, Watkins). Rebounds—Scott City 21 (O’Neil 5), Hugoton 31 (Leininger 9, Kinser 6).
Total fouls—Scott City 15, Hugoton 22. Fouled out—Scott City (Baker), Hugoton (Heger, Kinser). Technical fouls—none.
Hugoton 87, Scott City 35
The Lady Eagles showed why they’re at the top of their class with an 87-35 runaway win over league foe Scott City.
In rebounding from a loss last Saturday, Hugoton set a school record for points scored (the previous was 80 set in 1993).
The top team in Class 4A-II jumped out to a 15-1 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, as nine players scored and the team hit for eight 3-pointers.
Katy Heger led the Eagles with 20 points, Bailey Hoskinson added 17, and Amy Scott chipped in 14.
Kiana Yager and Bailey Latta paced the Lady Beavers with nine points each.
Scott City 10 14 8 3 — 37
Hugoton 23 30 27 7 — 87
Scott City (1-3, 0-1)—Latta 2 4-7 9, Wiebe 2 5-6 7, Yager 3 0-0 9, Orr 1 0-0 3, Goodman 1 2-2 4, Garcia 0 1-2 1, Miller 0 0-2 0. Totals 9 12-19 37.
Hugoton (3-1, 1-0)—Johnson 1 0-0 2, Armendariz 3 0-0 6, B. Hoskinson 8 0-0 17, Fabala 4 1-2 10, Scott 5 2-2 14, Pena 1 0-0 2, L. Hoskinson 4 0-0 9, Heger 8 2-2 20, Rawlins 1 2-2 4, Sosa 1 0-0 3. Totals 35 7-8 87.
3-pt. goals—Scott City 5 (Latta, Yager 3, Orr), Hugoton 8 (B. Hoskinson, Fabala, Scott 2, L. Hoskinson, Heger 2). Total fouls—Scott City 11, Hugoton 16. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none.