HPL teams kick off first-round games

Brad Nading
Garden City Telegram

The teams in the Hi-Plains League are matching up for the league tournament this week.

Monday and Tuesday games were played in Johnson City. A change for this year’s tournament is that the semifinals and championships, held Thursday through Saturday, are being held at Syracuse. In past years, before the COVID-19 pandemic, games on those days had been played at Garden City Community College.

Syracuse boys 54, Stanton Co. 40

The Syracuse boys team opened play in the Hi-Plains League tournament Tuesday with a 54-40 win over Stanton County at Johnson City.

Both teams played evenly through the first quarter, 11-11, then the Bulldogs opened a small lead by halftime, 24-20. The third quarter proved to be another toss-up as both teams scored 14 points, but then came the fourth.

In the fourth quarter, Syracuse’s defense stiffened, allowing the Trojans only six points, while the Bulldogs offense had its best quarter of the game, tallying 16 points for the victory.

Syracuse’s Kyler Keller was the top scorer in the game with 19 points while teammate Aaron Plunkett added 12. Seven Bulldogs recorded points in the game.

Cole Scott led the scoring for Stanton County with 15 points.

Syracuse;11;13;14;16;—;54

Stanton Co.;11;9;14;6;—;40

Wichita Co. boys 55, Southwestern Heights 64

The Southwestern Heights boys came out on top in their opening game of the Hi-Plains League tournament Tuesday over Wichita County 64-55 at Johnson City.

The Mustangs win comes behind the shooting of Sergio Chavez who scored 31 points in the contest. 

Wichita County took the early lead, 11-10, after the first quarter and held the one point advantage going into halftime, 26-25. 

Southwestern Heights took its first lead at the end of the third quarter, 40-39, then it was all Chavez.

In the final quarter, Chavez took control of the game, scoring 15 of his game-high points total, most coming in the two-point range.

Also scoring in double figures for the Mustangs was Colby Louderback with 10.

Wichita County was led by Kayde Rietzke with 16 points and Manuel Chavez with 13.

Wichita County;11;15;13;16;—;55

Southwestern Heights;10;15;15;24;—;64

Elkhart boys 61, Sublette 74

The Sublette boys faced Elkhart in its opening round game Tuesday in the Hi-Plains League tournament and came away with a 74-61 win at Johnson City.

A quick start by the Larks, scoring 21 points in the first, while holding Elkhart to 12 points proved to by a catalyst for Sublette to hold the lead through the game. Sublette was up 39-23 at halftime.

The Wildcats mad a run in the third, scoring 25 points, to be down by 10 going into the fourth. Sublette outscored Elkhart 16-13 in the final period to seal the win.

The Larks’ Tristan Friesen led all scorers with 23 points while teammates Ace Martinez had 15, and Miguel Hernandez added 14 points.

Clayton Cole led the scoring for Elkhart with 17 points and Austin Rich added 15.

Elkhart;12;11;25;13;—;61

Sublette;21;18;19;16;—;74

Stanton Co. girls 55, Southwestern Heights 31

The Stanton County girls never trailed against Southwestern Heights on Monday in an opening round game of the Hi-Plains League tournament at Johnson City, 55-31.

The Trojans had a 11-8 lead going in to the second quarter, then shut down the Mustang offense, only allowing five points, to lead, 25-13, at halftime.

Both teams played even in the third, each scoring 12 points, then Stanton County took control in the fourth. The Trojans had their best offensive quarter of the game with 18 points, while holding the Mustangs to only six points.

Stanton County’s Jordan Tucker led all scorers with 16 points while teammate Adyson Scott added 13.

Sarah Headrick and Roxy Stone led the scoring for Southwestern Heights with seven points each.

Southwestern Heights;8;5;12;6;—;31

Stanton Co.;11;14;12;18;—;55

Syracuse girls 44, Wichita Co. 34

Syracuse’s girls basketball team opened the Hi-Plains League tournament Monday with a 44-34 victory over Wichita County at Johnson City.

The Bulldogs opened the gam strong offensively, leading 14-7 after the first quarter, but Wichita County fought back in the second to pull within one at halftime, 21-20.  

Syracuse began to gradually extend its lead through the second half, 34-29 after three quarters, then outscored the Indians 10-5 in the fourth to seal the win.

Syracuse’s Katlin Thomeczk was the leading scorer in the game with 14 points. 

Ally Riggs led Wichita County with 11 points.

Syracuse;14;7;13;10;—;44

Wichita Co.;7;13;9;5;—;34

Lakin girls 61, Sublette 29

The Lakin girls made quick work of their opening round opponent, Sublette, on Monday in the Hi-Plains League tournament, routing the Larks 61-29 in Johnson City.

The Broncs used defensive pressure in the first half to hold Sublette scoreless in the first quarter and only allow six points in the second. Lakin’s offense compiled 21 points in the first quarter and another 13 in the second to take a 34-6 lead into halftime.  

The Broncs put the final dagger in through the third, scoring 22 points, to cruise to the victory.

Lakin’s Jaya Esquibel poured in 18 points while teammate Jara Davidson added 11.

Claryse Webber led the scoring for Sublette with 12 points.

Sublette;0;6;10;13;—;29

Lakin;21;13;22;5;—61