Hutchinson High guards Tanner Higgins, Braydon Wells and Trevor Turner are a dynamic trio.
Higgins and Wells measure 5-foot-8 and Turner is the “big man,” at 5-10.
Hutchinson High coach Nathan Henry said the threesome are relentless competitors. They combined for 36 points, numerous assists and a few floor burns to spark the Salthawks past Campus 72-55 in Tuesday’s Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League basketball game.
Wells typified their moxie after a turnover when he stole the basketball, then drained a 35-footer to end the first half for a 33-23 lead.
They essentially give Henry three point guards who provide ballhandling and passing. Higgins scored 15 points, Wells added 11 and Turner 10. They pressured the Colts’ guards and converted the turnovers into scores. In their halfcourt offense, they consistently found the open shooter.
“They all are great competitors. Our guards set our defensive tone for us and when they get turnovers, they push the ball up the court,” Henry said. “Tanner and Braydon are great spot-up shooters. Trevor has amazing court vision and gets the ball to the open man.”
The guards accounted for 18 of the Salthawks’ 20 second-quarter points. Higgins hit back-to-back 3-pointers. Wells scored eight points to go with an assist.
Hutchinson (7-8, 5-3 AVCTL) beat the Colts 75-45 in their first meeting.
“Campus has showed a lot of improvement from the first time we played,” Henry said. “They showed they can shoot the 3-pointer tonight. We knew they were a capable offensive team if we didn’t challenge their shooters.”
The Colts were still within range, down 38-28 when Austin Vaden made two free throws.
But Hutchinson put the game away with a dazzling 16-3 run for a 54-31 lead after three quarters. Trevor Turner dished back-to-back bounce passes to Joe Dower and Evan Gaines-Grissom. Gaines-Grissom’s rebound set by Reggie Slaton’s 3-pointer after Higgins’ driving layup for a 5-point possession.
Much of the damage was done by Henry’s second wave.
“What I liked was we kept our intensity with our second unit,” Henry said. “We’re starting to pull together as a team and getting our guys to play well at the same time. We’re getting closer to where we want to be.”
Campus (2-12, 0-8 AVCTL) showed some spark behind 17 points by sharpshooter Colton Flax. Marcus Saucedo and Austin Vaden each added nine points.
But the third-quarter letdown typified the Colts’ play. Coach Russell Herman said the Colts play well in spurts, then get totally outplayed in a brief stretch.
“We seem to have that type of 3-or-4 minute stretch every game where we forget about playing defense,” Herman said. “Up to that point, our defense was keeping us in the game and we made a few shots. Colton Flax is a gifted shooter and he had a typical offensive game.”
Herman said the Colts have not learned how to consistently play at a high level.
“Our lack of experience winning games hurts us. We’re still figuring how what we have to do to win ballgames,” he said. “The team is working hard, but we have lapses in games that really hurt us.”
Hutchinson travels to Salina South and Campus plays Maize Friday night.