Haynes hammers Rose Hill inside in Wildcat win
When asked how it felt to go undefeated against rival Rose Hill in the winter sports regular season - two boys' basketball wins, two for the girls and a wrestling dual - Mulvane's Zach Haynes had no hesitation to piling on more accomplishments.
“Also beat them twice in football. Then we plan on going out and sweeping them in baseball, too,” Haynes said. “Any time we can sweep Rose Hill in everything, it's a great feeling, because we don't like them and they don't like us.”
No love lost between Mulvane and the Rockets, and it showed in a see-saw 60-53 Wildcat win. The script was eerily similar to the last meeting.
Mulvane fell behind 11-4 in the first quarter. When the foes met Dec. 20, the Wildcats were behind 16-3.
“It wasn't what they were doing. It was what we were doing,” Haynes said. “We were loose with the ball. We weren't being aggressive enough. We were kind of hesitant.”
The Wildcats chipped away again, then broke through in the third quarter. Nolan Smith softly sank two free throws and Haynes later powered up a putback to get Mulvane ahead 36-33.
Rose Hill's Wyatt Clark hit a bucket to get the Rockets back up one, and they clung to a one-point edge after three quarters.
But the Rockets (6-10) were not going to survive forever, not with Bret Waddell plopped on the bench in foul trouble.
“He had three, and I tried to cover that up with a zone,” said Rose Hill coach Steve Siemens. “I knew against Mulvane that wasn't a good idea. What it did was it gave them a chance for some of their three shooters to get their feet set.”
The Wildcats stretched a one-point lead to seven with under two minutes to go. Austin Waddell hit a 3-pointer with under a minute left to get the Rockets within five, but it was never enough.
“Once we got that lead, we were pretty confident in what we could do,” Haynes said.
The Wildcats (11-5) have won three straight. Haynes led all scorers with 15. Clark was efficient on his way to 13 points for Rose Hill.
Mulvane girls scrap together victory
Mulvane coach Kendra Banzet tried to remember the last time the Wildcats were tasked to defeat a zone defense.
It was for a small part of the game against Garden Plain two weeks ago. Before that, maybe two months ago.
“We haven't seen any 2-3 since maybe McPherson,” Banzet said. “I'm talking way long ago.”
It clearly bogged down the Mulvane offense when Rose Hill surprised them with it. If not for its reliable defense, the Wildcats may not have eked out a 43-33 triumph over the Rockets.
“We could tell, and that was getting us a little flustered. Banzet, our coach, told us to keep shooting,” said Mulvane's Aubree Burkhart. “We just had to keep our defense up, because we were getting turnovers and steals. That was keeping us going.”
Rose Hill was driven to avenge its 23-point loss to the Wildcats in December. The Rockets appeared ready to do it when they took a 19-18 lead into halftime after a 3-pointer from Kate Shields.
As the third quarter concluded, Mulvane cranked out a 7-0 run. Elise Gerlach's 3-ball pushed the Wildcats ahead 32-25.
The Rockets sneaked back to within two, but a jumper from Destynee Donaldson and two big buckets from Ali Nelson put Mulvane up 38-30.
“(Ali) moves really well against the zone,” Banzet said. “She's smart against a zone in the paint. That really freed us up.”
Autumn Lipscomb scored 13 points to lead the Rockets, who fell to 4-12. Kynnedy Myers snagged 10 rebounds.
Donaldson picked up a double-double for the Wildcats (12-4), dropping 11 points and hauling in 12 rebounds. In the first meeting between the schools, she went for 16 and 11.
Burkhart, Gerlach and KaSandra Melick each picked off four passes. Rose Hill committed 22 turnovers.
“It's Homecoming,” Burkhart said. “We really expected to take a beatdown on them, but we'll take what we get.”