HESSTON, Kan.—Hesston boys’ head basketball coach Greg Raleigh was happy his team got the top seed in sub-state, but the inability to practice due to snow led to some sloppy play that he wasn’t too happy with.
“We weren’t very sharp early,” said Raleigh. “We haven’t had school in six days and we weren’t able to practice, so I think we were just a little flat.”
Flat or not, the Hesston boys came out on top Tuesday 71-45. The Swathers will play the winner of Concordia and Chapman, a game that will be played Feb. 27.
Raleigh said the team had 11 turnovers in the first half, a statistic that is not characteristic of his team. Clay Center stuck with Hesston for about the first half of the first quarter, but the Hesston’s transition game was too much for the Tigers.
“The turnovers slowed us down,” he said. “We wanted to get out in transition and once we were able to get out and run a little bit were able to get things going the way we wanted.”
Many of the players on the squad headed over to Hesston College to shoot around and play pick-up games during the time off, but a normal practice it was not.
“We’ve only been able to practice two of the last 10 days,” said Raleigh. “So it will be nice to get in and have a regular day tomorrow and get on the court and practice and get the kids back in a routine. I don’t know how big of an effect (the snow) had.”
Hesston’s Ryan Schadler led all players with 17 points and Dalton Haist led Clay Center with 16 of his team’s 45 points. The Hesston boys are currently ranked No. 5 in 4A.
Hesston girls thrash Smoky Valley
It was a rough first quarter for the Smoky Valley girls. Then it was a rough second quarter, and third and even fourth. The Hesston Lady Swathers tossed Smoky Valley to the curb 60-20 in the opening game of sub-state.
The two teams met just 11 days ago and Hesston won that meeting 50-24.
It was 15-4 after the first quarter and Hesston outscored the Lady Vikings 23-2 in the second for a 38-6 halftime lead.
“It was the seniors’ last night on their home floor,” said Hesston head coach Matt Richardson. “I thought we came out with a lot of fire and a lot of intensity. Tonight’s a lot of fun.”
Hesston’s Caylee Richardson torched Smoky Valley in the first half with 14 of her 16 points on the night. She outscored every player on the floor and was perfect from the free-throw line. Teammate Cami Richardson scored 14 points on the night, 11 of which came in the first half.
The Hesston girls are currently ranked No. 4 in 4A and will meet Abilene in the sub-state semifinals March 1.