Defending champ Hesston hands Cheney first loss to return to State

Published: Mar. 5, 2022 at 10:26 PM CST
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NICKERSON, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The Hesston Swathers defeated the Cheney Cardinals to win the Nickerson 3A Sub-State Championship.

The Cardinals came into the game a perfect 21-0 on the season. Hesston carried a 20-1 record. Their lone loss came from top-ranked 2A team Hillsboro.

The game started with a stiff defense on both sides of the court. The first point did not come until almost three minutes into the game on a Ty Schroder free throw for Hesston.

Both sides then traded baskets with and-one fouls. At the end of the quarter, Hesston led 6-5.

The teams would trade the lead back and forth for the first five minutes of the second quarter. Hesston’s Matthew Waltner made a basket at 2:33 left in the quarter to give his team an 18-16 lead. Brayden Schilling tipped in the ball at the very last fraction of a second to have it count before the buzzer to end the second quarter. The basket gave the Swathers a 22-18 lead as they went to the locker room.

Hesston increased their lead to eight at the six-minute remaining mark in the third quarter. Cheney scored two baskets over the next minute to chip into the lead. Hesston responded with a six-point run with two baskets from Cason Richardson and one by Jake Proctor. Richardson also was fouled on one of his baskets and made the following free throw. The Swathers now held an 11-point lead over the Cardinals.

“In the third quarter, they weren’t doubling down on our guys inside,” said Hesston Head Coach Greg Raleigh. “So we said we were going take it inside. We got the ball to Nick a lot and Cason a couple of times. We then just played defense. We had a really good defensive effort.”

Hesston’s largest lead, 14-points, came with 6:25 to go in the game. Cheney would nibble into that lead, but the Swathers were able to keep it to no less than seven points at times.

Jackson Voth led all scorers with 15 points. Harrison Voth added 10 points.

Cason Richardson led the Swathers with 13 points in the game.

The Swather victory advances them to the 3A State Tournament to be held next week at the Sports Arena in Hutchinson. “We’re going to Hutch and we go to win,” said Coach Raleigh.

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