HAYS, Kan. (KWCH) - Four dunks, 11 threes, and a 25-point performance? That was just the first half in Thursday's regular-season finale between top-ranked Hutchinson Trinity and TMP. Celtic senior Kaleb Hammeke went on to finish with 32 points as Trinity rolled to the 74-54 win.
"I've been off recently but my little brother has been playing well and the big guys down low play well, they kind of get me open and that helps me get easier shots," Hammeke said.
Sophomore Lucas Hammeke opened scoring with a trey, then Kaleb scored in transition for a quick 5-0 lead 55 seconds in. Lucas Hammeke was headed for the big night early on with eight points in just over three minutes as the Celtics built a 14-2 lead.
Then it was Kaleb's turn. He swished back-to-back threes and added a jam for a quick 10 points. The lead was 22-7 when TMP junior Ryan Stoecklein came off the bench for three-straight treys.
Kaleb Hammeke kept up his assault with another three early in the second quarter. He scored his first 20 points on 4-of-5 shooting from outside the arc and 4-for-5 shooting from inside - all in under 12 minutes.
But TMP was able to hang tight for a while. Senior Ryan Carlin scored seven points in the second quarter and his layup cut the deficit to 36-30.
It was all Celtics from that point on. Kaleb Hammeke took a steal the distance for his second dunk of the night. Even on a rare miss at the end of the half, senior Jack Neal was there for the stickback at the horn for a 45-32 score.
"I've been working on it," Hammeke said of his dunks. "I'm a high jumper so it helps me out a little bit. That's the most I've had in a game."
Lucas Hammeke opened the third quarter with a three and the Celtics scored the first 10 points of the second half, thanks in part to five more points from Kaleb Hammeke. He finished with 32 thanks to a third and final dunk of the game.
Lucas Hammeke added 17 points in the win, and Even Remar reached double digits with 10 points. Karlin and Jackson Schulte were the lone Monarchs to hit double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Stoecklein scored all nine of his points in that first quarter.
TMP (10-10) will play host to Lyons in round one of the Class 3A Hoisington sub-state. Trinity (18-2), ranked No. 1 in 2A, will be the only team with a winning record in the Conway Springs bracket. The Celtics open the postseason against Wichita Independent on Monday.
"Every win is big for us," Kaleb Hammeke said. "We just build on everything. We have a great team this year. Everyone around me is great. We don't have a big head. Everybody just thinks about the next game."