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Indians Win Easily In Opening Round

With the junior varsity team playing as much or more than the starting lineup, the Indians easily defeated the Heartland Christian Crusaders in the opening round of the Sagebrush Classic in Brewster on Monday evening, December 5. The Indians led 40-12 at halftime and cruised to a 69-34 victory. The Indians will now play Cheylin in the championship semi-final contest at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 9, in the South Gym at Brewster High School. Cheylin advanced with a 53-37 win over Golden Plains on Monday evening.

It didn't take the Indians long to establish their dominance over Heartland Christian. Using aggressive defensive pressure and excellent transition basketball, the Indians earned a quick 12-0 lead in the first four minutes of the contest. The 12-0 run came on an assist by Jeremiah Neitzel on a Brock Waters drive, two free-throws by Waters, an assist by Dalton Straub on a Tate Busse fast-break, another Neitzel assist on a cut by Straub, a Neitzel offensive rebound, and a baseline drive by Straub. With 3:22 left in the first period, Heartland Christian (HC) scored their first basket; a left-wing trey by Lander Niblock (6' 3" Jr.). St. Francis then tacked on a Neitzel offensive stick-back and a Waters to Busse run-out basket (16-3). With five substitute players entering the contest with several minutes left in the first period, HC scored another basket before the new Indians added a left-wing trey by Tayton Weeter and a Jake Faulkender left-elbow score (assist Weeter). St. Francis led 20-5 after one quarter of play.

With the junior varsity team staying on the floor for the first half of the second period, St. Francis continued to increase the margin. A deuce by Connor Keller was followed by fast-break basket by Tayton Weeter pushing the deficit to 20 (25-5). Tevean Belshe (6' 0" Jr.) earned an offensive rebound score for the Crusaders before a free-throw by Weeter. With approximately four minutes remaining in the period the starting Indians returned to action. Tate Busse added a floater in the lane on the first Indian possession. The fast pace of the contest was taking a toll on the less-mobile Crusaders, and with the Indians playing everyone and the Crusaders having only five players available, exhaustion was also becoming a factor. Heartland Christian took a time-out at 4:00. After returning to the floor, the Indians scored two lay-ups (Brock Waters steal-assist to Tate Busse; Busse assist to Waters). Waters next assist found Dalton Straub on a cut to the hoop increasing the margin to 34-7. The Indians then committed a turnover leading to a basket by Talen Quenzer (6' 1" Sr.) for the Crusaders. The starters closed the half with a Straub to Waters lay-up, a Waters to Busse lay-up, and and offensive rebound by Jeremiah Neitzel after an attempted dunk by Busse. With the scoreboard showing the Indians ahead 40-9, the junior varsity players again hit the floor. The Crusaders earned a basket and a free-throw late in the period to bring the halftime score to 40-12.

The Indians opened the second half with two more lay-ups before Belshe scored on an offensive rebound. With the Indians being much more patient offensively, the pace of the game slowed somewhat. With the Indians working the ball deliberately, Dalton Staub scored from the post on a low-high assist by Jeremiah Neitzel. Straub followed on the next possession with a offensive rebound score and a steal-two moments later. HC used another time-out at 4:28 for a breather. Neitzel scored on a steal and coast-to-coast drive after the rest. Quenzer followed with a left-corner score for the Crusaders. The starter's playing time was about to end. Before the game was turned over to the JV, Straub added a post score, Brady Dinkel scored from the post on a Busse assist, and Waters scored on a "questionable" dunk (plus one). With the score standing at 57-18 the JV took over with 2:29 left in the third period. With an obvious size advantage, the Crusaders soon scored on a post-move by Niblock. Weeter followed with a baseline jumper, and Jordan Raby added a baseline score to the mix. St. Francis led 61-24 after three periods.

The final period was played with a running clock due to the 30-point rule. Indians scoring in the final period included:  Jake Faulkender (free throw; fast-break score on Jordan Raby assist), Connor Keller (fast-break, assist K.C. Krien), and Tayton Weeter (long trey at buzzer). The Indians advanced to the semi-finals with a 69-34 win over the Heartland Christian Crusaders.

Nine Indians scored in the contest. Leading the scoring were Dalton Straub (14 {8 in 2nd Qtr.}), Brock Waters (13), and Tate Busse (13 {all in 1st half}). Jeremiah Neitzel added 8, Tayton Weeter 7, Jake Faulkender 6, Conner Keller 4, Jordan Raby 2, and Brady Dinkel 2. The Indians made 5 of 10 from the line and had 8 total fouls (none in the 2nd half).

Heartland Christian was led by Talen Quenzer with 12, Tavean Belshe with 11, and Lander Niblock with 11. They were the only three HC players to score. HC committed 8 fouls and made 1 of 3 from the stripe. 

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St. Francis 100 College Street St. Francis, KS  67756

Superintendent's Office: 785-332-8182 High School Office: 785-332-8153 Elementary Office: 785-332-8143

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