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JH Boys Play Two Close Games in Atwood

The game action in Atwood on Thursday evening was very competitive. Both teams had opportunities to win each game, but the Indians and Buffaloes each earned a victory during the evening. The B-Team Indians lost a close contest 35-37. The A-Team defeated Rawlins County 32-19 in a game that was much closer than the final score.

In the first game of the evening, the St. Francis B-Team trailed 8-20 after one period of play. The Indians held the Buffaloes scoreless in the second period and pulled within four points (16-20) at halftime. Rawlins County widened the gap in the third period leading 20-31 by the quarter's end. The Indians fought hard and nearly earned the victory, losing 35-37.

St. Francis was paced by Ben Busse with 14 points and Preston Witzel with 13. Other Indians scoring in the contest were Caleb Todd 4, Tyson Poling 2, and Cutter Neitzel 2. The Indians shot 80% from the free-throw line (4-5). Rawlins County was led by Alex Paz with 10 points. The Buffs connected on 3 of 11 from the stripe.

The A-Team contest was a back-and-forth affair with the teams trading the lead ten times in the first three quarters. Though the Indians' play was ragged, they found a way to execute better in the final period to win by 13 points. Adam Krien opened the contest with a steal-two. Rawlins County (RC) followed with three free-throws by sixth-grader Brady Beckman. St. Francis then scored on a fast-break basket by Kobe Tice (assist Shadryon Blanka). Ben Crouse answered for the Buffs on an offensive rebound. Jesse Baxter added two more to the Indians' side of the scoreboard after a Tice assist. Rawlins County led 6-7 at the first quarter break after a free-throw area jumper by Travis Chvatal.

St. Francis regained the lead on a drive by Shadryon Blanka early in the second stanza, but Laustat Chessmore soon answered on an offensive rebound for the Buffs. With Adam Krien sitting on the bench with early fouls, 6th-graders Ben Busse and Preston Witzel filled in well. Ben's assist to Jesse Baxter in the post resulted in an old-fashioned three-point play. Colton Neitzel's coast-to-coast drive gave the Indians the largest margin in the game thus far, 13-10. The three-point lead held through halftime.

The teams continued to battle hard with a couple more lead changes to come. Chvatal's top-of-the key trey moved Rawlins County back in front early in the third period. Shadryon Blanka scored from the right elbow on an assist from Preston Witzel, and followed with a lay-up giving St. Francis a 17-15 lead. The Indians would not relinquish the lead again. Colton Neitzel scored on a steal-two increasing the St. Francis lead to four points, but Chessmore answered with a basket from the block before the quarter closed. St. Francis held a slim 19-17 lead after three periods of play.

Adam Krien returned to the floor in the final period after spending much of the game on the bench due to foul trouble. Krien's presence seemed to increase the pace of the contest. Krien scored the first four points of the final period on shots in the lane (one on an assist by Jesse Baxter). Colton Neitzel added an offensive rebound bucket and then Baxter chipped in a free-throw on an intentional foul call on the Buffs. The flurry had increased the Indians' lead to 26-17. After a Chessmore post basket, Shadryon Blanka scored on a fast-break. Baxter and Blanka each added lay-ups in the closing minute. St. Francis defeated the Rawlins County Buffaloes 32-19 with a 13-2 blitz in the final quarter.

Shadryon Blanka led the Indians in scoring with 10 points. Jesse Baxter added 8, Colton Neitzel 6, Adam Krien 6, and Kobe Tice 2. The Indians made only 2 of 7 from the stripe.

Rawlins County was led by Laustat Chessmore with 8 points and Travis Chvatal with 5. The Buffs connected on only 4 of 13 free-throw attempts.

The Indians will play in the Northwest Kansas League Junior High Basketball Tournament in Hoxie on Thursday, December 15, and Saturday, December 17. Game times and opponents will be determined by seeding in the next few days.

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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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