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Indians Spank #2 Ranked Wildcats

Team Sets New Season Win Total

The Indians looked like the state championship contender they hope to be on Tuesday, February 21. Playing on their home floor, the Indians defeated the #2 ranked Wallace County Wildcats 86-53 in convincing fashion. The win was the first win over the perennial state-contending Wildcats in 18 tries. The win also completed a season of undefeated basketball on the Indians' home court for the second straight year. With the win, the Indians advance into Sub-State action with a record of 18-2 possessing the number one seed in the tournament. The 18th Indian victory surpassed the season record of 17 wins set by the 17-3 1982-1983 Indians.

The Indians began and ended the contest clicking on all cylinders. Though the scrappy and talented Wildcats worked hard to narrow the deficit several times in the contest, the Indians made the necessary plays to maintain control. The game opened with a trey by Tate Busse only seconds into the contest. Brock Waters scored on a shot from the left-wing on the the second Indian possession. A coast-to-coast drive by Wallace County's (WC) Trevor Medina and two free-throws by Grady Hammer moved the score to 5-4. The Indians responded with a 13-point run opening the advantage to 18-4. The run included a trey by Busse, four baskets by Waters, and two by Quinton Cravens. The run was halted by a free-throw by WC, but the Indians soon added two Brady Dinkel free-throws and a left-corner trey by Busse (assist Jeremiah Neitzel) increasing the lead to 23-5. WC's Levi Johnson added a stick-back basket and Cravens a free-throw late in the period. St. Francis had started extremely well, leading 24-7 after one period.

The Indians would need the large advantage, as the pesky Wildcats continued to play hard. The Wildcats narrowed the lead to 7 points late in the second period with their aggressive play. WC scored the first two buckets of the second period; both by Seth Johnson (5' 11" junior). A series of three free-throws by Brady Dinkel were squeezed between scores by Medina and Levi Johnson (trey). Another trey by Sammy Aquino (5' 8" senior) narrowed the Indian advantage to nine points (27-18) and certainly shifted the momentum to the Wildcats. The Indians followed with two more Dinkel charity tosses and a post-basket by Quinton Carvens (assist Tate Busse). The margin returned to nine again (31-22) after the addition of a post -move score by Gabe Klinge (6' 2" senior) and two Medina free-throws. The Indians needed another response, and got it; a three-ball by Busse. The back-and-forth action between two excellent teams continued. Johnson's drive was answered by two more Dinkel free-throws. Medina's stick-back was followed by a Busse fast-break score. Near the two-minute mark, a Medina trey again narrowed the advantage to nine (38-29), and at 1:30, a coast-to-coast drive by Hammer moved the Wildcats within seven (38-31). The Indians closed the half with two much-needed free-throws by Dalton Straub and an offensive rebound basket by Cravens. The Indians led 42-31 at halftime.

Wallace County scored on their first two possessions opening the third period; a stick-back by Johnson and a left-wing jumper by Hammer. The scores again narrowed the advantage to seven points (42-35). On the next Indian possession, a turnover gave the ball back to the Wildcats. Things were getting even more interesting. As they had done all evening, the Indians responded well. After a defensive stop, Tate Busse drained another trey in transition re-establishing a double-digit lead (45-35). At 5:13, the Wildcats answered with a trey of their own and quickly called time-out. After the time-out, the Wildcats returned to the floor with full-court defensive pressure. The Indians efficient passing soon resulted in a press-offense lay-up by Jeremiah Neitzel after an assist by Brock Waters. The next Indian possession resulted in a turnover-two for the Wildcats again trimming the margin to seven (47-40). The Wildcats would get no closer as the Indians' proficient execution in all areas of the game began to take a toll. Another top-of-the-key trey by Busse was followed by an out-of-bounds play score by Neitzel (assist Waters). Medina and Johnson would both add treys in the next few minutes, but the Indians blew to game open getting scores from Quinton Cravens, Waters, Dalton Straub, and Busse in the closing minutes of the third period. St. Francis led 64-48 at the third quarter break.

The Wildcats would only add one free-throw in the first half of the final period. Meanwhile, aggressive defense and rebounding and masterful offensive execution stretched the Indian lead to 80-49 with 4;12 left in the period and set the 30-point clock in motion. With 6;45 remaining in the game, Tate Busse hit his 8th trey of the contest tying the school record for treys in one game he set last year. The Indians cruised to an 86-53 win over an very-good Wallace County team.

Wallace County was led in scoring by Levi Johnson (5' 11" senior) with 20 points. Trevor Medina (5' 10" sophomore) added 14 and Grady Hammer (6' 1" senior) 8. The Wildcats made 11 of 16 from the line.

St. Francis had three players score 20 or more points; a rare feat in high school basketball. Tate Busse scored 29, Brock Waters 22, and Quinton Cravens 20. Other Indians contributing to the scoring column were Brady Dinkel 7, Jeremiah Neitzel 4, Taylor Rogers 3, and Dalton Straub 2. The Indians converted 19 of 24 from the stripe.

Before the varsity boys contest, Senior Night was observed as the seniors were preparing to play their last home game of their careers. A small recognition ceremony was held to recognize the seniors and their parents who have given so much to the basketball program. Seniors recognized were:  Jenna Confer (daughter of Steve and JeanAnn Confer), Quinton Cravens (son of Shawn and Jenny Cravens), Jeremiah Neitzel (son of Ronnie and Roxie Neitzel), Taylor Rogers (son of Mike and Jo Rogers), and Brock Waters (son of Matt and Caroline Waters).

The junior varsity contest was very close during the first half and all Wallace County in the second half. The Indians took a 5-3 lead on a left-wing trey by Tayton Weeter, but Trevor Medina soon answered for WC. Jake Faulkender's shot in the lane gave the Indians a 7-6 lead, but Medina's steal-two returned the lead to the Wildcats. The back and forth action continued, with St. Francis trailing 13-14 after one period.

The Indians earned three baskets in the second period, two by Jordan Raby and one by Tayton Weeter, but trailed 19-21 at halftime. The Indians fell further behind in the third period and trailed 23-35 after three periods of action. 

The Indians struggled in the final stanza earning only four points while allowing nineteen. Brady Dinkel added two free-throws and Draven Houman scored on a nice assist by K.C. Krien. The junior varsity Indians lost to Wallace County 27-55.

Click the photos to see more photos!

Indians Spank #2 Ranked Wildcats

Kent Kechter

Feb 27, 2017

Congratulations, Indians and coaches, on a very successful regular season. You have been exciting to watch and your improvement throughout the season has been very encouraging. Best of luck in the upcoming post-season! Coach K.
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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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