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Boys Smack Golden Plains

The Golden Plains Bulldogs came to St. Francis on Saturday afternoon, January 6, to compete in high school basketball. The Bulldogs left with their tails tucked between their legs due to two victories by the Indians. The evening featured a series of extended runs in both contests. St. Francis narrowly escaped with a two-point win in the junior varsity contest (41-39). In the varsity game, St. Francis won 68-43 after completely dominating the Bulldogs early.

The junior varsity was an interesting series of runs. Golden Plains (GP) jumped out to an early 0-4 lead, but back-to-back treys by Connor Keller quickly erased the deficit. With the addition of two free-throws by Colton Neitzel and a steal-two by Tayton Weeter, the Indians led 10-4 at the first quarter break.

Then it was the Bulldogs turn. GP's Josh Spresser (Jr.) opened the second period with a right-wing trey. After a free-throw by Jacob Ritter (Jr.), Miguel Monge (Jr.) tied the contest with a shot in the lane. The GP run continued with right-wing trey by Colby Lathrop (So.) and a lane basket by Kole Butts (Fr.). Leading 10-15, Golden Plains called time-out at 2:45. After returning to the floor, St. Francis earned a driving score (plus one) by Jesse Baxter. The first half ended with the Indians leading 17-15 after the addition of a Baxter stick-back and a post basket by Colton Neitzel (assist Baxter).

After being tied 17-17, and again at 20-20 with 5:19 left in the third period, St. Francis began another run. Draven Houtman's basket initiated the run. Connor Keller followed with a right-wing trey. Colton Neitzel scored back to back baskets (plus one) to give the Indians a 30-20 advantage with approximately 3 minutes left in the quarter. The 10-point run was halted by a free-throw by GP's Monge. Houtman followed with a baseline drive, but Jamie Infante (So.) answered with a post basket on the opposite end of the floor. Kobe Tice sank a deep-trey at the buzzer to close the period. St. Francis led 35-23 at the break.

Tayton Weeter's coast-to-coast basket opened the final period and stretched the Indians' lead to 14 points (37-23). Austin Patmon (So.) trimmed the lead with back to back treys from the right-wing for the Bulldogs. Weeter earned a deuce after an GP turnover, but Patmon scored twice more (drive and post) trimming the advantage to 39-33. Weeter then drained a shot from the left-wing returning the advantage to eight (41-33). It would be the last score the Indians would earn. Golden Plains earned two more Infante scores (right-corner & coast-to-coast drive) and a Spresser basket after an offensive rebound. The Bulldogs called time-out after the final basket with 4 seconds remaining. Neither team scored again. St. Francis had survived a late flurry by the Bulldogs to win 41-39.

St. Francis was led in scoring by Colton Neitzel with 11 points. Connor Keller added 10. Others scoring for the Indians included Tayton Weeter 8, Jesse Baxter 5, Draven Houtman 4, and Cutler Mayer 3. The Indians made 5 of 10 from the line.

Golden Plains was led by Jaime Infante with 12 points (all in the 2nd half). Austin Patman chipped in 11. The Bulldogs made 3 of 6 from the stripe.

The varsity contest was a tale of two halves. St. Francis dominated the first half, and with many Indian substitutes seeing most of the playing time in the second half, the Bulldogs controlled the action. St. Francis opened the contest with a driving basket by Tate Busse. Richard Johnson added an out-of-bounds play score on an assist by K.C. Krien. A steal and assist by Busse led to a break basket by Dalton Straub. The game was just underway, and the Indians had a quick 6-0 lead. Golden Plains got on the scoreboard on a post basket by junior Caleb Korte. It would be the only score the Bulldogs would earn in the first period. St. Francis then scored the final 14 points of the period getting baskets from seven different players (Johnson, Krien, Connor Keller, Busse, Wyatt Hackler, Brady Dinkel, and Jesse Baxter) to take full control. The Indians led 20-2 after one quarter of play.

The Indians continued to increase their lead throughout the second period. Though the Bulldogs hustled hard, giving good effort in all phases of the game, their execution lacked the proficiency necessary to compete with the Indians and the margin widened. Tate Busse drained a left-wing trey and free-throw to open the second period. After a driving basket by Korte, Busse drained three consecutive treys to extend the lead to 33-6. After a lane basket by Tayton Weeter, Busse earned a steal-two. The Indians were now up by 31 points (38-6). A post score by Korte added to the Bulldogs' side of the scoreboard, but Busse (trey) and Weeter (corner) soon answered. Busse then sandwiched his 6th trey of the quarter between two GP post baskets; one by by Jeron Schutte (Sr.) and one by Josh Spresser (Jr.). The addition of a Weeter basket, a Busse free-throw, a stick-back basket by Dalton Straub (plus one), and driving scores by Brady Dinkel and Weeter gave the Indians a lop-sided 55-14 lead at halftime.

It was obvious that the Indians had been instructed to be deliberate offensively in the second half as the pace of the game slowed. Working the basketball more methodically, the Indians continued to add to the margin. An assist by Tate Busse led to a lay-up by K.C. Krien to open the second half. Korte then answered at the opposite end. Richard Johnson's left elbow shot was followed by a bucket by Wyatt Hackler (assist Busse) moving the scoreboard to 61-17. The Bulldogs then received a right-corner basket from sophomore Harley Weese. Busse's next assist set up a score by Connor Keller. After an offensive rebound basket by Busse about three minutes into the third period, the Indians called time-out leading 65-19. The starters were essentially "done for the evening' and the substitutes played the remainder of the minutes.

The Indians deliberate approach and the Bulldogs' continued hustle resulted in several Indian turnovers during the final twelve minutes. After the time-out, the Indians scored the next basket on a Wyatt Hackler assist to Tayton Weeter on a fast break. The Indians would only score one additional point in the game; a free-throw by Weeter with 28 seconds remaining. Meanwhile the Bulldogs began to gain momentum and ended the contest on a 1-24 run. St. Francis defeated a hard-working Bulldog team 68-43.

Tate Busse lead the Indians in scoring with 28 points (26 in the 1st half). Tayton Weeter chipped in 11 (8 in 2nd quarter). Others scoring for the Indians were Brady Dinkel 6, Richard Johnson 6, Conner Keller 4, K.C. Krien 4, Wyatt Hackler 4, Dalton Straub 3, and Jesse Baxter 2. The Indians made 4 of 9 from the line and committed 15 fouls.

Golden Plains was led by Caleb Korte with 25 points (23 in the final 3 qtrs.). The Bulldogs only made 1 of 10 from the stripe and were called for 12 fouls.

St. Francis will play Weskan, in Weskan, on Tuesday, January 9.

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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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