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First Half Blitz Decides Contest

Indians Advance to Championship Semi-Final

A strong first half performance by the Indians determined the outcome of the opening round contest of the Northwest Kansas League Basketball Tournament. St. Francis received an outstanding individual performance from Tate Busse, who scored 25 points in the half, enroute to a twenty-point halftime lead. Though the Indian's performance faded in the second half, it was enough to determine the outcome of the game. St. Francis held on to defeat a scrappy Wallace County team 55-49.

The Indians came ready to play. St. Francis opened the contest with a 10-0 run. During the run, Wallace County committed several turnovers and missed numerous close shots. Tate Busse connected on his first two shots of the contest to give St. Francis a 5-0 lead. Dalton Straub followed with an offensive rebound basket. A deep transition-trey by Busse quickly advanced the score to 10-0. Wallace County scored their first basket with 4:05 left in the period on an assist from Andrew Noone (6' 0" Sr.) to Trevor Medina (6' 1" Jr.) in the post. Medina then added a stick-back basket trimming the lead to 6. Another transition-trey by Busse was followed by a top-of-the-key basket by Straub returning the lead to double-digits. A final left-wing trey by Busse closed the quarter with the Indians up 18-4.

Busse's excellent shooting continued. After a baseline drive, Busse added another transition-trey to give the Indians a 23-4 lead early in the second period. Trevor Medina followed with a driving score for the Wildcats, but it would be a while before the Cats would score again. The Indians would add a drive by Straub, and offensive rebound basket by Adam Krien, and fast-break basket by Wyatt Hackler (assist Krien) before the Wildcats would answer. The margin grew to 29-6. Medina seemed to be the only Wildcat that could locate the basket, and approximately mid-way through the period he scored again on an offensive rebound. Carlin Springsteel (6' 2" Sr.) followed with two free-throws moving the margin below 20 (29-10). After a Hackler drive, Medina added a driving basket (plus one). Busse responded with a driving score and transition-trey (plus one) moving the margin to 24 points--the largest of the game. Busse would not miss a shot until late in the second period. Wallace County closed the half with back-to-back baskets by Springsteel and Medina--a possible glimpse of what was ahead. St. Francis led 37-17 at the halftime intermission.

Medina opened the third period with a free-throw. Dalton Straub added two charity tosses to the Indians' score. A steal-two by Medina set the tone for the second half as the Indians began to play a bit less aggressively and the momentum began to swing to Wallace County. K.C. Krien's assist led to a break basket by Richard Johnson. At 4:58, another steal-two by Medina cut the advantage a bit more. A basket on a baseline cut by Luke Johnson (assist Medina) moved the scoreboard to 41-24. Busse then added a pair of free-throws after being fouled on a drive. Brady Dinkel followed with a fast-break basket on a Busse assist. Medina added a stick-back basket and then set up a Springsteel score on a break with an assist (45-28). Krien's assist led to a score by Dinkel on a strong cut to the goal. After the addition of two Medina free-throws, Springsteel set up a score by Medina with an assist on a break. An offensive rebound basket by Trevor Fisher (6' 0" Jr.) trimmed the lead to 47-34. After a time-out at 38.9 seconds, Busse drew a charge on a driving Wildcat. Busse added a driving score in the closing moments, and Johnson added a left-wing trey for Wallace County at the buzzer on an out-of-bounds play. The Indians 24-point lead had slipped to 12. The score stood at 49-37.

Though the Wildcats would double the Indians' output in the final period, the early lead would prove to be large enough to seal the win. Wallace County opened the fourth period with a left-wing trey by Esteban Rodriguez (6' 0" Jr.) inciting the Wallace County crowd even more. A St. Francis turnover led to a basket by Luke Johnson. The large margin was now reduced to 49-42. The Indians needed to make a play--and they did. Dalton Straub earned a steal and completed the play with an assist leading to lay-up by Tate Busse. At 4:22, the Indians called time-out leading by 9 (51-42). After returning to the floor, Straub scored on a strong drive. Busse then added one-of-two from the stripe. With 3:15 remaining, the Indians led 54-42. Wallace County would continue to hustle and provide pressure defensively. At 2:10, Seth Johnson (5' 11" Sr.) added a jump-hook in the lane. Moments later, Luke Johnson's assist led to a score by Carlin Springsteel on a break. Wallace County called a time-out at 1:39 trailing 54-46. Having difficulty against the Wallace County defense, St. Francis called time-out at 1:29. After returning to action, K.C. Krien was fouled at 45.6. Krien missed both free-throws, and Luke Johnson swished at trey from the left corner closing the margin to 5 points (54-49). After another St. Francis turnover, Brady Dinkel made an outstanding block to save what looked like a certain Wildcat score. At 14.6 seconds, the Indians used another time-out while having trouble in-bounding the basketball. The final point of the contest came at the 7.7 mark when Busse swished 1 of 2 from the line. St. Francis had escaped from a second half slide partially created by less-spirited play by the Indians, but certainly by improved play by the Wildcats.

Wallace County was led in scoring by junior Trevor Medina with 23 points. Medina did not score in the final period and missed some of the action due to foul trouble. Luke Johnson added 10 and Carlin Springsteel 9 to the Wildcats' total. Wallace County made 6 of 8 from the line and committed 17 fouls.

Tate Busse scored 33 points for the Indians (25 in the first half). Dalton Straub chipped in 10 points. Others scoring for the Indians included Wyatt Hacker 4, Brady Dinkel 4, Adam Krien 2, and Richard Johnson 2. The Indians made 7 of 19 from the stripe, but committed only 7 fouls. The Indians committed 18 turnovers in the contest.

In other first round boys contests, Hoxie pounded Decatur Community 81-27, Dighton slipped past Greeley County 55-47, and Rawlins County defeated Quinter 53-37.

The Indians will play Rawlins County at 6:00 p.m. in the Varsity Gym at Quinter High School on Friday, January 19.

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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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