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Boys Win On Final Shot

Indians 58, Buffs 56

On Friday night in Atwood, the Indians avenged an earlier loss to Rawlins County in the semi-finals of the NKWL Tournament. The two teams battled hard throughout the contest. The Indians trailed by as many as eleven points in the closing minutes of the second period, but regained the lead with approximately four minutes left in the contest only to lose the lead on the next possession. The Indians led for only a few minutes in the contest before earning a come-from-behind win on a trey with 3 seconds left in the game. St. Francis defeated a good (KBCA ranked #9) Rawlins County team 58-56 in varsity action. St. Francis also won the junior varsity game in a low-scoring contest 31-26.

Tate Busse's drive gave St. Francis a 2-0 lead to open the contest. It would be the first of only a few advantages the Indians would hold in the contest. Braden Leitner's (5' 6" Sr.) back-to-back treys from the left-wing soon placed Rawlins County (RC) at a four-point advantage. Busse answered with a left-wing trey, but Leitner responded with a driving score (plus one) giving him the Buff's first 9 points. K.C. Krien turned an ankle at the 4:11 mark, and after the delay, RC changed defense to a half-court trap. Shortly, thereafter, Dalton Straub picked up his second foul. Straub would not play again in the first half. A basket by Jorge Chacon (5' 10 Jr.) increased the Buff's lead to six (5-11), but at 3:16, Chacon suffered a knee injury and did not return. After a free-throw by Richard Johnson, RC's Arie Olson (6' 1" Jr.) added a stick-back basket (plus one). A deuce by Busse was followed by a trey by Brady Dinkel (assist Busse) with three seconds left in the first period. The Indians had closed the margin to one-point (13-14).

Nick WIthington opened the second period with a baseline drive (plus one). After a free-throw by Wyatt Hackler, Withington scored again on another baseline drive. The Indians responded with a fast-break basket by Adam Krien (assist Tate Busse). Leitner followed with a drive into the lane. On the next RC possession, Wyatt Hackler drew a charge on a Leitner drive. The Indians pulled within three (18-21) on a baseline shot by Krien (assist Busse). Withington scored in the lane for the Buffs. After a time-out a 2:36. Withington added baskets on an offensive rebound and baseline drive dunk. Another basket by Withington (assist Leitner) gave the Buffaloes an eleven-point lead (18-29). A trey by Busse in the closing moments of the half moved the score to 20-29 at halftime.

Brady Dinkel opened the second half with a steal-two. Braden Leitner answered with a right-elbow shot at the opposite end. K.C. Krien's right-elbow shot (assist Dalton Straub) preceded Withington's post basket. With the addition of a left-wing trey by Dinkel, the Indians moved within five points (28-33). At 5:49 Straub picked up his 3rd foul, and Withington stepped to the line to make one-of-two. Tate Busse's floater narrowed the deficit to four (30-34). As usual, when the Buff's needed a score, Leitner responded. Leitner's right-wing trey moved the margin to 7. An assist by Leitner led to a post-basket by Withington at 4:40, but Busse then tossed in a deep trey. At 3:24, Leitner hurt his wrist, and RC took a time-out. After returning to the floor, Leitner scored on a drive after recovering an offensive rebound. At 2:15, an assist by Busse led to another basket by Adam Krien. With 50 seconds left in the 3rd period, Busse's deep left-wing trey pulled the Indians within one (40-41). On the next possession, Leitner scored in the lane for the Buffs. A final basket by Adam Krien (assist Straub) closed the period with the Indians still trailing 42-43.

The Indians regained the lead eight seconds into the final period on a right-corner trey by Brady Dinkel (45-43). As he had done all night, Leitner answered on the next RC possession with a left-wing trey for the Buffs. Tate Busse scored on an out-of-bounds play assist from Dalton Straub on the ensuing possession (47-46). RC's Olson was called for an offensive foul on the next RC possession giving the basketball back to the Indians, but the Indians could not covert. On the next RC possession, a Leitner assist led to a fast-break basket by Nate Withington. With 5:20 left, Straub's bucket from the right-side gave the Indians a 49-48 lead. Another Leitner to Withington pass led to a Buffs' score on the next play. With 4:20 to go, RC called time-out leading by one (49-50). The exciting back-and-forth action would continue. After two free-throws by Dinkel, Withington scored on a drive. A St. Francis turnover, lead to a Leitner score increasing the deficit to three (51-54). With 2:12 remaining, RC called another time-out. St. Francis followed with a time-out at 1:37. After scoring on numerous consecutive possessions in the period, both teams were finding it more difficult to score with both nerves and defense tightening up. Straub added an offensive rebound basket with just over a minute to go (53-54), and RC took another time-out at 1:07. With 48 seconds left, a steal-two by Dinkel gave the Indians a 55-54 lead. Wyatt Hackler committed three fouls in 8 seconds, but the errors still did not place Rawlins County at the line. With 14 seconds to go, Leitner's pass led to a Withington score in the lane (56-55). Dinkel's top-of-the-key trey with 3 seconds left sealed a 58-56 win for the Indians. Though the Buffs used their last time-out with 2 seconds left, the Buffs failed to score. Both teams had expended superior effort in the contest. The Indians escaped with a 58-56 win.

Tate Busse scored 22 points to lead the Indians. Brady Dinkel scored 18. Others contributing to the Indians' total were Adam Krien 8, Dalton Straub 6, K.C. Krien 2, Wyatt Hacker 1 and Richard Johnson 1. The Indians made only 4 of 12 from the line. St. Francis committed 11 fouls.

Rawlins County received 26 points from Nate Withington (13 in the 2nd Qtr.) and 23 from Braden Leitner.  The Buffs made 4 of 5 from the line and were whistled for 13 fouls.

In junior varsity action, St. Francis took a 5-1 lead on a stick-back basket by Colton Neitzel (plus one). St. Francis led 9-6 after one period of play. Rawlins County's Samuel Hurst (6' 3" Jr.) scored all of the Buffs' points in the period.

The only point scored in the first four minutes of the second period was a free-throw area jumper by Jesse Baxter increasing the Indians' lead to 11-6. After a high-post basket by Hurst, Colton Neitzel added two free-throws. Brenan Dixson (6' 0" Jr.) added a shot in the lane, and Conner Keller chipped in a free-throw to make the score 14-10 at halftime.

The scoring picked up a bit in the second half. Iean Hemel (6' 1" So.) opened the third period with a left-elbow basket for RC trimming the Indians' advantage to 2. Jesse Baxter added an offensive rebound basket and a baseline drive. At 4:19, RC called time-out trailing 18-12. After returning to action, a St. Francis turnover led to a basket by RC's Marvin Sanchez (5' 10" Jr.). Draven Houtman answered at the Indians' goal. A banking top-of-the-key trey by Travis Chvatal (5"10" Fr.) was followed by an offensive rebound basket by Hemel. The action trimmed the Indians' advantage to one (20-19). Baxter added an offensive rebound basket at the buzzer to make the score 22-19 at the third quarter break.

A right-baseline shot by Draven Houtman increased the margin to 24-19. After a stick-back basket by RC, Adam Krien scored from the free-throw area. Back-to-back right-corner baskets by RC's Tanner Hayes (5' 8" So.), with an Indian basket in between, soon trimmed the lead to 28-26 with 4:05 to play. Jesse Baxter's assist to Adam Krien increased the margin to 30-26. At 3:30, RC called time-out. Only one more point would be added; a free-throw by Colton Neitzel. St. Francis defeated Rawlins County 31-26 in junior varsity action.

Jesse Baxter led the JV Indians with 10 points. Colton Neitzel added 8. Others scoring for St. Francis included Adam Krien 6, Draven Houtman 6, and Connor Keller 1. The Indians made 5 of 11 from the stripe and collected 6 fouls.

Rawlins County had 7 players score in the contest and were led by S. Hurst with 8. The Buffs only attempted one free-throw in the game and made zero. The Buffs were called for 12 fouls.

The Indians will play Christian Family Educators on Tuesday, January 30, in St. Francis.

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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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