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Bronco boys breeze through subdistricts PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 03 March 2011 21:01

By Josh Sumner

The Wauneta Breeze

 

The Wauneta-Palisade boys basketball team (23-1) lived up to its reputation as one of the best basketball teams in the state, as it ran past the competition in Imperial last week on its way to a D2-10 subdistrict championship.

The No.1-rated Broncos took down Wallace (10-10) 73-47 on Tuesday before winning the subdistrict over Hayes Center (11-12) 72-44 on Thursday.

Broncos Head Coach Dave Kuhlen called WP’s performance against Hayes Center in the championship game one of the team’s best performances of the year.

“I thought our defensive pressure was great tonight,” said Kuhlen after the Hayes Center game.

In the first quarter of the championship game, the Broncos used a 17-6 run to get out in front of the Cardinals. The sharp 3-point shooting of Chris Bartels and Drew Harris gave the Broncos breathing room after getting down early in the first quarter.

Wau-Pal’s Bo Fanning pulls up for a jumper with a couple Cardinals in his face during last Thursday’s subdistrict title-winning game. (Wauneta Breeze Photos | Josh Sumner)

 

In the second quarter, it was more of the same. Wau-Pal used its frenetic defensive pressure and full-court trap to wear down Hayes Center.

“It’s a battle of wills out there, and you’ve got to continue to push your will upon them until they back down,” said Kuhlen.

Kuhlen said he has witnessed many occasions this season where his team’s press is met with opposition. Some of those teams have caused the Broncos to drop into a half-court defense earlier than he wanted. This wasn’t the case in the championship game against Hayes Center, however.

The Broncos continued to dominate the Cardinals after halftime, as they outscored Hayes Center 21-5 in the third quarter.

With a 35-point lead entering the fourth quarter, several WP starters were able to rest in the final frame. Bench players — namely sophomores Logan Bischoff, Jack McGraw and Jacob Maris — were able to get major minutes as the game neared its close. Still, Kuhlen says he has no hesitancy using any of the three sophomores at any time — especially since the substitution constraints that are enforced after junior varsity games have no hinderance this time of the season.

Drew Harris (No. 32) was able to get inside with regularity for Wau-Pal during last week’s subdistrict run. Harris racked up 60 points and 27 rebounds in the two ball games.

 

“I have complete confidence in those three sophomores coming in and getting the job done,” said Kuhlen. “I thought they played well again tonight.”

Leading the scoring attack in the subdistrict championship win for Wauneta-Palisade was Harris with 29 points. The Wau-Pal big man also grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds in the game.

Bartels scored 18 points and led the team with 5 steals in the game.

 

Performance against Wallace leaves Kuhlen underwhelmed

Unlike in Thursday night’s performance against Hayes Center, the Broncos’ Tuesday night victory over Wallace was met with no raving reviews from Coach Kuhlen.

“Overall, I didn’t like the way we played defense,” said Kuhlen. “We got some steals off our press, but as a whole, I’d say our defense was not very good.

Fine 3-point shooting by the Wildcats kept them in the game in the early going. After getting down by 9 points to WP quickly, Wallace used a 9-5 scoring run of its own to finish the first quarter and close the gap.

Chris Bartels of the Bronco boys basketball team stops on a dime after pushing the WP offensive attack up the floor against Hayes Center.

 

In the second quarter, however, the shots stopped falling for Wallace. Making their matters worse, the Broncos offense started to click.

Excellent ball movement on the wings helped Wau-Pal get the ball inside, where it was able to exploit its height advantage over Wallace. The Broncos enjoyed a 16-2 scoring run as they piled on 29 points in the quarter before entering the locker room.

Putting together one of the best offensive performances of the year for Wau-Pal against Wallace was Harris who scored a game-high 31 points while snatching 16 rebounds.

Joining in on the fun was Ricky Martin, who scored 17 points and grabbed 8 rebounds of his own on the night.