The Hoisington Middle School boys A Team finished their season 12-2 by reeling off 9 straight victories and capturing the MCAA League Championship with a hard fought win over the Irish of Hays Kennedy by the score of 35-31. The Cardinals trailed by 6 at halftime but fought back to take the lead in the third quarter that they never relinquished. HMS was lead in scoring by Jacob Warnken with 17 points followed by Ryan Broeder with 11 most of which came in the second half.
"These young men just completed a fantastic season. after starting the season 3-2, to come back and win nine in a row is quite an accomplishment. That included to victories over Kennedy who gave us our first loss of the season in our opening game of the year at Hays. To beat them for the Tourney Championship on their home floor is icing on the cake," said Coach Joe Cotten.
For the year, the Cardinals were led in scoring by Warnken with a 13.6 ppg. average followed closely by Steffen Dolechek who averaged 10.3 ppg. Chris Wright led in rebounding for the season with 121 total rebounds for an average of 8.6 per game. Steffen Dolechek led in 3 point goals making 12 on the season.
"This group of boys really understood the concept of Team. Any one of them could lead the team in scoring, or rebounding or steals on any given night. No one put himself or his stats above the goal of winning, and that is refreshing in this day and age. They were a great group to work with and set a great example for the boys that will be playing next year," said Coach Cotten. A team members were Grant Dolechek, Steffen Dolechek, Jacob Warnken, Austin McHenry, Ryan Broeder, Tyler Specht and Chris Wright.
On Thursday the Cardinal B team finished their season just a few points short of the league championship, falling to league rivals Larned. After shutting down Hays Kennedy in the semi-final match up, by holding them scoreless in the 2nd half, to reach the championship game, the Indians speed proved to be too much for the Cardinal defense. "We dug ourselves into a hole that was too deep to climb out of in the championship game." said Coach Hoffman. The Cardinals started the 2nd half with a 16 point deficit to erase, and chipped away at the lead to make it a respectable 4 point loss.
"I was very proud of the way the kids came out after half and responded to the challenge. This group has a bright future ahead of them" said Hoffman. The B team finished their season 10-4. B team members were Corbin Crawford, Brenner Donavan, Taylor Richter, Hunter Hanzlick, Alex Rziha, Ben Schneider and Justin Umphrey.
The Hoisington Cardinal boys "C" and "D" teams capped a great season with a third place finish in the league tournament, narrowly losing by one point to Hays Kennedy and finishing the year at 6-5 and 1-1 respectively. "The boys had a great year and I saw them progress by leaps and bounds this year," said Coach Detter.