HOISINGTON — It looked like the Hoisington High School Cardinals 6-foot-8 big man, Cody Stetler, was going to roll undersized Ness City.
It turns out a spree of 3-pointers from the Eagles made things complicated, but Stetler still finished with a game-high 25 points to lead Hoisington to a 55-49 win.
“We looked like we hadn’t played in awhile in the first half,” Hoisington head coach Kyle Haxton said of his team, which was playing its first game since Dec. 21. “We were not in a good rhythm. Our spacing wasn’t good. We let them score tonight.
“We have to make those adjustments, and I think our guards did a real good job adjusting in the second half.”
In the first quarter at the Hoisington Activity Center, the Cardinals got off to a 10-5 lead, including eight points off offensive rebounds, but Ness City made the final four points of the period, closing the gap to 10-9.
Then it unleashed the 3-ball.
Koltyn Ratliff unleashed the first of five 3s the Eagles made in the second quarter just 48 seconds into the period.
The barrage was capped with less than a second remaining in the half by a 3-pointer from Tucker VonLehe, who led his team with 22 points.
“We knew they had four shooters on the floor all the time,” Haxton said. “Our philosophy was stop your man, because we thought we could stop them off the dribble and not have to pull off to help.
“We were getting beat off the dribble, so we had others pull to help, and kick-out passes, and you know, it’s a wide-open 3-pointer.”
The Eagles went into intermission ahead 30-20.
The Cardinals opened up the second half with a 7-1 run on a Jacob Warnken 3, a Ryan Becker driving layup and a basket by Stetler.
Hoisington closed the gap to 40-37 heading into the final eight minutes.
The Cardinals tied the game at 42 on a pair of free throws from Stetler, part of an 8-0 run that put them ahead 47-42, a lead they did not relinquish.
“We looked to get Cody to the short corner more (in the second half) to get Anthony (Broeder) in the paint some, because he was getting double teamed,” Haxton said. “Guys attacked the basket more.”
Hoisingtons play Ellsworth on Tuesday night at 8:15 in the first round of the Hoisington Winter Jam.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Hoisington Activity Center
Hoisington 55, Ness City 49
Dalton Gantz 0 2-5 2, Matthew Frank 0 0-0 0, Wyatt Beckman 1 0-0 2, Koltyn Ratliff 5 0-0 14, Garrett Flax 3 2-4 9, Tucker VonLehe 9 0-0 22. Totals 18 4-9 49.
Trent Schremmer 2 1-3 6, Jacob Durrett 1 0-0 2, Cody Stetler 10 5-6 25, Ryan Becker 2 0-0 4, Steffan Dolechek 0 2-4 2, Jacob Warnken 3 0-0 7, Anthony Broeder 3 1-2 7, Taylor Crawford 1 0-0 2. Totals 22 9-15 55.
Ness City 9 21 10 9 — 49
Hoisington 10 10 17 18 — 55
Three-point goals — Ness City 9 (Ratliff 4, VonLehe 4, Flax); Hoisington 2 (Schremmer, Warnken). Total fouls — Hoisington 16, Ness City 11. Fouled out — None.