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No. 1 Oilers rout Larned
Damontay Phillips hits a jump shot  for two.
Larned's Damontay Phillips pulls up for a jump shot against Central Plains on Friday. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO Janet Fleske

LARNED—The No. 1-ranked 2A Central Plains boys used a balanced scoring attack to race past the Larned Indians Friday 61-43.
In a high-scoring first quarter the Oilers rode the back of 6-3 Alex Barton’s 10 points and a dunk off a breakaway, that ignited his team for a 26-18 lead after the first eight minutes.
The Central Plains offense was functioning on all cylinders as they continually got the ball deep into the paint area for short, easy baskets. When that failed, sharpshooter Devin Ryan was ready with a 3-pointer.
Larned was perimeter oriented and when the longer shots weren’t falling, the Oilers (6-0) were able to build a 38-27 halftime lead. The Oilers play defending 2A state champion Salina Sacred Heart Tuesday.
“Hey, there is a reason that team is ranked at the top of 2A,’’ said Larned coach Jerrod Smith. “They are very good. Still, I felt like our shot selection was not what it should be and we had a number of lapses on defense that enabled them to get easy baskets. We need to improve our interior defense. Our post-position players have to do a better job posting up, and demanding the ball. We’ve got a lot to work over the Christmas break.”
Larned scored six points during the third quarter while Central Plains added 15, stretching the lead to 53-33. Larned converted 4 of 17 shots in the second half when the Oilers made their big move.
Central Plains converted 24 of field goals 41, keyed by the efficiency of their passing game that, time after time, got their post players the ball only a few feet from the basket, leading to easy scores or fouls. The Oilers converted 6 of 12 from the charity stripe
The balanced scoring for the Oilers was led by Alex Barton’s 21 points. He had ample support from Brett Liebl with 18 and three-point shooter Devin Ryan’s 14.
Larned (4-2) was led by Chance Sanger’s 18 points. 15 in the first half. Damontay Phillips and Brock Skelton added support with 5 points apiece. Larned was only able to convert 16 of their 39 shots against the sticky Central Plains defense. They were 5 of 7 from the charity stripe. Larned plays Hillsboro Jan. 5.

CP 26 12 15 11 – 61
Larned 18 9 8 8 – 43
CP—Menges 2 1-2 5, Bieberle 0 1-2 1, Ryan 5 0-0 14, Barton 10 1-3 21, Liebl 7 3-6 18, Totals 25 6-12 61.
LARNED—Sanger 6 2-2 18, Perez 3 0-0 6, Rupp 2 2-2 2, Fletcher 1 0-0 2, Castro 1 0-0 2, Harmon 1 0-1 3, Skelton 2 0-0 5, Phillips 2 1-2 5, Totals 16 5-7 43.