MACKSVILLE — The Macksville High School boys’ basketball team picked up where it left off last season against Ness City on Friday night.
The defending Class 1A Division-I state champions beat the Eagles 70-59 at home in the season opener.
Led by 6-foot senior point guard Adam Oak, who finished with a team-high 21 points including 4-for-4 from the free-throw line, the Mustangs jumped to an 8-0 lead early in the first quarter.
“We really came out of the gates well,” Macksville head coach Jeff Kuckelman said. “We were really good defensively. We really got after it. It was a good way to start. We just obviously need to maintain that throughout the whole game.”
Oak scored nine points in the opening eight minutes to charge the Mustangs offense, which never allowed Ness City to take the lead.
“He’s a good shooter when he gets an open look,” Kuckelman said of Oak. “He’s obviously been there and done that before, so we’re going to try to get him all the open looks that we can.
“Everybody else, they didn’t shoot as well as they can, but they’ll come around. It is the first game of the year. It was a nice win to start the year.”
The Mustangs 6-2 junior post player Adolfo Ibarra, who finished with 15 points, scored seven points in the second quarter to advance Macksville to a 35-25 lead at halftime. Ibarra made seven of his eight free throws in the game.
“He does a good job,” Kuckelman said of Ibarra. “He really does a good job using his body. He goes to the boards real hard. He’s going to be a good one for us. He jumps up and pulls down rebounds with both hands. He really knows where to position himself, and get his body where he can get his rebounds.”
The Eagles started to claw back in the fourth quarter, going on a two-minute, 11-0 run with four minutes remaining. They were led by Drew Clarke, who had 18 points.
“I thought we played pretty well at times,” Kuckelman said. “We had our chances to really widen the gap, and they never really let us do that. I give them credit for that. They played hard and kept fighting there. They kept battling and hit some big shots when they needed too.”
Seth Filbert, who finished with seven points, cut it off by making the front end of a pair of free throws.
Ibarra followed it with a steal-and-layup combination to stifle the comeback attempt.
Filbert was 5-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final quarter.
Tanner Tranbarger also scored in double digits with 11 points.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Macksville 70, Ness City 59
NESS CITY (0-1)
Drew Clarke 7 3-7 18, Dalton Gantz 6 2-3 16, Colin Foos 5 0-0 10, Tucker Vonlehe 4 0-0 8, Wyatt Beckman 3 0-0 6, Koltyn Ratliff 0 1-2 1, Kyle Stoecklein 0 0-1 0. Totals 25 6-13 59.
Adam Oak 7 4-4 21, Adolfo Ibarra 4 7-8 15, Tanner Tranbarger 5 0-0 11, Taylor Tranbarger 3 1-5 7, Seth Filbert 1 5-6 7, Jorge Baray 1 0-0 3, Colten Ary 1 0-2 2, Anrew Scheck 1 0-0 2, Simon Miller 1 0-0 2. Totals 22 17-25 70.
Ness City 11 14 14 20 — 59
Macksville 15 20 16 19 — 70
Three-point goals — Macksville 5 (Oak 3, Baray, Tan. Tranbarger); Ness City 3 (Gantz 2, Clarke).