By Kevin Price
BUSHTON — The Quivira Heights High School boys’ basketball team suffered an 82-62 setback at the hands of Ness City on Friday night.
Quivira Heights head coach Clay Mettlen said that his team was outplayed.
“When you lose a game like that, the first thing you want to say is ‘man, we must have played awful,’ ” Mettlen said. “But I don’t think it was much us playing poorly as it was Ness City playing really well. They’re on a pretty good roll right now, and we did play poorly on defense.
“We scored enough points that we should win.”
Taylor Siemsen began the game by scoring nine of the Thunderbirds’ 16 first-quarter points, including a quick five to lift Quivira Heights to an early 5-2 lead.
But the Eagles, who are currently ranked No. 10 in Class 2A in the latest Kansas Basketball Coach Association poll, answered, starting a 13-4 run to regain the lead.
“Defensively, we played poorly, but then again, Ness City, we give them opportunities and they have to capitalize on them,” Mettlen said. “I can think of very few that they did not capitalize on.
“We just didn’t move our feet on defense. Our feet looked like they were in cement. When they wanted to drive around us, the just did at will.”
After the Eagles’ run, Joe Barton got an offensive rebound and scored two points, followed by two points from Siemsen.
Ness City’s Dalton Gantz hit a 3-pointer and Skyler Kraft added two points, but Bryce Straub hit a 3-pointer for the T-birds to cut the lead to 20-16 after one quarter.
Ness City continued to build its lead in the second quarter, starting runs of 7-2 and 13-4.
Siemsen struggled to keep the Thunderbirds in the game, scoring seven in the quarter and finishing the game with a game-high 30 points.
“Scoring was not our issue,” Mettlen said. “We put enough points on the board to win the game. Our offensive flow wasn’t very good. We missed a lot of perimeter shots because we took a lot of perimeter shots. We didn’t get into the lane. We got nothing out of the post.
“There are a lot of things that we can take out of this game that we can improve on.”
Gunner Phelan, who also finished in double digits for Quivira Heights with 19 points, scored six points in the second period.
Mettlen said that his team can take away something from the loss.
“We see some flaws,” Mettlen said of the positive that he can take from the loss. “I can talk about it, but if we’re playing close games and winning games, they don’t see it, but when you get beat up by a team like this, it’s easy for the guys to see that hey, we aren’t doing that very well. We need to improve on it.”
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
At Quivira Heights
Ness City 82, Quivira Heights 62
Dalton Gantz 3 0-0 6, Ernesto Flores 5 2-2 12, Drew Clarke 4 4-4 13, Wyatt Bechman 0 0-0 0, T.J. Price 0 2-2 2, John Clarke 5 2-2 15, Gabriel Garcia 1 0-0 2, Garett Flax 3 0-0 6, Tucker VonLele 1 0-0 3, Skyler Kraft 7 3-4 17, Charlie Ellis 3 0-0 6, Drew VonLele 0 0-0 0. Totals 31 13-14 82.
QUIVIRA HEIGHTS (7-7)
Gunner Phelan 7 5-7 19, Tanner Dahlke 0 0-0 0, Jordan Trevino 1 1-2 3, Joe Barton 1 0-0 2, Bryce Straub 2 0-0 6, Taylor Siemsen 10 5-8 30, Brent Jezek 1 0-0 2, Tanner Woolf 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 11-17 62.
Ness City 20 25 13 24 — 82
Quivira Hts. 16 15 11 20 — 62
Three-point goals — Ness City 7 (J. Clarke 3, Gantz 2, D. Clarke, T. VonLehe); Quivira Heights 7 (Siemsen 5, Straub 2).