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St. John-Hudson finishes off Burrton in first-round game
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St. John senior Ethan Long, left, locks up Burrtons Trae Lane for a jump ball. - photo by Kevin Price Great Bend Tribune

EMPORIA — At times, the St. John-Hudson High School boys’ basketball team looked like their dominant selves.
Other times in a 68-44 Class 1A Division-I state quarterfinal win over Burrton on Thursday night at White Auditorium in Emporia, they did not.
“Survive and advance,” St. John head coach Clint Kinnamon said of his team, which advances to a semifinal game tonight with a 22-1 record. “You know, sometimes that first game of the state tournament is ugly, and Burrton did a nice job uglying it up a little bit by what they were doing both offensively and defensively.”
A quick five points from Zuriel Reyes gave the Tigers an early 5-0 lead, but Burrton’s Nathan Harper responded with a 3 from the wing.
After that, the Chargers went cold as St. John went on a 10-0 run.
Spencer Nusser made one of two free throws, followed by Dean Wade dropping in a layup.
Omar Ramirez slashed to the basket after a steal, Nusser drained a 3 and Ethan Long finished with a scoop under the basket for a 15-3 Tigers lead.
The teams traded baskets the rest of the quarter with St. John leading 19-7 after eight minutes.
Harper plopped in another 3 for the Chargers to start the second quarter, which started to go Burrton’s way.
With St. John starting point guard Kade Kinnamon out with a pair of fouls, the Chargers put together a 9-3 run to close the gap to 21-16.
“When we got into foul trouble, that really hurt us,” Clint Kinnamon said. “When Kade got two and then Omar got two, that messed with our rotation.”
The Tigers responded with another 10-0 run, capped by a pair of free throws from Wade, to lead 32-16 at intermission.
Wade scored 10 of his team-high 19 points in the first half, leading the Tigers, but the St. John veteran coach said he felt his team didn’t take full advantage of Wade and his post-playing counterpart, Nusser, under the basket.
“In the first half, we did an absolute horrid job getting the ball inside,” Clint Kinnamon said. “We didn’t utilize Dean very well. We didn’t utilize Spencer. We did better in the second half.”
The Tigers added to their lead in the second half, but Harper kept the game from feeling like a complete runaway with 6-for-9 3-pointers. Harper finished with a game-high 22 points for Burrton (10-14).
“Woah, that kid can shoot the basketball,” Clint Kinnamon said. “It’s not like we didn’t know coming in. Oh, he’s 6 of 9. Let’s quit letting the kid shoot the ball. Make him put it on the floor, but it is what it is.
“We never could get it to 30 and close these guys out.”
Nusser completed a double-double for St. John with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Reyes and Long added 12 points apiece for the Tigers.

Class 1A Division-I State Tournament



At Emporia
White Auditorium


St. John-Hudson 68, Burrton 44
BURRTON (10-14)
Trae Lane 3-16 4-4 10, Ruben Flores 0-1 3-4 3, Caleb Hurst 1-3 1-2 3, Nathan Harper 8-16 0-0 22, Collin Leonard 0-4 0-0 0, Kristopher Lane 2-5 0-0 4, Aharen Mahoney 0-1 0-0 0, Daniel Hardin 1-2 0-0 2, Zach Hardin 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-49 8-10 44.
ST. JOHN (22-1)
Kade Kinnamon 1-5 3-5 5, Gera Calleros 0-1 2-2 2, Trey Nelson 1-2 0-0 2, Omar Ramirez 1-2 0-0 2, Spencer Nusser 3-6 2-4 10, Ethan Long 4-9 3-4 12, Dean Wade 7-11 5-6 19, Zuriel Reyes 4-11 1-2 12, Jesus Alvarez 1-5 0-0 2, Jacob Milton 0-1 2-2 2. Totals 22-53 18-25 68.
Burrton                    7    9    12   16  —  44
St. John                  19  13   19   17  —  68
Three-point goals — Burrton 6-16 (Harper 6-9, T. Lane 0-4, Leonard 0-2, K. Lane 0-1); St. John 6-17 (Reyes 3-8, Nusser 2-4, Long 1-1, Kinnamon 0-2, Caleros 0-1, Milton 0-1). Total fouls — Burrton 20, St. John 17. Fouled out — Burrton (K. Lane); St. John (None).