Wednesday, 19 December 2018
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Jeff West Gets Tough Big 7 Sweep Versus Holton
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports

103.9 KNZA Broadcast - Holton at Jeff West - click here to listen (Girls | Boys

GIRLS = Jeff West 37, Holton 28

It was a battle of state ranked teams tied for second in the Big 7 League in Meriden Friday night, but the Tigers won their 11th straight game and avenged an earlier season loss with a convincing victory.  The start of the game proved to be the difference as Jeff West led 10-2 at the end of the first quarter and stretched the margin to 14-3 early in the second with terrific defense and some buckets in transition after breaking the Holton press. 

The Wildcats got within 20-15 at halftime behind an eight-point second period from Shay Tanking, and then had four possessions down 20-17 and could not get any closer.  Jeff West led 28-22 entering the fourth frame and continued to get high percentage shots close to the basket as they pulled away for the homecoming win, despite missing a trio of free throws on front end one and one opportunities.  The five Jeff West starters all logged more than 30 minutes, despite battling some foul trouble.  Mariah Murdie had 14 points and was later crowned royalty queen, but it was sophomore Heather Kahler that was the difference maker, tripling her season scoring average to post 15 key points with 11 rebounds.  Jeff West took over sole possession of second place in the Big 7 League at 10-2 and is now 14-2 overall on the season. 

Holton meanwhile lost for the fourth time in five games and had nine of their 14 turnovers in the second half while also struggling at the stripe, hitting just three of their first 12 charity tosses.  Shay Tanking had 14 points, but none in the first or fourth quarters and Lauryn Moore added seven in the Wildcats lowest scoring game in two years.  Holton is now 11-5 overall and 9-3 in League play. 


BOYS = Jeff West 48, Holton 46

It was a very intense and high-energy game that was close from start to finish.  Jeff West however rallied from an 11-point third quarter deficit to complete the season sweep against the Cats and win their sixth consecutive game in the Big 7 League.  The first quarter had five lead changes alone, as Zane Moylan escaped a jam and turned to sink a long three at the buzzer to put Holton ahead 13-12.  The Wildcats stretched the lead to six points at halftime then started the third period on a 5-0 run to take a 27-16 advantage.

 Jeff West went to their bench and got back-to-back three’s from Colin Ellis and Brayden Cruz that started a run.  Still trailing 33-29 entering the fourth quarter, 6’7, junior Zeth Unruh hit a deep trifecta for his first three-point basket on the season and the Tigers had the momentum.  Jeff West took their first lead since early in the second quarter when Cooper Mickens hit his second triple of the half for a 38-35 advantage.  It was still back and forth down the stretch as AJ Haussler hit a free throw to put Holton ahead 46-45 with 1:35 remaining.  Freshman, Josh Broxterman answered at the other end for Jeff West and Quinn Neuswander hit a free throw with :06 left to give the Tigers a 48-46 lead. 

With Mason Strader double-teamed and in trouble as the clock was expiring, Coach Ryan Noel called a timeout with 1.3 second to play, just before Strader hit a tough fade away jumper to potentially tie the score.  The Wildcats could not get the ball inbounded in the final second and time expired as Holton suffered their seventh single-digit loss of the season, and second straight by just one possession.

Holton got a career night from Brock Forrester with 14 points, including eight in the first quarter while Haussler added 11, Mason Chanay had 10 and Moylan chipped in nine.  The Wildcats fell to 5-7 in the Big 7 and 7-9 overall.  Jeff West improved to 9-6 overall and 9-3 in the League as Broxterman led the way with 12 points, including seven in the opening frame.  Unruh doubled his average output with 11 points while Grant Thompson added eight and made one of the six three-pointers for the Tigers in the second half to help overcome 14 turnovers, including six in the final stanza. 

Citizens State Bank and Trust Company of Hiawatha “Players to Bank On:”  
Heather Kahler, Cooper Mickens and Zeth Unruh for Jeff West.           

©2018 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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