Tuesday, 28 November 2023
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Holton Boys Beat Atchison - Advance to Sub State Finals
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports

In a tightly contested game from start to finish the Holton Wildcats made 12 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter to defeat visiting Atchison 58-51 and advance to the Sub-State finals on Friday at Wamego. The foul shots capped a 21-14 fourth quarter advantage for Holton as the game was tied at 37 entering the final frame.  

Both teams struggled early with Atchison holding a 10-5 advantage in the final seconds of the first period. Matthew Lierz hit a trey to beat the buzzer and pull the Wildcats within 10-8. As it turned out, that trey would be followed by five more triples in the second quarter as Holton went on a 17-6 run with Atchison also making three trifecta's in the second stanza. Holton led by four points before Lierz was fouled on a desperation three at the halftime horn and made two of three free throws to give Holton a 27-21 margin at intermission.  

The Redmen took their first lead of the second half 41-39 with 4:40 remaining on a triple by Xavier Cushinberry, but Holton responded  with an 11-2 run to put the game away. Canon Karn put the Cats ahead for good 45-43 with 3:06 remaining on a big stick-back, then a minute later Reese Holaday hit his third three-pointer of the night. One minute after that, Blake Mulroy finished a 6-6 fourth quarter at the charity stripe to give Holton the 50-43 edge with 1:15 to go.  

It was a terrific first season for Coach Pat Battle and the Atchison boys who after five wins a season ago finished 12-9 this campaign. Their three seniors all had solid games with Xavier Hernandez scoring 18, Xavier Cushinberry 13 and Omarion Daniels adding 6. Jesse Greenly chipped in 10 points for the Redmen. 

Holton was very balanced with "Player to Bank On" Lierz, leading the way with 15 points, Purcel scoring 11, Holaday had 10 and Mulroy scored 9 while Karn also posted 6 points. The Wildcats extend their season with a record of 13-7 now under third year coach Connor Bechard. 

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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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