|Dragons beat Haxtun, fall to Idalia in openers|
|Written by Chris Lee|
A new basketball season began Friday, Dec. 3 as the Holyoke Dragons fought hard late to beat county rival Haxtun 55-50. The following night, Idalia entered the Dragons’ home gym and handed Holyoke a 51-60 loss.
Holyoke 55, Haxtun 50
After leading by one point at the end of the opening quarter, Holyoke fell behind and trailed by two heading into the final period.
The game came down to the final minute when Holyoke’s Julian Titze put the home team up 49-48. Haxtun’s Trenton Ham tied the game with a free throw a few seconds later.
Holyoke jumped ahead 53-49 after buckets by Preston King and Brian DeBoer.
Dragon Brian DeBoer dodges Haxtun’s Kyle Pierce in Holyoke’s 55-50
Haxtun’s Jon Vance was fouled beyond the arc with 40 seconds left and made one out of three from the charity stripe to pull the Bulldogs within three. Titze was fouled and sent to the line with 33 seconds left, but was unable to make either drop.
Reid Baumgartner was then fouled under the Haxtun basket with nine seconds left. He managed to drop both shots to give the Dragons the 55-50 win in the season opener.
DeBoer led scoring with 16 points followed by Titze 13 and King 12.
“The boys fought hard and showed character,” coach Scott Dille said. Even though the team didn’t play as sharp as they wanted to, the coach said their desire countered that lack of sharpness at times.
Looking at the stats, the game came down to the Dragons’ performance at the free-throw line. They managed to make five more than the Bulldogs which was the difference in the game. DeBoer went 5-5 while Baumgartner went 2-2.
Preston King is up and over Haxtun defenders Brent Vasa (10) and
Holyoke 51, Idalia 60
Coming off a great win the previous night, Dille said the boys were a little drained in their 51-60 loss against Idalia Saturday, Dec. 4.
The Dragons fell behind 17-20 after the opening quarter and couldn’t quite catch up to Idalia. They trailed 32-37 at the half.
One of the key factors that helped the Dragons stay close was the fact that at the break, Baumgartner had already hit six three-pointers. He hit two more in the game to break the school record of seven—a record he tied last year as a sophomore.
The third quarter was low scoring with the Dragons finding seven points compared to Idalia’s eight.
The Dragons sent the Wolves to the free-throw line eight times in the final period where they only managed to make five. It didn’t matter however as Idalia held on for the 60-51 victory.
Baumgartner led scoring with 24 points.
Coach Dille said he felt the team did a better job of executing against the Wolves but could’ve done a better job of rebounding. “We were unable to grab the ball at the times when we really needed to,” he added.
The coach also noted keeping fresh legs on the court is something they will need work on.
The Dragons will travel to Yuma Saturday, Dec. 11. Games are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.