|Dragon boys add one more win|
|Written by April Peregoy|
Adding another win to its perfect season, Holyoke’s boys’ varsity basketball team beat Benkelman, Neb., 63-41, on the road Tuesday, Feb. 3.
“It was a good trip for us,” said coach John Baumgartner. “We’d never played there before, so it gave us a different atmosphere.”
He added, “Benkelman has a good ball club, but I think we wore them down in the end—the pressure got to them.”
It took the entire first quarter for the Dragons to wake up from the long bus trip. After a slow start full of too many turnovers, Holyoke gradually began to gain momentum. Though they were behind the Tigers by four at the end of the first period, the Dragons bounced back in the second to outscore Benkelman and take a lead of three at the half.
With the scoreboard reading 24-21 at halftime, Holyoke returned to increase their score by 18 points while holding the Tigers to only eight. Evan Swanson set the tone for the second half by shooting two baskets from behind the arc right away, followed by another three from Ryan Baumgartner.
“In the second half, we shot the ball well and played tough defensively as well,” said Baumgartner.
Though they had a 13-point advantage going into the fourth, HHS refused to cut the Tigers any slack. The final quarter was the team’s highest-scoring one of the game with 21 points, nine of which came from the free-throw line.
Despite the best efforts of Benkelman’s top scorer Kendal Glidden, who put up 24 total points during the game, the Tigers ran out of steam in the end, allowing Holyoke to win by 22 points.
Baumgartner applauded Kyle Carper for his aggressiveness on the court. The HHS junior dominated in both points and boards, with 17 and 13 respectively. Ten of the rebounds he grabbed were offensive.
Austin Tharp and Swanson also earned double digits, with 13 and 10. Baumgartner praised Michal Brown, Logan Krueger and Ryan Baumgartner as well, whose total contributions added another 19 points for Holyoke.
“It’s great to get that kind of production from everyone,” said the coach.
In field goal shooting, the teams were evenly matched at 45 percent, but HHS had more opportunities at the basket. Both teams also had a problem with turnovers Tuesday night, but Benkelman had eight more than HHS with 22.
In other stats, the Dragons outrebounded the Tigers 32-23. They also had a lot more steals, 19-4, and assists, 14-2. Baumgartner led Holyoke in both categories with seven steals and six assists.
Holyoke 63, Benkelman 41
2 3 FT F TP
Tharp 4 1 2-2 1 13
Baumgartner 0 1 2-4 1 5
Carper 7 0 3-7 3 17
Wailes 0 0 0-0 0 0
Swanson 1 2 2-2 0 10
Krueger 2 0 2-2 1 6
Brown 4 0 0-0 1 8
DeBoer 0 0 2-2 0 2
Reid Baum. 1 0 0-0 0 2
TEAM 19 4 13-19 7 63
TEAM 17 1 4-5 17 41
Scoring By Quarters
Holyoke 11 13 18 21 --63
Benkelman 15 6 8 12 --41