|Dragons enter districts as No. 4 seed|
|Written by Kyle Arnoldy|
Finishing the regular season losing three of the final four games wasn’t exactly what the Dragon boys’ basketball team was hoping for, but their 9-10 record, 3-5 in league play, was good enough to earn them a fourth seed and a home game at the district tournament.
The final week of regular-season play was rough for HHS, losing two games at home to Yuma and Sedgwick County and losing on the road to Akron.
Defense will be a point of concern for the Dragons as they enter the district tournament. In the final three games they allowed an average of almost 74 points per game.
Facing off with the second-ranked team in the league is never an easy task, but the Dragons showed they could keep up with the top competition during the 59-78 loss to Yuma Tuesday, Feb. 19.
The Dragons have been susceptible to slow starts throughout the season and Tuesday night was no different.
Holyoke never got into a groove offensively in the first half. Yuma, on the other hand, was an offensive terror, scoring 20 or more points in the first two quarters to take a 41-24 lead into half.
“Yuma is a very good basketball team and I was pleased with the way we played, particularly in the third quarter,” coach Scott Dille said.
Shots began to fall and defensive stops were more common in the third quarter for HHS as they slowly gained momentum.
Ryan Parker lets a shot from the elbow fly during Tuesday’s 59-78
By the end of the period the Dragons had climbed back within six points as they trailed 50-56.
Unfortunately the Dragons were unable to complete the comeback. Coach Dille noted that they put themselves in too deep of a hole and ran out of gas before they could take down the Indians.
Yuma outscored Holyoke 22-9 in the period to win by a score of 78-59.
Deyten Klein led the Dragons with 14 points while Logan Tharp added 13 and Tito Fierro chipped in 11.
Holyoke 63, Sedgwick County 70
With the weather keeping the team out of school the day and a half leading up to the game, Dille believes the Dragons were out of sync and looked lethargic in the 63-70 loss to Sedgwick County Friday, Feb. 22.
The Dragons struggled defensively as Sedgwick County was able to get into the paint for close shots, connected on outside shots and oftentimes beat HHS back down the court for easy buckets.
Neither team was able to pull away from the other as they battled back and forth. After the first quarter, HHS was down 12-15.
Logan Tharp’s 10 points in the first half helped the Holyoke squad stay close, trailing 22-27 at half.
Again the Dragons came to life in the third quarter.
Tharp connected on four 3s as the Dragons outscored the visiting team 25-18 to take a two-point lead after three quarters of play.
While the Dragons struggled at the charity stripe, connecting on just seven of their 15 attempts, the Cougars were consistent when it mattered most. In the fourth quarter alone, Sedgwick County made 13 of 17 free-throw attempts.
The Cougars outscored the Dragons 25-16 to secure the 70-63 victory.
Tharp led all scorers with 25 in the match.
Holyoke 59, Akron 73
For the third time in five days, HHS took the court for a league game, losing to Akron 59-73 Saturday, Feb. 23.
“We weren’t ready to compete Friday and Saturday,” Dille said. “Hopefully we can get back to playing good basketball.”
Holyoke wasn’t necessarily giving up easy baskets in the loss, but Akron was able to create shots and knocked them down when they had good looks.
Akron pounced quickly, taking an early lead and building on it throughout the game. At halftime the Dragons trailed 22-37.
As has been the case as of late, the Dragons came out of the gates in the second half on the attack.
Fueled by a pair of 3s, Tharp put up 10 points in the third quarter as the Dragons outscored the Rams 22-15 to pull within eight points.
Akron’s Brady Baer was an offensive force in the game, picking up 19 of his game-high 35 points in the second half to ensure the 73-59 Ram victory.
Tharp again led the Dragons as he scored 19 points in the game. Fierro also had a solid game, scoring 11 points in the loss.
The Dragons were scheduled to play Wiggins at home Tuesday, Feb. 26 in the first round of the district tournament. Results will appear in next week’s issue of the Enterprise.
Holyoke Enterprise February 28, 2013