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Holton Boys Fall Just Short In Sub State Semi Final at Andale
By Jake W Spalding
Copyright: MSC Sports
03/05/2020

Andale, KS

On Wednesday boys 4A sub state semi finals got underway with 15 seed Holton traveling to 2 seed Andale. A game that on paper showed Andale as heavy favorites, but was on that turned into one of the best match ups statewide on the evening.

Andale scored the games first five points and seemed to be poised to run the table, but Holton didn't travel over three hours to lay down. The 'Cats fought back, closing the first quarter on a 14-7 run capped by a three point basket at the buzzer by Senior Eli Prine to lead 14-12. In the second quarter, Holton extended their lead up to 20-12 with just over four minutes left in the half when Andale's Jeff Buchanan called a timeout. Out of the timeout, the Indians closed the half on a 12-2 run to lead at halftime 24-22. After the break, both Andale and Holton continued to go back and forth and Holton's hot shooting from the outside continued as there were three ties in the frame and four lead changes before a layup at the buzzer by Andale Senior Baron Bierman put the Indians up 34-33 heading to the fourth. In the final stanza, the game was tied at 36-36 with 6:30 left. Andale's Senior Easton Hunter would hit a pair of free throws to put the Indians up by two, and they would never relinquish the lead. Holton would get as close as a single point twice in the final minutes, but the Indians would salt the game away at the foul line making 6/7 down the stretch to hold on for the victory 50-46.

#15 Holton (5-16) gave Andale everything they had, holding the Indians 12 points under their season average. The 'Cats lit it up from behind the arc, nailing ten three pointers in the game and seemingly out shooting the Indians from the floor. However Andale dominated on the glass, and used second chance points to propel them to victory. Holton coach Connor Bechard will look back at this game and see areas where the 'Cats could have been better and possibly change the outcome of the game. What he will also see is that his team did exactly what was asked of them in categories that don't show up in the box score. Effort, hustle and grit. His team showed just that on Wednesday in an unfamiliar gym, against an unfamiliar team and against all odds. Holton will lose some key aspects of their team to graduation in Prine, Trey Wright, Ben Bontrager, Cody Mulroy and Noah Woltje, but the future is bright with a core group coming back. Improving on their win total by two games from a year ago, Holton witnessed another foundation brick laid in Andale on Wednesday for the program's future in just the second year of Bechard's tenure.

SCORING – Ka. Purcell 13, B. Mulroy 12, M. Lierz 8, E. Prine 6, T. Wright 5, R. Holaday 2

#2 Andale (15-6) epitomized the saying “survive and advance” in the postseason. A game that was never supposed to be close, but the Indians found themselves fighting harder than expected to get the home win. They relied on Seniors Easton Hunter and Jack Nilles, with Hunter leading the team with sixteen points and Nilles using his 6'6 frame to run the post. Free throws proved to be a factor in favor of the Indians as well as they finished the game 13/19 from the stripe while allowing just four foul shots for the Wildcats. Andale moves on to the sub state championship game that they will host on Saturday against Nickerson with a spot at the state tournament on the line.

SCORING – E. Hunter 16, J. Nilles 11, C. Landers 9, J. Cocking 7, B. Bierman 6, E. Rowland 1

Citizens State Bank and Trust Company “Player To Bank On” Holton's Blake Mulroy with 12 points all from behind the arc and a great defensive performance against Andale's second leading scorer Baron Beirman holding him to just 6 points.

 


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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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