|Dragons add two more wins to record; stand at 7-1|
|Written by Chris Lee|
Coach John Baumgartner said he was happy to see his basketball team get the rust off with two wins after the winter break. Holyoke traveled to Merino Friday night and ran away with a convincing 80-33 win over the Rams and followed that up with a 58-43 victory over Wiggins on Saturday at home.
Free throws contributed to both wins as the Dragons continued to shoot well from the line. They finished 13-18 against Merino and 20-26 against Wiggins. They are shooting just around 70 percent for the season from the free throw line.
Turnovers is another area where Holyoke has had an advantage over the opponent. Baumgartner said the team values the ball and is winning the turnover battle.
Baumgartner said the open gym over break was utilized well by the players and they were very self disciplined. They prepared well for the return after break, he added.
Coach Baumgartner said he is also seeing promise from the bench as it contributed a good number of points in both wins. He mentioned he is getting comfortable with the rotation he is seeing.
Holyoke 80, Merino 33
Fifty-four first-half points led to a quick and easy win over Merino on Friday, Jan. 8 for the Dragons.
Five players finished in double digits with Reid Baumgartner leading the way with 16. Logan Krueger finished with 13, Kyle Carper 12, Preston King and Brian DeBoer each added 10.
The Dragons shot 72 percent from the free throw line. Ryan Baumgartner and DeBoer were each perfect finishing 2-2.
Holyoke shot 32-59 for 54 percent from the field compared to the Rams who finished 16-50 for 32 percent. The Dragons hit the boards well and out rebounded Merino 45-26.
Baumgartner said turnovers have been another key area for the Dragons. They gave the ball up 12 times compared to Merino’s 20. Ryan Baumgartner and Krueger each had five steals to lead the team. Ryan also led with eight assists.
Holyoke 58, Wiggins 43
Holyoke hit the home court for the first time after the winter break and managed to beat Wiggins 58-43.
Free throws again were key as the Dragons finished 20-26 for 77 percent from the line. King and Ryan Baumgartner were perfect from the charity stripe finishing 5-5 and 4-4 respectively.
Wiggins shot 49 percent from the field which was better than Holyoke’s 44 percent. The free throw battle however, helped the Dragons as Wiggins only finished 7-13 from the line.
Carper led scoring as the only player in double digits with 19. Six other Dragons contributed points in the win.
Holyoke pulled down 29 rebounds while Wiggins grabbed 20. Turnovers again were in Holyoke’s favor as they only turned the ball over eight times. Wiggins coughed it up 20 times.
Ryan Baumgartner led the team with four steals which matched the total for Wiggins. He also added five assists.
HHS will travel to Haxtun Friday, Jan. 15 for the second game of the Phillips County Shoot-off. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. They follow that up with a trip to NJC on Thursday, Jan. 21 where they will face Weldon Valley.