|HHS Dragon basketball blows by Akron; needs overtime to beat Chase County|
|Written by Chris Lee|
In front of a packed audience Friday, Jan. 29, the Holyoke Dragons hit the floor and beat Akron 60-36. Many of the players wore throwback socks to honor HHS alumni. The coaches were wearing tennis shoes with their suits in honor of Coaches vs. Cancer.
The following night, the team crossed the state line to take on Chase County in Imperial, Neb. Holyoke visited the free throw line 46 times in the thrilling 52-46 overtime win over the Longhorns.
Coach John Baumgartner said the mental toughness of the Dragons really showed as they were able to hang on and win in overtime. “We needed a tight game,” the coach said. “We found a way to win.”
Holyoke 60, Akron 36
After warming up in throwback warm-ups to honor HHS alumni, the Dragons were able to pick up their fourth conference victory with the win over the Rams.
Kyle Carper was back to help the Dragons. He led the team with 18 points. A noticeable limp could still be seen as his ankle was a little sore.
Ryan Baumgartner had a nice game scoring 14 points which was well above his scoring average on the season. All of his points came in the second half.
After a slow start, the Dragons poured it on—scoring 26 points in the third quarter. They held an 18-9 lead at the half.
Carper and Ryan Baumgartner each pulled down six rebounds to lead the team. The Dragons outrebounded the Rams 29-24. Holyoke finished 48 percent from the floor compared to Akron’s 38 percent.
The Dragons kept the turnovers low only giving it up six times compared to Akron’s 16 turnovers. Ryan Baumgartner had four steals to lead the team.
Holyoke buried 14-18 shots from the charity stripe. Carper was perfect going 8-8. Baumgartner and Brian DeBoer each finished 2-2 from the line.
Holyoke 52, Chase County 46
A physical game took place in Imperial, Neb. Saturday night as Holyoke found a way to come away with the win. Going into the game, coach Baumgartner said they weren’t overlooking the Longhorns’ 3-10 record.
Things were all tied up at 11 after the first stanza. Holyoke managed 11 in the second quarter to take a 22-15 lead into halftime.
Carper, playing on a bum ankle started the game but took the bench early in the first quarter after re-aggravating his ankle.
Logan Krueger stepped up and scored 18 points for the Dragons after Carper left the game. “Logan carried us,” the coach said.
The Longhorns led almost every statistic throughout the game. Holyoke attempted 46 free throws, making 31 of them. Chase County only made six of 10.
Holyoke held a slim four-point lead heading into the final quarter. Two late three-pointers by the Longhorns brought them back into the game to force the overtime period.
All 10 of Holyoke’s overtime points came from the charity stripe. Imperial could only muster four points.
The Dragons finished 9-31 from the field for 29 percent while the Longhorns went 18-36 for 50 percent. Chase County also won the rebounding battle pulling down 32 compared to Holyoke’s 22.
Turnovers was an area in favor of the Dragons as they turned the ball over 14 times compared to 27 by Chase County.
The victory was Holyoke’s 12th straight win after their season-opening loss to Idalia.
“I thought our kids battled extremely hard,” coach Baumgartner said. “We had a lot of guys step up.”
HHS will travel to Wray, Friday, Feb. 5. Games are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. The following night, the Dragons will host Burlington at 3 p.m.
Coach Baumgartner said things will only get tougher from here on out. He enjoyed the atmosphere during the Jan. 29 win over Akron and looks forward to another home game. Saturday’s game against Burlington will be the first of three home games. Dundy County and Fleming will come to town the following week.