|Dragons overthrow Kings at NJC|
|Written by April Peregoy|
Lurching ahead early on in the competition, the Dragon varsity basketball team conquered the Love Christian Kings, 61-38, when the teams met at the Northeastern Junior College campus in Sterling Tuesday, Jan. 20.
Playing on the college court is a treat for coach John Baumgartner and his Holyoke team, made even sweeter by the victory. “The Kings played a real physical game, which was good experience for the boys,” he added.
After a somewhat disappointing offensive effort against Haxtun the week before, Baumgartner said his team really picked it up this time, both inside and outside the key.
Evan Swanson got things kicked off for the Dragons by putting up a field goal from three-point land. That was quickly followed by another three from Austin Tharp. He and Kyle Carper dominated first quarter action, with Tharp contributing seven more points and Carper adding six.
Already leading by eight going into the second, the Dragons continued to surge ahead, widening the distance in scores to double-digits. At the half, HHS had a solid lead, 37-23.
Holyoke continued to dominate throughout the second half. Carper had an incredible third quarter, scoring nine of the 14 points earned by the Dragons.
More players were rotated through as Holyoke kept up the momentum going into the third and fourth quarters. Logan Krueger, who up until Tuesday night had not played because of recent knee surgery, joined the team for his first game of the season, and added two points to the score.
In the final quarter, the Dragons went to the line seven times and made five. At the same time, they managed to keep their opponent away from those easy shots to help them hold on to the lead and win the game by 23 points.
Tharp and Carper were unstoppable Tuesday night, tacking on 20 and 18 points respectively. Carper also nabbed 12 rebounds while Tharp had five steals.
Defensively, Michal Brown was a force to be reckoned with. He also had eight rebounds and put up six points on the scoreboard. Ryan Baumgartner contributed eight assists and four steals.
Overall team stats show HHS shooting at 62 percent in the first half, then dropping to 28 percent in the second for an overall shooting average of 42 percent. Love Christian’s average was 41 percent.
The teams were also fairly matched at the line with Holyoke making 67 percent while the Kings made 61.
The Dragons outrebounded the Kings, 38-20, and stole 14 balls to their nine. Love Christian had a hard time hanging onto the ball as well, with 28 turnovers compared to Holyoke’s 16.
Holyoke 61, Love Christian 38
2 3 FT F TP
Tharp 3 3 5-5 1 20
Baumgartner 1 1 0-0 4 5
Carper 8 0 2-4 2 18
Wailes 1 0 0-0 0 2
Swanson 0 1 0-1 2 3
Brown 1 0 4-6 0 6
Krueger 1 0 0-0 0 2
DeBoer 1 0 0-0 1 2
King 1 0 1-2 0 3
Reid Baum. 0 0 0-0 0 0
TEAM 17 5 12-18 10 61
TEAM 13 2 6-10 17 38
Scoring By Quarters
Holyoke 20 17 14 10 --61
Love Christian 12 11 11 4 --38