|Boys enter regionals playing best ball of season|
|Written by Kyle Arnoldy|
After taking fourth at the 2A District 2 Tournament over the weekend, the Dragons are preparing to face the Sierra Grande Panthers in the first round of the regional tournament.
HHS began the district tournament picking up the 77-54 regional qualifying win against Wiggins Tuesday, Feb. 26. They then proceeded to drop a 61-65 heartbreaker to Haxtun in double overtime Thursday, Feb. 28 followed by a 37-52 loss to Yuma Saturday, March 2.
Holyoke 77, Wiggins 54
The Dragons have had problems in the past few games of coming out cold and quickly falling behind. That was not the case as they hosted Wiggins in the first round of the district tournament.
Holyoke took every opportunity they could in the early minutes to push the ball up the floor and drive the paint while keeping Wiggins on their toes with a full-court press.
The press resulted in a number of turnovers as the Dragons ran up 21 points in the opening quarter to take a 21-10 lead.
Tito Fierro matched Wiggins with 10 points in the quarter as he was efficient from close and from deep, hitting a pair of treys in the process.
The tough play for Holyoke did not let up in the second quarter. The Dragons’ physical play seemed to throw Wiggins off their game, especially in the paint.
Brett Cumming makes a move at the hoop during the double overtime loss to Haxtun during the
HHS took a 39-27 lead as they entered half.
The Dragons continued to pour in the points in the third quarter, scoring 24 points to open the second half.
Deyten Klein led the Dragons with nine points in the quarter, pushing the lead to 63-44 heading into the final eight minutes of the game.
Coach Scott Dille expressed that the game was “about as good of a game as they have played all year.”
HHS finished the game by adding another 14 points in the fourth quarter to win by a score of 77-54.
Four Holyoke players finished the match with double digits in the scoring column. Fierro and Ryan Parker each put up 16 points while Klein added 15 and Logan Tharp chipped in with 12.
Holyoke 61, Haxtun 65
In a double-overtime thriller, Holyoke fell just short of taking down their county-rival, the Haxtun Bulldogs, falling 61-65 in the semifinal round of the district tournament at NJC in Sterling.
The last time Holyoke and Haxtun met on the basketball court, the game was decided by a basket with less than three seconds to play as Haxtun won by two.
For the most part, Haxtun was a non-threat from deep in the district game, but was able to use their height advantage to get close to the hoop.
Both squads put up 10 points in the first quarter.
Several times in the game after a Haxtun bucket, Holyoke would beat them down the court and score an easy two. Holyoke depended on their aggressive, fast-paced play to stay even with Haxtun who continuously pounded the ball in the paint.
Holyoke entered half with the momentum in their favor as they held on to a 32-27 lead.
Bradley Cumming gets past a Haxtun defender during Thursday’s district game between the two rivals.
The Dragons slowed down in the third quarter, only scoring eight points. Haxtun climbed back to take the lead, entering the fourth quarter with a 42-40 advantage over Holyoke.
Haxtun went up by as much as four with two minutes left to play, but the lead would not stick. With just under a minute left in regulation, Klein nailed a 3 from a step behind the college three-point line to tie the game.
Holyoke fans couldn’t help but feel deja vu from the last meeting as Haxtun raced down the court with time ticking away. Fortunately for those in green, all Haxtun shots were off and the game went to overtime.
One overtime would not be enough to settle the game however. Each team put up four points in the shortened period, forcing a second overtime.
Turnovers and forced shots plagued the final overtime for the Dragons. In the end, Holyoke came close but was unable to beat the Bulldogs, losing 61-65.
Klein led all scorers with 24, 16 of which came in the second half. Fierro added 15 points and Tharp scored 12.
Despite the loss, Dille noted that the team’s confidence is growing as they realize they are capable of playing with anybody.
Holyoke 37, Yuma 52
In the consolation match of the district tournament, the Dragons fell to Yuma 37-52.
Coach Dille mentioned that the team had some problems getting started. At points it appeared that playing so many games in a short time span, plus the double overtime game Thursday and having to leave Holyoke at 6:20 a.m. for the 8:30 a.m. game may have contributed to the team’s sluggish play.
Holyoke scored six points in the first quarter to trail by seven.
Shots just weren’t falling for the Dragons as they only picked up three points in the second quarter.
Yuma capitalized on offensive rebounds for second-chance points as they entered the locker room up 23-9 at half.
Trevor Dalton goes up for the finger roll during the consolation match with Yuma Saturday. —Enterprise photo
The Dragons came to life in the third quarter. Tharp’s eight points helped HHS to a 13-point quarter to pull within seven.
Despite Holyoke having their most offensively efficient quarter of the game, the Dragons were unable to keep up with the Indians.
By killing the clock with long possessions, the Indians were able to hold off the surging Dragons for the 52-37 win.
Tharp led the Dragons with 14 points while Fierro was on his heels with 13.
The 10-12 Dragons will face the 16-5 Sierra Grande Panthers Friday, March 8 at 8:30 p.m. at Frederick High School
A loss will mark the end of the season while the winner will go on to play the winner of the Heritage Christian/ West Grand game at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9.
Holyoke Enterprise March 7, 2013