The Hesston High School boys’ basketball team put on the defensive clamps for a 59-35 win Monday over El Dorado in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A sub-state quarterfinals in Hesston.


The Hesston High School boys’ basketball team put on the defensive clamps for a 59-35 win Monday over El Dorado in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A sub-state quarterfinals in Hesston.

The 17-4 Swathers advance to the semifinals Thursday in Augusta against Buhler. El Dorado ends the season 4-16.

“I thought we were moving at about half-speed or so after those first four or five possessions,” Hesston coach Ty Rhodes said. “After that, we got some turnovers. We hit some shots. We moved the ball well on offense.”

Hesston was led by Lucas Petrocci with 18 points, followed by Taylor Redding with 13 and Trevor Pauls with 10.

“When we work the ball around, and get good shots, anybody can hit shots for us,” Petrocci said. “When we play well on defense, we seem to get easier shots on offense. We ran the break well. It all starts with defense. We’re just working towards getting four good quarters of basketball. That’s what it’s going to take.”

Nicholas Payne and Kutter Bookout each scored 10 points for El Dorado.

Both teams struggled from the field early. Hesston was able to hit some shots midway in the first quarter for a 9-1 lead.

A layup off a steal for Nicholas Payne was the Wildcats’ first field goal of the game with 2:26 remaining in the first quarter. A Payne trey got El Dorado within five, but a Pauls trey just before the buzzer put Hesston up by eight, 16-8.

Pauls opened the second quarter with a trey, sparking a 12-4 run. Petrocci hit a pair of free throws with 17.3 seconds left in the first half to put the Swathers up 33-16 at intermission.

Hesston was 12 of 24 shooting in the first half, while El Dorado was six of 21.

El Dorado opened the third quarter with a 5-1 run, eventually getting within 10 with 4:58 remaining in the third quarter on a Payne trey.

Hesston took a time out, coming back to end the quarter on a 12-2 run, leading 48-28.

“I think we were feeling a little comfortable with the lead,” Rhodes said. “They made a pretty nice run. We kind of amped it up on defense. You take out that one stretch, offensively, we had some little mini runs out there. I don’t know if we were super sharp out there. They played that match-up zone a little different than we’ve seen it before.”

Hesston put the game out of reach with a 10-0 start to the fourth quarter. Hesston’s reserves played the last three minutes. The 30-point running clock kicked in late in the game.

Hesston advances to face a second Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League opponent in Buhler.

“They are very good,” Rhodes said. “They handle the ball well, and they shoot the ball well. In our sub-state, there are six pretty good teams with pretty good record. It’s going to be a pretty good sub-state. We’re going to have to eliminate those runs against us. We can’t give up a 10-3 run for the rest of the season. We’ll work a little more on our half-court offense.”

EL DORADO (4-16) — Wilson 0 0-0 0, 0; Riedl 0 0-0 2, 0; Payne 2 (2) 0-0 3, 0; Erpelding 0 0-0 0, 0; Nuckolls 1 0-0 3, 2; Haines 0 0-0 0, 0; House 1 (1) 0-0 2, 5; Riffel 0 (1) 0-0 1, 3; Crain 0 2-2 2, 2; Bookout 5 0-1 0, 10; Just 0 0-0 0, 0; Brown 1 1-2 4, 3; TOTALS 10 (4) 3-5 17, 35.

HESSTON (17-4) — Petrocci 4 (1) 7-9 2, 18; Lorimor 0 1-2 0, 1; Voth-Gaeddert 2 1-2 1, 5; Dahlsten 0 0-0 0, 0; Redding 3 (1) 4-6 0, 13; Jensen 1 0-0 0, 2; Pauls 0 (3) 1-2 1, 10; Birch 1 0-1 1, 2; Spencer 1 0-1 1, 2; Roth 3 0-1 1, 6; Schadler 0 0-0 1, 0; McKinney 0 0-0 0, 0; TOTALS 15 (5) 14-33 8, 59.

El Dorado 8 8 12 7 —35

Hesston 16 17 15 11 —59