Gerber paces Halstead to win in opener
HALSTEAD — Given the way the season ended for the Halstead High School girls’ basketball team, it would be understandable for the Dragons to play with a little chip on the shoulder.
The team rallied to down Scott City in overtime in the first round of the Class 3A state tournament, only to have the rest of the tournament canceled.
A young and inexperienced Sedgwick squad was the first to get in the way of the Dragons, falling 50-22 Friday in the season opener in Halstead.
The Dragons were led by Karenna Gerber, with 30 points, and three blocked shots.
“It felt really good to be back in this gym with all my gals,” Gerber said. “It was really fun. That post-season last year really stuck with us. We’re looking forward to seeing what we can do this year. We like to get out and run to start the game, and we were able to do that. We have a lot more girls out this year, which was different. The pre-season has been really good. We’ve been getting in shape and working on new things.”
Gerber signed in the early signing period with NCAA Division II Pittsburg State.
“I just really like the family feel,” Gerber said. “I have a great relationship with the head coach. I got the opportunity to meet a lot of the players down there. They are just great people. I also get to play with two of my summer teammates. They also committed to Pitt State.”
“We got off to a good start,” Halstead coach Derek Schutte said. “I thought our energy was really good. We didn’t get our second wind. We went kind of dead there. For a first game, we couldn’t get it charged up again. We knew we had a mismatch inside with Karenna. We were able to get it into her whether we were running it or in the half court.”
Sedgwick was led by Alexa Scarlett with nine points.
“We did some good things in the second and third quarters,” Sedgwick coach Aaron Stucky said. “We settled down a little bit. It was the first game of the year and we’re playing the no. 2, or whatever it is, team in the state. That’s a tough start to play them right off the bat. The good thing is we learned some things.”
Sedgwick had just nine players dressed.
“I have 12 out total,” Stucky said. “One’s in quarantine. I suited up nine. We’re not very deep. I was really proud of how hard we played. We didn’t quit. We didn’t worry about what the score was. Even in the second half, when we were down by 30, we kept trying to get better.”
Halstead cruised to a 19-3 lead to end the first quarter. Halstead was seven of 11 from the field in the period, forcing four turnovers.
Halstead cooled off from the field a little in the second quarter, allowing the Cardinals to stay with them. Halstead led 29-10 at intermission.
Sedgwick outscored Halstead 9-5 in the first six minutes of the third quarter. The Dragons ended the period on a 10-2 run to lead 44-20.
Halstead outscored Sedgwick 2-0 in the first four minutes of the final period. Gerber hit two more baskets to start the running clock with 2:50 to play.
Halstead plays Monday against the Wichita Homeschool in the Marion Invitational.
“I think they had two really good players last year that graduated,” Schutte said. “It’s hard to find anything on them. This will be the first time we’ve ever played them. Then we play Eureka on Tuesday. They execute well and they run. We’ll have to play well back-to-back.”
Sedgwick hosts the Classical School of Wichita Monday in the Remington Classic.
“I know nothing about them,” Stucky said. “I saw their roster. They have nine girls and six of them are freshmen. We’ll play some good teams this year, but I can’t imagine we’ll play many teams better than Halstead. … We just have to take care of the ball. Some of our turnovers was them. Some of them were us not being strong with the ball.”
SEDGWICK (0-1) — Stucky 2 (1) 0-2 1, 7; Rogers 0 0-0 0, 0; Atwill 0 0-0 1, 0; Scarlett 2 (1) 2-2 3, 9; Fitch 0 (1) 0-0 1, 3; McGinn 0 1-4 3, 1; Lacey 1 0-1 0, 2; Croxton 0 0-0 1, 0; Zimmerman 0 0-0 0, 0; TOTALS 5 (3) 3-9 9, 22.
HALSTEAD (1-0) — Lewis 1 1-2 0, 3; Wilson 0 0-0 0, 0; O’Brien 2 (1) 0-0 4, 7; Schroeder 0 0-4 4, 0; Gerber 13 4-5 2, 30; Kelley 0 (1) 0-0 3, 3; Weber 0 0-0 0, 0; Schutte 0 0-0 0, 0; Wagner 0 0-0 0, 0; Engel 1 (1) 0-0 2, 5; Whitmer 0 0-0 0, 0; McClain 1 0-0 1, 2; TOTALS 18 (3) 5-11 16, 50.