Hesston boys hold off state-ranked Cardinals

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Hesston junior Nick Arnold takes a jump shot during play Tuesday against Hoisington.
Hesston junior Cason Richardson scored 13 points, hitting 9 of 13 free throws, in a 45-37 win over sixth-ranked Hoisington.
Hesston senior Jackson Humphreys takes a shot during play Tuesday. The Swathers play Thursday at Hillsboro.
Hesston junior Ty Schroeder guards Hoisington senior Drew Nicholson during play Tuesday in Hesston.

HESSTON — The sixth-ranked (KBCA, Class 3A) Hoisington Cardinal boys kept Hesston junior Cason Richardson quiet in the first half Tuesday in CKL play in Hesston.

But the Swather junior found his stride in the second half, scoring eight of his 13 points in a 45-37 win.

The third-ranked Swathers improve to 13-1, 4-1 in the league.

“We knew it was going to be tough coming in,” Richardson said. “They’re ranked. We lost to them the last two years. We took up the challenge and we were hungry for it this time.”

Richardson was held scoreless from the field for the first half and managed just two field goals in the second half.

He did hit 9 of 13 free throws.

“It was a physical game tonight,” Richardson said. "They were letting us play. Those guys are physical. Those are good guys. We know a lot of them. They are good sports, but they know how to play.”

“Neither team shot very well,” Hesston coach Greg Raleigh said. “It might be that we were playing hard, but we need to get our offense rolling again and hit shots that we normally made. We’re in a little bit of a lull here, we need to get going.”

The Swathers bounced back after a double-overtime loss Friday against Lyons.

“We had our chances there. We were flat,” Raleigh said. “They shot lights out. There were 70 percent from the field in the first half. They didn’t miss from three in the first half.”

Hesston gets little time to celebrate, traveling to second-ranked (Class 2A) Hillsboro on Thursday.

“(Hoisington)’s a good team, and I wouldn’t doubt that we’d see them again,” Richardson said. “But we got the win. This is our toughest stretch of the season. After last Friday, we’re coming back more focused than ever. What’s got to happen is we’ve got to start knocking down shots and get back in our rhythm and playing our game.”

“We turn around and play Thursday, then we have three games next week,” Raleigh said. “We don’t get a lot of time for a turnaround. I want to see us play a little more poised. We need to execute and need to be more efficient. We were efficient at the beginning of the year. We need to have one more pass or two and get a better shot.”

Drew Nicholson scored 12 points for Hoisington, 12-3 overall and 4-2 in CKL play.

Hesston led 9-4 early. Hoisington hit some late outside shots to get back within two, 12-10, at the end of the quarter.

The Swathers got up by five in the second quarter. Hoisington drew within two late. A Richardson free throw with 1.6 seconds left in the half got Hesston back out by five at intermission, 24-19.

Hesston led by seven early in the third quarter. A Bradon Thompson trey with nine seconds left in the period got the Cardinals within four, 33-29.

A three-point play by Chase Robinson got Hoisington within one to start the fourth quarter. Hesston replied with a 7-0 run capped by a Richardson layup. Leyton Haxton got Hoisington within five on a 3-pointer with 2:21 in regulation. Brayden Schilling answered with a layup on the other end.

After a pair of Haxton free throws with 1:45 to play, Hesston hit enough free throws in the remaining time to keep the Cardinals at bay.

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com




HOISINGTON (12-3, 4-2 CKL) — Nicholson 3 (2) 0-0 4, 12; Thompson 0 (2) 0-0 2, 6; L.Haxton 0 (2) 2-2 1, 8; M.Haxton 1 0-0 3, 2; Woydziak 0 2-2 4, 2; Mooney 0 0-0 0, 0; C.Robinson 1 3-3 4, 5; Hanzlick 1 0-2 2, 2; TOTALS 6 (6) 7-9 20, 37.

HESSTON (13-1, 4-1 CKL) — Esau 0 0-3 0 0; Schroeder 0 (1) 0-0 2, 3; Proctor 4 0-0 2, 8; Schilling 2 0-0 3, 4; Richardson 2 9-13 3, 13; Bruner 0 1) 0-0 0, 3; Humphreys 0 2-2 3, 2; Arnold 2 (1) 0-0 2, 7; Bollinger 2 1-2 0, 5; TOTALS 12 (3) 12-20 15, 45.