Indians Move On To Championship Game

By Dustin Armbruster

Hays 42 – Manhattan 36

Wins sometimes come easy…sometimes it seems like even the rim wants you to lose.  When trying to move to 11-0 on the season, at some point the wins don’t come easy.  Friday night at the Dodge City Tournament of Champions semi-finals NOTHING came easy for Hays High.

Hays jumped out to an early 10-6 lead half way through the first quarter over Manhattan.  The Indians had several opportunities to pull away but a cold night shooting and an even worse night at the free throw line allowed Manhattan to take the lead early in the second quarter at 14-12.  Neither team was stellar in the first half and were tied at 17 a piece through the first two quarters.

Manhattan again lead by one or two points for a majority of the third quarter when Isaiah Nunnery and Jordan Windholz each hit a three pointer to give Hays a 26-21 lead heading into the fourth quarter.  Those two three gave Hays a lead they never let go of.

Manhattan hit a three to open the fourth, before Hays pushed the lead up to six again.  Manhattan again pushed back getting with in one at 34-33 with 2:30 to go in the game.  Manhattan started to foul Hays High, who had been terrible at the free throw line making just 6 of 15 attempts.  But over the final 2:21 Hays made 8 of 10 free throws and allowed just a single three point field goal allowing Hays to escape with a 42-36 win and stay undefeated at 11-0.  Manhattan falls to 7-3.

Hays was led by Jordan Windholz scoring 19.  He was the only player in the game to score in double figures.

Hays shot just 38% 12 of 32 and made just 4 of 16 threes.  Manhattan was 14 of 36 for 39% and 5 of 16 beyond the arc.  Hays made a living a the line finishing 14 of 25.  Manhattan was just 3 of 6.

Hays will play undefeated Wichita East in the finals of the tournament Saturday night at 6:00.  East is ranked #2 in 6A.  Hays is ranked #3 in 5A.