By DUSTIN ARMBRUSTER
Hays 55 – Dodge City 36
The Hays High Indians put their new No. 1 ranking in class 5A on the line for the first time with a trip to Dodge City on Friday night.
For just the second time all year, the Indians trailed at the end of the first quarter 13-12. The early deficit by Hays and early success by Dodge City was due to turnovers. Hays turned the ball over five times in the first quarter, which is half the Indians per game average on the season. Dodge City turned it over just twice in the first eight minutes.
Hays still trailed 17-16 midway through the second quarter before exploding on a 12-0 run to lead at half time 28-17.
Hays never could pull away in the third quarter, but never let Dodge City get any closer than nine points and still led by 11 after three.
The Indians opened the fourth quarter on a 11-0 run to push their lead to 22 and cruised to a 55-36 victory.
Jordan Windholz and Brady Werth each led the team with 14. Hays didn’t shoot much due to Dodge City’s slow-down style and the Indians 19 turnovers. But when Hays shot they were hot, making 18 of 28 for 64 percent and 16 of 19 free throws for 84 percent. After just two turnovers in the first quarter, Dodge City ended the night with 23.
Hays is now 13-0 on the year and 4-0 in the WAC. Dodge City drops to 4-7 and 2-1 in conference play.
Hays is at home for the first time since January 14th when they take on Salina South Tuesday.