Hays High opened the 5A sub-state tournament with the Kapaun Crusaders on Wednesday night. The Indians earned the seventh seed in the west half of the bracket while Kapaun came in as the ten seed.
It took Hays High six and a half minutes to score their first field goal of the game. However thanks to strong free throw shooting after driving to the basket the Indians led Kapaun 8-5. The only lead the Crusaders held in the first half lasted thirteen seconds. Trailing 5-4 Brooke Denning and Savannah Schneider each sank a pair of free throws to grab the lead back for the Indians. Tasiah Nunnery then added the first field goal of the game for Hays to finish off a 6-0 spurt.
Hays led 12-7 after one quarter and had their advantage trimmed down to 13-11 following back to back field goals by Kapaun. Less than one minute later Denning hit the Indians’ first three pointer which ignited a 13-0 run. Five different players contributed points during the run which lifted the Hays to a 26-11 lead with just over two minutes left in the first half. The team traded two points each to end the second quarter and Hays led 28-13 at halftime.
The Indians lead would never drop below double figures during the second half. Hays led by as many as twenty in the third quarter 41-21 and 45-27 going to the fourth quarter. Hays led 48-30 with 4:45 remaining in the game when Kapaun went to fouling the Indians. Hays made just three of their next eight free throws allowing the Crusaders to get within fourteen points. The Crusaders were able to get the lead down to a ten point Hays lead with 1:11 remaining. Tasiah Nunnery and Re Green sank four straight free throws to seal the game 63-48.
Coach Alex Hutchins (we apologize for the technical difficulties during the interview)
Ten players scored in total for Hays led by the 13 from Savahann Schneider making 11 of 12 free throws. Tasiah Nunnery made 7 of 10 free throws and scored 11. The Indians made 31 of 47 free throws and 13 of 24 in the fourth quarter. Hays improves to 14-7 on the year and will play Goddard on Friday for the berth to the 5A state tourney. Goddard defeated Salina South 50-25. Kapaun ends their season at 10-11.