Plainsmen hang on in late free throw duel with Hayes Center Cardinals
By Pastor Vince Carrig
Senior Plainsmen forward Caleb Breazeale’s free throws guided Perkins County to a 60-56 win over Hayes Center in Grant on Thursday after a furious Cardinals rally nearly bridged a 16-point gap.
Breazeale (eight points) downed four free throws in the fourth quarter, and Jake Sexson gave Perkins County a “three” and a six-footer for enough points for victory.
The game’s high scorer Seth Gohl nailed five of six free throws in the fourth quarter to total 16 points for Hayes Center, razoring Perkins County’s lead down to 58-56.
Gohl’s bid to tie the game with a three pointer failed, however.
Cardinals guard Tristan Johnson rose from the deck to pop in all three of his fouled-behind-the-arc shots, and added two more later. Fellow guard Zach Cook sent in a “three” and a pair of free throws for a Hayes Center team that shot a mind-boggling 13-for-15 from the line in the fourth quarter.
Perkins County scared itself by shooting just 5-for-14 from the free throw line in the final frame.
Both Chase Miyamoto and Tim Johnson intercepted passes in the closing minutes to keep the Plainsmen on top.
Cook finished with 15 points; Quinton Hite led Perkins County producers with 14.
Hite returned from halftime on fire, hitting a deep three pointer, breaking away with a layup and redeeming a steal for a point as Perkins County piled up a 42-25 third quarter lead.
Hite also lasered a pass to Colton White for a breakaway layup after stealing a dribble.
Forward Taylor Walker notched a field goal and two free throws and Kasey Schwenk scored his only three points on one shot for the Cardinals to check Perkins County’s lead at 16 points after three quarters.
Blake Poppe dominated Hayes Center with seven consecutive points in the second quarter. Poppe banged to the basket for a three-point play, stroked a mid-land jumper and backed from baseline-to-block to give Perkins County a 28-13 lead.
Hayes Center cut its deficit to 10 points at halftime as swing forward Seth Gohl’s second three pointer of the game offset a triple from Quinton Hite and made the score 33-23.
Alex Johnston and Sexson teamed up to pull Perkins County into the lead after one period of play. Sexson bombed a three-quarter court pass to Johnston for a breakaway layup and buzzed through the lane for a finger-roll layup himself.
Johnston glanced one off the glass from his left hip and intercepted a pass that set up a Tim Johnson layup for a 16-11 Plainsmen lead.
Hayes Center guard Johnson’s layup and following score from a steal gave the Cardinals a 9-6 advantage midway through the first quarter.
The Plainsmen shot a healthy 50 percent (24-for-48) from the floor for the game.
The 13-9 Plainsmen visit Hershey on Friday for their final regular season game. Perkins County lost 38-37 early in the year to the Panthers, but avenged that with a 44-38 win in the SPVA Tournament third place game.
Hayes Center 56, P.C. 60
Hayes Center 11 12 11 22—56
Perkins Co. 16 17 17 10—60
Scoring leaders–Perkins County: Hite 2FG (3[x3]) 1/2FT–14; Poppe 5 2/5–12; Sexson 4 (1) 1/4–12; Breazeale 2 4/7–8; Hayes Center: Gohl 2 (2) 6/8–16; Cook 5 (1) 2/2–15; Johnson 2 5/6–9; Walker 3 3/5–9.