The Hays Indians bested the Manhattan Indians Thursday by a score of 63-45.
Both teams came out firing from deep. The first 12 total points in the game came from four 3-pointers, of which the teams made a combined eight in the first half.
Hays head coach Rick Keltner said he knew his team could shoot, in part because of their recent 17-trey performance against Garden City.
“We have confidence that we’ve got kids that can shoot and our kids, they’ve gotta make shots and make plays,” Keltner said.
Manhattan looked primed to take a lead into the second-quarter, but Hays made a buzzer-beating 3 to tie the score at 14-14 instead going into the second-frame. That 3 was the last time the game would be tied.
“I think it was a big shot, but by the same token you know you can’t decide a game in the first quarter, so I’d say it was a really nice play,” Keltner said.
Hays hit hard in the second quarter, outscoring Manhattan 14-2 to take a 28-16 lead into halftime, culminating with another buzzer-beater to end the half.
“I think sometimes it takes a while to get going,” Keltner said. “2 o’clock game, (we were) kind of getting warmed up.”
Manhattan wasn’t done though. A 3-pointer by Hays to open the third proved to be the last points they would get until less than four minutes remained in the third. While they weren’t scoring, Manhattan was, going on a 10-0 run until Hays finally made a layup to end it, cutting
“We knew that Manhattan would make a run at some point because they’re well-coached and they’ve got good kids,” Keltner said. “So we just had to keep trying to make plays and try to make more plays.”
After the layup though, Hays made another trey. By the end of the third quarter, they had expanded the lead back to nine.