The Spearville Royal Lancers are moving on in the boys bracket of the 2018 SPIAA League Tournament.
They'll play South Gray at 7:30 p.m. on Friday after winning 57-42 against the Kiowa County Mavericks Tuesday afternoon.
Spearville took an early lead 5-0 and expanded it to 8-2. The Lancers led 15-9 at the end of the first quarter and opened the second with a basket to expand the lead to eight, with the score 17-9.
They matched that later that same quarter when they pushed the lead back to eight at 19-11.
Still they only led 21-19 at the end of the first half, in part due to some ball-control issues.
"We started the game, I thought we were playing really well, and we knew Kiowa County was gonna come back on us," Spearville head coach Chris Sohm said. "For whatever reason we have the turnover-bug this year, and we've tried anything and everything to get it fixed, and we're just not there yet."
That means they're going to have to go back to work.
"We're gonna have to get back after it the next two days in practice and try and shore that up," Sohm said. "I told the guys in the locker-room 'I'm not gonna tell you how many (turnovers) we had, but it's a scary number."
Sohm said he thought that terrifying number was a mixture of both Kiowa County forcing turnovers, and Spearville making them without
In the third quarter, they took control.
Kiowa County, able to hit shots with some regularity in the first half, watched their shooting go cold in the second. The Lancers, meanwhile expanded their lead to as many as 14 points, ending the quarter with a 38-24 lead.
"I challenged 'em in the locker-room at halftime, to come out and play some Lancer basketball," Sohm said. "Playing defense and rebounding is what we built the program on, and that'll always keep you in the ballgame."
Rebounding was the team's biggest strength Tuesday night, Sohm said.
"If we didn't do anything else well tonight, we at least rebounded, at certain periods of time, better than we have this year," Sohm said.
From there, they were able to cruise to victory, with the Mavericks' shooting never having improved.
"We've won four in a row now, we're starting to play better offensively," Sohm said. "Obviously there's still areas (to improve): We gave up too many offensive rebounds, we committed way too many turnovers tonight."
The team also shot incredibly-well from the free-throw line, hitting 80 percent on 16-20 shooting from the charity-stripe.
"That's pry the best we've shot from the free-throw (line) in a long time," Sohm said.
Junior Kolby Stein had a game-high 15 points for the Lancers. Senior Waylon Strecker and sophomore Carson Rich each had 13 for Spearville.
Senior Taylor Olde had a team-high 14 points for Kiowa County.
Spearville senior Nathan Heeke had a great game as well. Sure, he had 12 points, but that wasn't stood out to Sohm the most.
"Nathan Heeke had 15-plus rebounds, and that's a phenomenal job any night you can do that," Sohm said. "The guys know I'm not big on scoring, I never look at who who scored this, who scored that. I want deflections, I want rebounds, I want effort so he's the one young man that stuck out in my mind as far as stepping up and cleaning up the boards."
Spearville takes on South Gray at 7:30 p.m. Friday night.
South Central uses 17-0 run to beat Pawnee Heights
The South Central Timberwolves boys basketball team, which entered the tournament as the No. 6 seed, beat the No. 3 seed Pawnee Heights Tigers Tuesday night, advancing to play at 6 p.m. Friday night.
The Tigers will take on the Kiowa County Mavericks at 3 p.m. that afternoon.
South Central jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, but allowed the Tigers to tie the game at 7-7 after a 7-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer with 3:25 left in the first quarter.
It was at that point South Central head coach Roe Macias took a timeout.
It was also at that point South Central took control.
Macias could be heard and seen given some directions to his team during the timeout.
"I told them they needed to get down and play defense basically was the gist of it," Macias said. "We weren't playing good defense and they started making some shots."
They made shots alright. For over half a quarter every basket that fell was off the hand of a Timberwolf.
After Macias' timeout with 3:25 left in the first quarter, the Timberwolves went on a 17-0 run lasting until just over seven minutes remaining in the second. They ended up outscoring the Mavericks 16-5 in the second quarter on the way to a 64-32 win.
Macias said he thinks the team can do well after a performance like the one the team had Tuesday.
"As long as we can continue to play defense, I think we'll be fine no matter what, who we play or what the outcome is," Macias said.
South Central takes on Hodgeman County at 6 p.m. Friday night.