The second day of competition for the Southern Plains-Iroquois Activities Association boys league basketball tournament at United Wireless Arena in Dodge City, featured games between the South Gray Rebels and the Kiowa County Mavericks and the South Central Timberwolves taking on the Hodgeman County Longhorns.

In the first semi final game, the Kiowa County Mavericks defeated the South Gray Rebels 69-59. In the second semi final, Hodgeman County Longhorns got a 42-40 victory over the South Central Timberwolves in a game that was close all the way.

The Kiowa County Mavericks will play the Hodgeman County Longhorns for the SPIAA Championship at 8 p.m. Saturday while the South Gray Rebels take on the South Central Timberwolves for third in the SPIAA tournament at 4 p.m.

In the girls bracket, Spearville takes on South Gray at 6 p.m. for the championship after South Central takes on Bucklin for third place at 2:30 p.m. All games are on Saturday.

In the first semi final boys game, the Kiowa County Mavericks defeated the South Gray Rebels 69-59.

Kiowa County coach Matt Hoffman said the team did an awesome job against South Gray that knows the game so well.

"We did a good job defensively," Hoffman said. "The kids really stepped up."

The Rebels Brady Deges is an excellent shooter so Hoffman assigned Cooper Zenger and Brandon Boyles to keep him in check and they did an awesome job on him on the outside.

On defense, the Mavericks defense was strong and on the offense, they attacked the middle.

"It was a team effort. We had to play hard," Hoffman said. "We knew we had to play them quarter by quarter and we did.

"Our boys played hard and played well."

The team didn't have a lot of turnovers. They had a good press in the first quarter but the boys were fatigued so they dropped it.

This was a very hard fought match. South Gray coach Mark Applegate knows what he is doing and his kids know too.

Hoffman said he was very proud of his boys.

This may be first time they will play in the SPIAA championship game, Hoffman said.

The final score, Kiowa County 69, South Gray 59.

Points for Kiowa County: Cooper Zenger-27, Brandon Boyles-19, Luke Ballard-9, Caydan Pore-6, James Brack-2, Colby Tedder-2, Seth Lingafleter-2.

Points for South Gray: Aaron Skidmore-25, Brady Deges-19, Ethan Salmans-7, Carter Riley-4, Ian Davis-2, Storm Flores-2.

In the second semi final game the Hodgeman County Longhorns took a 42-40 win over the South Central Timberwolves.

Hodgeman County coach Levi Salmans said the game was fun. The boys had great shots and they played great defense. They kept up and continued to have good inside touches and got great rebounds. Their tempo was good and they played a good mental game.

The Timberwolves were short handed but they were not going to go down easy. They kept grinding.

For the Longhorns, Eli Salmans handled the ball very well. Brayden Bergkamp did a great job of tipping passes on defense and getting passes on offense.

Those statistics don't show up on a score book but he did a great job.

The tempo of the game increased as both teams took advantage of fast break opportunities. The Longhorns started working their outside game again and took advantage of some inside shots to build a lead only to have the Timberwolves increase their defensive pressure and get a couple of baskets down low to make it a one possession game with two minutes to go.

The Timberwolves Chayde Snyder made a driving layup and two Longhorns ended up on the floor. Snyder hit a clutch free throw then the Timberwolves made a steal and two pointer to tie the game at 40 all with 39 seconds on the clock.

A scramble for the ball under the Hodgeman goal end up with a Timberwolves possession but a foul sent the Longhorns to the line and sank two crucial free throws to give the Longhorns a two point lead with 14 seconds left in the game.

A last second full court shot by South Central fell very short and Hodgeman took a 42-40 victory over the South Central Timberwolves.


To contact writer, email