The South Central Timberwolves beat the Bucklin Red Aces 56-38 Tuesday night, making the most of 28 points by senior Bri Rutherford in a matchup between two of the best teams in the Southern Plains - Iroquois Activities Association.
“I’ve had Bri for three years. She’s capable of doing that any given night,” South Central head coach Tim Rietzke said. “There are times she tries to do a little bit too much just simply because she wants the team to do very well, but I never fault her because her heart’s always in the right place. She always wants our team to win, and she’s a very talented player.”
That talent was on full display in the third quarter of Tuesday night’s game.
Rutherford had 14 of South Central’s 18 points in the third, helping the Timberwolves take control of the game by outscoring Bucklin 18-6.
“No matter what personnel they have on the floor, they play hard, they play aggressive, and they get you uncomfortable, and that’s what they did to night,” Bucklin head coach Craig Bowman said.
Bucklin regrouped during the break between the third and fourth quarters, and came out on a 10-0 run, ultimately outscoring South Central 12-8 in the final one, but the Timberwolves calmed down and played controlled the ball, ending the Red Aces’ chances at a comeback.
“We were very uncomfortable going in to the fourth quarter when it was out of hand,” Bowman said. “Then we could play free and play aggressive and not worry about making mistakes.”
For Bucklin, senior Tricia Hokanson had a team-high 17 points. Sophomore Catherine Bowman had 8, and sophomore Mackenzie Birney had 6.
“For the most part, I thought we were pretty solid,” Rietzke said. “We had a couple of stretches there with a big lead, which is always hard to play with, we had one stretch there in the fourth quarter where we kind of got impatient and relaxed a little bit, and bad things start happening, but other than that I thought we played pretty well.”
For South Central, Ruthererford’s 28 were a game-high. Senior Jordyn Jellison had 9 and freshman Sierra Jellison had 6.
South Central boys dominate in win
The Timberwolves boys team followed up the win with a 60-37 win against the Red Aces.
South Central led 18-9 at the end of the first, 39-18 at halftime and 52-26 at the end of the third.
The win makes the Timberwolves 8-2 overall.
Bucklin entered the game with just one win this season, making it a game the Timberwolves were favored it.
“It’s one of those games you come into where on paper you’re supposed to win, but you’ve still got to play it,” Timberwolves coach Roe Macias said. “It’s one of those things I’ve still got to try to get in the boys heads. ‘We’ve still to play this. You can’t let up,’ and in the fourth quarter we kind of did a little bit with our JV unit and kind of let up a little bit and got a little bit complacent.”
Bucklin’s teams play Spearville’s Friday in Spearville.
South Central’s teams play Ashland’s Friday in Ashland.
OTHER AREA RESULTS TUESDAY:
The Spearville Lancers girls basketball team handled Ness City Tuesday night, beating the Eagles 49-21.
Junior Ehlaina Hartman had 16 points for the Lancers, and sophomore Alissa Heskamp had 14 point. Junior Brianna Ede had 8 and sophomore Addia Nau had 6. The Lancers boys team fell to Ness City 70-39.
The Kiowa County Mavericks girls team beat the Pawnee Heights Tigers 44-29, and the Mavericks boys team beat the Tigers 66-48.
The South Gray girls team beat Satanta 70-22. The South Gray boys team beat Satanta 69-39.
The Kinsley boys team lost to Otis Bison 65-44. The girls team also lost, 56-49.