ELWOOD – The Hi-Line Bulls opened their doors to welcome the Sumner-Eddyville-Miller Mustangs for some basketball on Thursday, this week. The two area schools split their games, with the Hi-Line girls coming out on top, 35-28, while the Mustangs took the win in the boys game, 57-69.
Hi-Line took a small lead in the start of the girls game on Thursday, putting eight points on the scoreboard over S-E-M’s six. They extended their lead, slightly, in the second quarter with seven points to another six for the lady Mustangs for a three point lead at halftime, 15-12.
The S-E-M girls stayed in the game, gaining on the deficit by one, scoring 10 points over the Bulls nine. The Hi-Line girls finished the game with an 11 point fourth quarter while holding the Mustangs to six. Their victory was sealed with a 35-28 win at the end of regulation time.
“We played really well, defensively,” Hi-Line head coach Patrick Ropers said after the game. “The last time we met, we gave the game away and we told them they should have this game on their minds. Defensively, we held a 6-2 team to under 30 points. In my book, that’s good, no matter who you are.”
As far as the Bulls offense in the game, Ropers felt it was effective enough for the win, but still needs some minor adjustments.
“Offensively, we hit some shots and that’s what it takes,” Ropers explained. “We would get impatient when the game got close, but we settled down and were able to finish.”
The top scoring players for the Hi-Line Bulls included Gretchen Hodge with nine points scored on three pointers in the second half and Makenzie Clouse with 19 points, 9 of which were from the free throw line at 82 percent.
Faith Hernandez led the Mustangs in scoring with 12 points while Sarah Glatter followed with 11.
The Mustangs drew first blood in the boys game with a single point on a free throw, hit by Creyton Line. A layup from Zacob Evans began a run of points scored by both teams, trading the lead several times before Hi-Line began to pull away early in the first quarter. The back and forth battle continued with the scales tipped to the Bulls at the end of the first eight minutes, 16-11.
Things escalated quickly for the mustangs in the second quarter, however, with Carson Rohde pounding away point after point, possession after possession scoring the first 11 of S-E-M’s 26 points in the second quarter. The Bulls fell behind as the teams took the locker rooms for halftime, 28-37.
Hi-Line pressed at the midpoint of the third quarter to close in on the Mustangs, bringing the game within four points when Evans landed a two point layup, followed by two consecutive three pointers from Nate Hodge. The Bulls trailed, 39-43, when S-E-M went on a six point run with a pair of two pointers scored by Tucker Whitesel and a third by Kellen Eggleston. The Mustangs extended their lead to 10 before the end of the third quarter, 41-51.
Creyton Line took the spotlight in the fourth and final quarter for the Mustangs, putting up 15 of his team’s 18 points before the end of the game. Eight of those points were scored from the free throw line. As hard as the Bulls pushed in the last eight minutes, they couldn’t catch the Mustangs and fell in the end, 57-69.
The S-E-M squad is a young team, as six of their ten players are underclassmen; four freshman and two sophomores. In spite of their age, their coach was proud of their resilience under pressure.
“I thought our young guys stepped up tonight,” S-E-M head coach Darby Line said in an interview after the win. “They (Hi-Line) pressed us the whole game and I feel like our young guys handled the press really well. We had some turnovers, but for a bunch of freshman and sophomores, our guards handled the ball really well.”
Coach line also tipped his hat to his top scorer, Carson Rohde.
“Carson Rohde probably played the best game of his career,” Line continued. “I don’t know how many points he ended up with yet, but on rebounds he had close to 20. It was one of the best games I’ve seen a young man play.”
Rohde, in fact, led the Mustangs in scoring with 34 points, followed by Creyton Line with 20 points.
There was a three-way tie for top scorer on the Hi-Line scorecard. Blake Schmidt, Zacob Evans and Tanner Fengmeyer each scored 13 points in the game with S-E-M.
The Hi-Line basketball squads will travel for their next games when they travel to Alma. The Bulls will square off with the Cardinals with games starting at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16.
The S-E-M Mustangs will Host the Ansley/Litchfield Spartans on the same day with games set to start at 6 p.m.