Hirschi Huskies too much for Steers
When the Graham Steers tipped off their Jan. 24 matchup they were looking to continue on with their winning ways. The team has struggled since late December and had finally earned its first win of 2020 three days prior. They faced a tough task when they traveled to Wichita Falls to face district foe, Hirschi. The Huskies jumped ahead early, and the Steers proved to be little challenge. Graham was handily defeated 68-46.
The Huskies took advantage of their size and speed early. With a roster featuring all but three players at 6 feet, 1 inch or taller, the Steers struggled to match the height of the taller Huskies.
Kiove Nelson put up four points to get the Huskies started on an early 16-0 run. Nelson had a near-perfect night shooting 7-7 from the field and 1-2 from the free-throw line. The Steers struggled to shoot in the opening quarter. Their first basket was not made until the 1:17 mark in the quarter when Zach Martin found Daniel Gilbertson behind the arc for a 3-pointer to make the score 16-3. The score held through the end of the first quarter.
“You can’t win games if you can’t shoot the ball,” said coach Marcus Morris. “We weren’t hitting anything in the first, and it was a struggle.”
The struggles continued for the Steers in the second quarter. Nasir Watson scored four points in quick succession for the Huskies to increase his team’s lead to 18. The Steers answered with back-to-back field goals by Bryce Bozeman (on an assist by Martin) and Evan Ranger. The Huskies continued to push and increased the lead to 19. After Nelson led the Huskies in the first, it was Ernest Young leading the charge in the second quarter. The Steers picked up their pace with 11 in the second. Ranger scored five in the quarter to lead the Steers, who trailed 33-14 at the break.
The Steers came out of the locker room running. Hunter Lanham earned a trip to the free-throw line but failed to convert on either shot. Ranger scored all four of his third-quarter points following. Chris Whitten answered for the Huskies when he scored on back-to-back 3-pointers to increase the lead to 39-18. That lead grew to 30 points by the end of the quarter after Young hit a three late in the third. The Huskies led 52-22 as the teams entered the fourth.
For the full story, see the Wednesday, Jan. 29 edition of The Graham Leader.