Mercy’s name was Yates Center head coach Tanner Davis Tuesday night as the undefeated, third-ranked Wildcats put a hurt on Flinthills, 59-24.
The Wildcats move to 6-0 this season, winning all of their games by 12 or more points.
There are two ways to look at how Yates Center dominated.
Offensively, the Wildcats came out kicking, scoring 45 first-half points while hitting six first-half threes.
However, how they played defensively may have been even more impressive. Yates Center started the game on a 12-0 run thanks to their strong full-court press.
They kept that up nearly throughout all of the first half. Flinthills scored their fifth and sixth points of the game with four minutes and 18 seconds left in the second quarter. Near the end of the half things picked up as the defense slacked slightly but if the Wildcats and Davis had been so inclined, Yates Center could have easily held the Mustangs to less than 20 points in Tuesday night’s game.
“Over break our focus was defense,” Davis said. “We worked a lot on our press. In the first half it looked pretty good and then in the second half we pulled back. We’ve been running it for the last two years. It’s never easy to be pressured for the whole game and these guys do a nice job. Plus (junior Hadley Splechter) returned to the lineup which was nice because that made us deeper.”
The Wildcats evenly distributed the ball with five players scoring seven or more points led by junior Aaron King who had 16 points in three quarters (12 in the first half).
Yates Center slowed their scoring late in the third and into the fourth as they emptied their bench. While the subs didn’t widen the gap, Davis was pleased that the future of Wildcat basketball got some time against some higher level competition.
“They need to get that experience,” Davis said. “When you look at our roster we have five seniors that will be graduating after this year. Someone will need to step up and take their role.”
Yates Center will take on West Elk Friday before opening up league play at Jayhawk Linn a week from Friday.
Yates Center (24-21-11-3—59) (2pt/3pt-FT-F-TP) A. King 6/1-1-0-16, Forsyth 1/2-1-0-9, J. King 4/0-0-0-8, Gaulding 2/1-0-0-7, Smith 2/1-0-1-7, Jones 2/0-0-0-4, Bedell 0/1-0-0-3, Solander 0/1-0-2-3, Splechter 1/0-0-3-2, Sievers 0/0-0-1-0, Smoot 0/0-0-2-0. TOTALS: 18/7-2-9-59.
Flinthills (4-10-8-2—24) (2pt/3pt-FT-F-TP) McNeil 1/1-2-0-7, Bugner 0/2-0-0-6, Girty 2/0-0-3-4, Parker 0/1-0-1-3, Ratcliff 1/0-0-0-2, Totty 1/0-0-3-2, McCreight 0/0-0-1-0, Morse 0/0-0-2-0, Taylor 0/0-0-5-0. TOTALS: 5/4-2-15-25.
PHOTO: Senior guard Kobe Forsyth looks past Flinthills senior Chaz Ratcliff in the Wildcats’ 59-24 home win on Tuesday. REGISTER/TIMOTHY EVERSON
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