The Minneapolis Lions opened up their first ever appearance in the Adolph Rupp Tournament at Halstead against the host school tonight. The Lions came into the 48th Annual event as the 6-seed while the Halstead Dragons were the 3-seed.
This was the second matchup between these two squads this season. Halstead, the number two team in Class 3A according to the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, won the first matchup, 62-31, on December 8th in the Tri-County Classic.
The Dragons opened up the game scoring the first five points. Minneapolis would answer back with back-to-back buckets from Freshman Spencer Davidson. Halstead Senior Kason O’Neal had 10 points in the peroid to give the Dragons the 16-11 advantage after one.
Minneapolis defense continues to slow down Halstead in the Harcourt and got back to within two, 19-17, midway through the second quarter. 11 first half turnovers from Minneapolis was the difference as Halstead took advantage of fast break opportunities to lead, 25-19, at the half.
Junior Kaden McCullick opened up the third with four points, while Senior TreVaughn Thomas added a free throw to cut the Dragons lead down to three, 27-24, early third quarter.
Halstead would close out the quarter on a 19-4 run to lead, 46-28, going into the fourth. The Dragons shot 57-percent from the field in the second half compared to just 28-percent for the Lions. Halstead won by a final, 58-35.
Minneapolis was led by 15 points from Thomas, who received the Salina Ortho Player of the Game. Davidson had eight, while Senior Trent Brubaker knocked in five.
Halstead got 18 points from O’Neal, 12 from Junior Braden Gerber & eight from Junior Andrew O’Brien.
The Lions will face the 7-seed Winfield Vikings at 7:30 on Thursday night in Halstead.