Sacred Heart boys’ 2017-18 season opened the same way their State Championship season did last year, with a loss to Hesston.
The Knights lost to the Swathers in the opening matchup before winning 25-straight on the way to their first State title in boys basketball since 1981. Sacred Heart is hoping for a similar response after falling on the road tonight, 71-51.
Senior Caleb Jordan led the way for the Knights scoring 10 of his 16 first half points in the first quarter to give the Sacred Heart the lead, 13-11, over Hesston after the first eight minutes.
Hesston would answer Jordan’s production with a strong second quarter from Senior Reese Nebel and Junior Lantonio Unruh. Nebel dropped eight of his 14 first half points in the second period, while Unruh tallied six in the quarter. Swathers captured the lead in the final two minutes of the half and led by four, 34-30, at intermission.
Turnovers stalled Sacred Heart’s offense in the third quarter and the Swathers took advantage of the mistakes. Hesston outscored the Knights, 25-9, in the third behind the two man attack of Nebel and Unruh. Unruh knocked in 11 points and Nebel scored 10 in the period to give the Swathers a 59-39 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Nebel popped in a game-high 28 points to lead the way for Hesston. The 6-foot-3 Unruh was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field, 3-for-3 from behind the arc, to finish with 19.
Jordan was the lone Knight in double figures finishing with 20 points. Senior Grant Herrenbruck scored eight and Senior Cole Elmer tallied seven.
Sacred Heart heads to the Irish Classic next week in Chapman and open the tournament against El Dorado Tuesday.
Girls Drop Season Opener
Sacred Heart girls fell in their season opener on the road against Hesston, 62-42.
Hesston jumped out early on the Knights taking a 15-4 lead midway through the opening period. The Swathers led 21-10 after one.
Swathers Sophomore Elise Kaiser scored 18 of her game-high 24 points in the first half as Hesston extended the lead to 20 at the break, 41-21.
Sacred Heart would hang in with the Swathers in the second half with both teams scoring 23 points after intermission. Sophomore Ally Cochran dropped eight of her team-high 14 points in the fourth quarter. Senior Anna Ivey was the other Knight in double figures with 11.
Hesston got 24 from Kaiser, 19 points from Sophomore Alania Dunlavy and 10 from Junior Rylie Schilling.
The Sacred Heart girls will face Chapman on Tuesday in the Irish Classic.