Saturday, September 20, 2014

State drought ends for AC boys

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 3/4/2013

GARNETT — The Anderson County High School boys basketball team’s reward for qualifying for state for the first time since 1997 is a first-round game against Ottawa, which has been state runner-up the past three years.

The Bulldogs won the Fort Scott sub-state Saturday with a 64-56 win over Fort Scott. Anderson County (16-7) plays 3 p.m. Wednesday against top-ranked Ottawa (22-0) in Salina.

GARNETT — The Anderson County High School boys basketball team’s reward for qualifying for state for the first time since 1997 is a first-round game against Ottawa, which has been state runner-up the past three years.

The Bulldogs won the Fort Scott sub-state Saturday with a 64-56 win over Fort Scott. Anderson County (16-7) plays 3 p.m. Wednesday against top-ranked Ottawa (22-0) in Salina.

Anderson County coach Steve Lyon said all the teams at state are top-notch.

“This is an opportunity to play against a Division I kid,” Lyon said referring to Ottawa senior Semi Ojeleye, who has signed with Duke. “They have a good team around him. It will be a battle for us. There are no weak sisters left.”

Lyon said he hopes it is like a “David vs. Goliath’ game.

“I want us to play hard, have fun and compete,” Lyon said. “It is great [to get there]. It has been awhile.”

Lyon said the Bulldogs are not just going to show up and go through the motions.

“There is a reason why they play the games,” he said.

The Bulldogs like to play fast and have the ability to score in bunches. They have a legitimate all-state player in senior Eric Tastove, who scored 23 points in the win over Fort Scott.

Lyon likes to play a bunch of players. Spencer Walter gives the Bulldogs scoring punch off the bench. He finished with 21 points in the sub-state final.

“We have six starters and like to play eight or nine,” Lyon said. “It is fun for the players and fans.”

Anderson County had to withstand Fort Scott’s emotional start on its home floor. The Tigers hit four treys in the first quarter.

“It was a great environment there,” Lyon said.

Tastove’s 11 points in the first quarter brought the Bulldogs within 18-16. The second quarter was all Bulldogs with a 15-7 advantage.

“We held them to two buckets.” Lyon said.

Anderson County never could put the Tigers away.

“It was a good battle,” Lyon said. “They are a good team.”

Fort Scott (56) — DeLaTorre 14, Pytlowany 12, Fink 8, Stark 10, Sinn 8, Knopp 4, Davenport 2.

Anderson County (64) — Dial 2, Lickteig 5, Mechnig 8, Rickabaugh 5, Tastove 23, Walter 21.

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