Yates Center boys to play for substate title

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

Register File Photo/Jocelyn Sheets
Playing on-the-ball defense is part of Yates Center High’s signature and here Jacob Lenard has tight coverage of an opponent with the basketball early in the season. Not much has changed for the Wildcats as they go for a Class 2A substate title Saturday.

ARMA — Starting a game with “very good” offensive execution is always a strong indicator of how a basketball game will go.
Yates Center High’s Wildcats jumped out to a 16-5 lead over the Northeast High Vikings Thursday night and held on down the stretch for a 53-49 win.
The win came in Kansas Class 2A Substate Tournament semifinal action at Northeast High’s gym in Arma. In Thursday’s other semifinal, Pittsburg St. Mary’s-Colgan High defeated Oswego 57-44.
“Going up against one of the most successful programs in Class 2A is exciting. We’ll have to play very well against a very good Colgan team Saturday night to get to state,” said Jeff Jones, Yates Center head coach.
“Our kids really did a great job even when we had our two big guys on the bench in foul trouble against Northeast.”
The Wildcats led 16-9 at the end of the first quarter, which “gave us a lead to work with the rest of the game.” At halftime, Yates Center was up 27-15.
Jordan Hughes and Joe Tressler were in foul trouble early.
“We had a small line-up on the court and went to more of spread offense. We penetrated and went to the rim. That got us to the free-throw line in the second half. And that was a big factor,” Jones said.
Yates Center cashed in on 20 of 28 free throw attempts, all but three came in the second half. Northeast was 11 of 20 from the line.
Michael Bettega fired in 19 points, hitting 7 of 8 free throw attempts plus draining two threes. Jacob Lenard added 11 points and was 6 of 8 at the line.
“When Northeast made a run on us, we had kids step up and make plays. We got good play from sophomores Paul Stockebrand and Dalton Smith off the bench,” Jones said.
Northeast had three players — Todd Brennon, Gage Cowan and Justin Neil — score nine points each.
Yates Center tips off against Colgan at 7:30 p.m. Saturday for the substate championship Saturday.
Yates Center (16-11-9-17—53) (FG/3-pt): Matiel 4-0-2-8, Bettega 3/1-7-2-19, Hughs 1-6-4-8, Smith 1-0-1-2, Tressler 1-0-5-2, Lenard 2/1-6-0-11. TOTALS: 12/3-20-14-53.
Northeast (9-6-12-12—49) (FG/3-pt): Bogina 1/1-0-4-5, Brennon 3-3-5-9, Cowan 3-3-3-9, Davied 1-2-5-4, Neil 3-3-3-9, Rich 0/1-0-0-3, Scott 0-0-1-0, Leroy 0-0-1-0. TOTALS: 11/2-11-22-49.