Special to The Gardner News
A second place finish in the Spring Hill tournament highlighted a 2-1 week for the GEHS boys’ varsity basketball squad.
And the Blazers were oh, so close to claiming the championship in that tourney.
GE led highly touted Sumner Academy for three quarters before fading late in the championship tilt, losing a 54-44 heartbreaker.
To get to that title game, the Blazers posted victories in early round matchups.
In their first round game, GE used 13 three-pointers to key an 81-58 triumph over Metro Academy.
Junior guard Kyle Huppe had four triples in the affair on his way to a team-leading 18 tallies. Tanner Webb was right behind him with 17 points, shooting two three-pointers in the process. Junior forward Matt Plank had three trifectas in his 15-point effort. Ben Carpenter and Chip Kueffer each had ten points and two three-pointers as well. Dilon Dodson added five, Zach Hickman had four, and Caleb Clark had two points to round out the 81-point effort.
The Blazers never trailed in this one, sprinting out to 21-11 first quarter lead and then increasing that to 41-24 at the half. GE kept the high-scoring offense going in the second half, scoring 40 points to win going away.
That win landed the Blazers in a semi-final matchup with Osawatomie-a long-time foe for GE when both teams were in the Frontier League.
The Trojans were a scrappy opponent that pushed the Blazers to the end before GE would nail down a 55-51 win.
Huppe again led the team in scoring and again dropped in four triples on his way to 18 points. Webb added eight, Plank had seven, Dodson, CJ Hall, and Traevohn Wrench each had five, Hickman had four, and Carpenter had three in the victory.
The Blazers led 24-19 at half and extended that lead to seven entering the final period. Osawatomie was able to get it close but GE would hold on for a big victory.
That win landed the Blazers a spot in the final against Sumner Academy-one of the premier programs in the area. The Sabres have a Division I signee at guard and are always a tough foe.
GE was equal to the task, giving Sumner all they could handle before a cold fourth quarter led to a 54-44 defeat.
The Blazers led 13-6 after one period, 29-24 at the half and 40-37 entering the final frame. GE couldn’t but basket in that final period, only scoring four points as the Sabres posted the win.
Hickman led the squad in scoring with 12 tallies. Webb had ten, Huppe added nine, Plank and Carpenter had four each, Wrench added two and Dodson had one in the contest.
Now 6-5 on the year, the Blazers will be back in action on Friday Jan. 27 when they travel to Blue Valley.
Look for more local sport stories in our print edition!