Special to The Gardner News
CJ Hall buried a baseline jumper with less than 26 seconds remaining in the contest to power the Gardner Edgerton boys to a huge Eastern Kansas League (EKL) win over Blue Valley West on 38-37.
The Jan. 6 affair was played on West’s home court and was the first loss of the season for the home-standing Jaguars.
The Blazers won this one through a tenacious defensive effort, holding West to just 14 first-half points and then not allowing a field goal in the final four and one half minutes of the game.
GE jumped in front 11-5 after one period and then closed out the half with a 7-0 run to go up 24-14 at the break.
The Jags got back to within one at 28-27 entering the exciting final frame.
Both teams battled hard in a nip-and-tuck fourth period before Hall hit his big shot for the winning margin.
Zach Hickman led the team in scoring with 11 tallies which included three triples. Dilon Dodson added seven, Hall and Kyle Huppe had five each, Tanner Webb and Ben Carpenter each had three, with Matt Plank and Trae Wrench adding two each to round out the scoring effort.
The win gets the Blazer season record back to 500 at 3-3 and evened their league mark at 2-2.
Earlier in the week, GE lost a league contest to Blue Valley North, one of the top teams in the state.
The Blazers were in the game early, only trailing 15-9 after one period and still staying within striking distance at 39-25 at half.
North went on an 18-2 third period run to put the game away and then coasted to the 70-41 win.
Huppe led the team in scoring with 15 points which included three from behind the arc.
Hall added six, Chip Kueffer and Webb each had five, Plank added three, Caleb Clarke and Dodson had two each, and Wrench, Hickman, and Carpenter each added one.
Next action for the club will be a home game on Jan. 13 against state ranked Blue Valley Northwest. Results of a game with Saint Thomas Aquinas on Jan. 10 were not available at press time.
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