Two words: big win.
A dominant defensive display by Hutchinson High senior Harlie Wilson, who had four interceptions, and the inside presence of junior Mya Thompson led the Salthawks to a 41-32 win over Maize South Friday at the Salthawk Activity Center.
The week ends with regular season sweeps on Maize and Maize South; two teams that have been ranked in the top 10 in the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association poll at least once this season.
Wilson and Thompson had key stats to lead the way for the Salthawks, who have won five straight now and are 15-3 this year. They mostly played a key role, trailing 7-0 at the start. Some stat highlights: Hutchinson allowed Maize South just 13 second-half points, and Maize South didn’t shoot a free throw the entire game.
Wilson had a terrific game defensively, with four interceptions that all led to quick production, leading to free throw opportunities or easy layups. Thompson, who missed a game last week through injury, returned this week starting with Tuesday’s road win at Maize and was a respectable seven for 10 from the free throw line and scored 11 points on the night with rookie Grace Posch adding 10, including two 3-pointers.
“I know I’m capable of putting the ball in the hole,” Thompson said. “I just need to go in there with confidence and make it happen. We shot a lot of free throws this week after our percentage at Maize… It was a bit difficult so we shot a lot of free throws this week and made sure to go out there and hit the most crucial ones so if it was a close game down the stretch he didn’t come back to bite us.”
Thompson also played a pivotal role in the rebounding category. Hutchinson outshot Maize South 20-9, unofficially, in the first half and 33-16 by the end of the game, with most of those rebounds coming at the hands of Thompson.
A key moment
A key moment of the game, despite Maize South calling a timeout and scoring straight after, was an almost two-minute defensive stance by Hutchinson midway through the third quarter. It was the most talkative and active game for the Hutchinson girls, and it paid off as the Lady Mavericks couldn’t find an open shot for those few minutes.
“We put our two-three (defense) in place tonight,” Thompson said. “Defending has become a huge priority for us because we know we are capable of scoring the ball. So getting saves is the other end of the game. We knew that to win this game we had to come out and give the defence, and that’s what we did.”
Wilson also had seven points to go along with his four interceptions. Wilson said she credits Maize South’s practices and attacking set work with causing her to skip some of those passes made.
Hutchinson girls head coach Conor Reilly says Wilson did a great job taking advantage of those steals and turning those takeaways into points, including an acrobatic finish where Wilson kicked a layup wild while being fouled and did so early in the third. trimester.
“We really go as Harlie goes,” Reilly said.
Thompson was also impressed with Wilson’s finishing and defensive performance.
“Harlie is a leader,” Thompson said. “Harlie runs the floor really well. She’s a quarterback for our team, and her leadership is something we would miss. I’m proud of her for playing hard and really leading us tonight.”
Sweeping corn schools is a big deal, with the skill level of these two teams. Especially with playoff positioning becoming a factor late in the season, Wilson felt those two wins were especially great knowing what kind of team they can be.
“We’re working our hardest in training, and we’re putting in the work and the time to get those wins,” Wilson said. “Everything pays off after the games are over.”
What’s next for the Hutchinson girls?
With a week remaining in the regular season, 15-3 puts the Hutchinson girls in sixth place in Class 6A West with Dodge City (fourth) and Wichita Heights (fifth) ahead due to points awarded to opponents.
“We knew we had to really mind our business this week because it was a really big week with two really, really good teams,” Reilly said. “It was huge. I’m really proud of our girls. We’ve been competing all week. We’ve been battling injuries, and now we’re a week away from understatement. So we have to go keep busy too of the next week.”
Still on the schedule for the Hutchinson women’s team is Tuesday’s final regular season home game against Haysville-Campus, a game where Reilly and company will try to focus on not giving up a lot of points to help improve. their ranking. They will close the regular season in Derby on Friday.
Maize South boys match winner stuns Hutchinson at home
With less than 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Maize South guard Isaiah Atwater took the inbound pass and drove downfield to set up a fading runner on the right side of the basket.
It happened, and Hutchinson’s Garrett Robertson 3-pointer for the win broke as the Maize South Mavericks escaped with a 45-44 win on Friday.
In both encounters the Maize South boys beat Hutchinson by one after the Salthawks mounted big comebacks, only the second time in the game did not go to overtime.
Billy Watson is the sports reporter for The Hutchinson News and has been in Kansas since March 2021. To pitch story ideas, you can email [email protected] or direct message on Twitter @hutchsports Where @billywatson4l.