YATES CENTER — The Yates Center boys dished out a beating at home Tuesday night to start off Sub-State play, downing the Pleasanton Blu-Jays 78-39.
The third-seeded Wildcats showed little mercy from the get-go, jumping out to a double-digit lead. Pleasanton never had a chance to get its offense going.
The game marked the third win for the Wildcats against the Blu-Jays but Tuesday night’s 39-point margin of victory was its biggest. On Jan. 23 they notched a 35-point margin and on Feb. 12 they won by 14 points.
“We just wanted to be 1-0,” head coach Tanner Davis said. “That’s the thing. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done in the past, it’s a whole new season and our goal is to go 3-0 and make it to state. We got off on the right step tonight and hopefully, we keep going forward.”
The Wildcats got off to a frenetic start, scoring 12 straight and holding the Blu-Jays to just four points in the first quarter thanks in part to the Wildcat full-court press that forced 10 Pleasanton turnovers throughout the course of the game.
“Our defense created most of our offense in that first quarter,” Davis said. “Plain and simple. We were getting to the basket. There was a time where we started settling for threes but that first quarter was all about defense and we got after it and that got us off to such a good start.”
The Wildcats also put on a rebounding clinic early, seemingly always being in position for an offensive putback while nearly never allowing the Blu-Jays to get a second try after their misses.
“I think (senior) Josh King may have had one of the best games of his career tonight,” Davis said. “He was super aggressive, got some rebounds, got some putbacks and everyone else just kind of followed suit and did a nice job.”
King had 10 points in the contest while his junior brother Aaron and senior Jordan Smith each led the way with 17 points.
The Wildcats extended their lead to 30 points with 7:45 to play in the second quarter and while the Pleasanton offense started to click in the second and early in the third quarter, there was just nothing that they could do to stop Yates Center.
Davis cleared the bench at the start of the fourth quarter and the Wildcat reserves played out the remainder of the game, continuing to keep Pleasanton at bay.
With the win, the Wildcats advance to the semifinals at St. Mary’s Colgan in Pittsburg. They will take on two-seed Shawnee-Maranatha Christian Academy who is 17-2 and is coming off a 95-32 win in their quarterfinal game
“Maranatha is pretty good,” Davis said. “They’ve only got a couple of losses this year and they have one of the best players in the state. But hopefully we can slow them down and our shots are falling and theirs aren’t and we step up and play some good defense on them.”
Tip-off is set for Friday at 6 p.m.
YATES CENTER (29-21-17-11—78) (2pt/3pt-FT-F-TP) A. King 6/0-5-1-17, Smith 4/3-0-2-17, J. King 5/0-0-1-10, Forsyth 1/0-5-1-7, Splechter 2/1-0-3-7, Jones 2/0-0-4-5, Gaulding 1/0-2-0-4, Sievers 1/0-2-0-4, Bedell 0/1-0-0-3, Graham 1/0-0-0-2, Solander 1/0-0-1-2, Reynolds 0/0-0-2-0. TOTALS: 24/5-14-17-78.
PLEASANTON (4-20-6-9—39) (2pt-3pt-FT-F-TP) Hockman 6/0-0-0-12, McKee 2/0-5-3-9, McKee 3/0-1-3-7, Brandt 2/0-1-1-5, Ralle 1/0-1-1-3, Ballinger 1/0-0-1-2, Cunningham 0/0-1-2-1, E. Brandt 0/0-0-3-0, Duncum 0/0-0-1-0. TOTALS: 15/0-9-14-39.
PHOTO: Yates Center junior Aaron King goes through a Pleasanton defender for a layup in the Wildcats 78-39 home Sub-State win on Tuesday. King co-led his team with 17 points. REGISTER/TIMOTHY EVERSON