By JAYCEE DALE
The Hays High School boys’ basketball team won a thriller Friday night against WAC foe Garden City, 59-50 in overtime.
Hays High bolted out to a 10 point lead to start the game, only to see the Buffaloes answer back. After the hot start, the Indians led 17-11 after the first quarter.
Garden City kept it close but never took the lead in the second quarter, allowing HHS to take a 28-20 lead into halftime.
The Buffaloes responded in the third quarter, hitting two 3-pointers to get within two points early in the third quarter. The Buffaloes took their first lead and increased it to five points with 1:45 to play in the quarter.
Hays High struggled the third quarter, eventually trailing 35-32 entering the final period.
The team battled back-and-forth the first few minutes of the final quarter before HHS’s Jason Krannawitter and Carson Kieffer combined to hit two 3-pointers. That allowed Hays High to regain the momentum.
But the Indians’ 40-39 advantage didn’t last long, with Garden City surging back ahead by four points with 3:35 remaining.
With just less than a minute remaining, Garden City led by three points.
With only seconds remaining, the HHS defense came up big, forcing a turnover with 6.6 seconds to play.
Krannawitter hit a last-second 3-pointer to tie the game at 49-all, sending it to overtime.
Hays High controlled the extra period, pushing its lead to three with 40 seconds to play in overtime.
T.J. Nunnery hit two free throws to push the margin to five points with 35 seconds to go, then he added two more free throws seconds later to push the margin to seven.
That helped propel Hays High to the nine-point victory.
The victory provided the Indians to be declared co-WAC champs with rival Great Bend.
Nunnery led HHS with 16 points. Krannawitter and Dalyn Schwarz both chipped in 11.