By William / www.mcpherson-county-ks.com
HALSTEAD – It was a good thing to happen before the holiday break as the Smoky Valley boys basketball team finally broke into the win column for their 2021-22 season on Friday with a dominating 39-point, 68-29 win on the road at Halstead.
The Vikings jumped out early and scored a nine-point, 14-5 first quarter advantage before putting 20 points on the board in the second quarter and reaching the halftime break with a lead of 23 points at 34-11.
While they did let Halstead put 14 points in the scorebook coming out of the break in the third quarter, Smoky Valley put another 27 in their own scorebook to hold a commanding 61-25 lead entering the final eight minutes of play where they cruised in for the final 39-point victory.
Shooting a blistering 57% from the field in the game, the Vikings defense held Halstead to connecting on just 28% of their shots while dominating in the paint with 33 rebounds compared to just 16 for Halstead. The Vikings also made 12 steals on defense as they forced Halstead into 18 turnovers while only giving up the ball eight times themselves.
Smoky Valley outscored the home team 26-6 inside the paint and 20-4 from those coming into the game from the bench.
Haven Lysell-Stewart had a monster night for the Vikings as he made 10-of-13 shots he took and had the game high of 21 points while also leading Smoky Valley in rebounds with six and passing out three assists.
Karson Pihl also had a solid game for Smoky Valley by scoring 12, grabbing five rebounds, making a pair of steals, and dishing out a team high five assists. Vincent Pickering also reached double digits with 10, and both Kade Blanchat and Gus Griffith helped on the boards with five rebounds.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR VIKINGS?
With the win being the teams first for the season, the Vikings will take a 1-4 mark into the holiday break before returning to the competitive hardwood on Tuesday, January 4 when they host Hoisington.
SMOKY VALLEY VIKINGS at Halstead
SCORING: 1 2 3 4 FINAL
VIKINGS 14 20 27 7 68
Halstead 5 6 14 4 29
TEAM STATS: VIKINGS Halstead
Shooting 29/49 (59%) 11/39 (28%)
3-Pointers 3/14 (21%) 5/16 (31%)
Free Throws 7/14 (50%) 2/6 (33%)
Rebounds (Off/Def) 33 (10/33) 16 (3/16)
Assists 13 5
Turnovers 8 18
Steals 12 3
Blocked Shots 4 0
Personal Fouls 7 12
SMOKY VALLEY VIKINGS INDIVIDUAL SCORING & STAT LEADERS:
Scoring (68 Total Points): Haven Lysell-Stewart – 21; Karson Pihl – 12; Vincent Pickering – 10; Kade Blanchat – 6; Gus Griffith – 6; Trayton Miller – 5; Lukas Apel – 4; Braxton House – 4.
Three-Pointers Made (3): Karson Pihl, Trayton Miller, Vincent Pickering – 1.
Rebound Leaders: Haven Lysell-Stewart – 6; Karson Pihl, Kade Blanchat, Gus Griffith – 5; Trayton Miller – 4.
Assist Leader: Karson Pihl – 5; Haven Lysell-Stewart – 3.
Leader in Steals: Karson Pihl, Kade Blanchat, Vincent Pickering, Gus Griffith – 2.
Leader in Blocked Shots: Gus Griffith – 3; Haven Lysell-Stewart – 1.