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Sylvan-Lucas Falls in Sub-State Final

Sylvan-Lucas High SchoolBoys: St. Francis 48, Sylvan-Lucas 40

WAKEENEY-The Sylvan-Lucas Mustangs Boys Basketball team got off to a blazing start Saturday night, knocking down five three-pointers in the game's first nine minutes to build an 18-point lead but St. Francis came alive in the second quarter and rallied from that deficit on their away to a 48-40 victory over Sylvan-Lucas in the Class 1A Sub-State Championship game at Trego Community High School.

Jonah Huehl, who has carried the Mustangs throughout the post-season scoring a combined 76 points in their previous three games, lit up the basket in the opening minutes and scored 11 points including three 3-pointers to help the Mustangs sprint out to an 18-3 advantage after the opening eight minutes.  Early in the second period, Jaxon Heenan who has been red hot recently from behind the arc, knocked down another trey to build the Sylvan-Lucas lead to 21-3.

St. Francis started chipping away with an 11-0 run to cut their deficit to 21-14 before Alex Hernandez ended the surge with a field goal.  The Indians then scored four points in the final 20 seconds of the half including a layup off a Mustang turnover leaving the score 23-18 in favor of Sylvan-Lucas at intermission.

St. Francis then used a 6-1 run at the beginning of the third quarter to take their first lead at 25-24 and the lead changed hands several times the rest of the period before it ended with Sylvan-Lucas ahead 34-33.  St. Francis then took the lead for good early in the fourth quarter and was able to seal the victory with key turnovers on defense and clutch free throw shooting down the stretch.

Sylvan-Lucas, which was looking for its first trip to the Class 1A State Tournament since 2016 was plagued by a tough night of free throw shooting as they made just one of eight shots from the charity stripe while St. Francis made 10 of 13 free throws.  

Hernandez led the Mustangs in scoring with 15 points and Huehl added 13 but only had two points after the first quarter as the Indians tightened up their defense around him.  St. Francis (16-7) had three players in double figures led by Jesse Baxter's 14 points.  Brady Dinkel added 12 points and Ben Busse chipped in with 11 as the Indians advanced to their second state tournament in the last four years after not having appeared there since 1995.

Sylvan-Lucas concludes their season with a record of 18-7.  Saturday's game marked the final contest in a Mustang uniform for seniors Beau Batchman, Nathan Stroede, Kilby Meyer and Kyle Frederking.

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