Jays take a thrilling win at Perry

On Friday, Jan. 13, the Bluejays took their undefeated mark on the road to battle the 6-2 Perry-Lecompton Kaws. It was a tale of two halves that made for a thrilling conclusion down the stretch, with Sabetha picking up the win, 62-59.

“It was a great game,” said Head Coach Scott Burger. “There were lots of runs by both teams. It was a sub state atmosphere. Very exciting and it was a good game for our players.”

Senior guard Matthew Garber had his shot dialed in for the contest hitting the first two treys of the night, he would finish with five, in the first quarter and led his team with 8 points. Fellow seniors Preston Michael had a threeball in the period, and Davis Rokey had 3 points and the Bluejays would jump out in front of the Kaws 16-11.

Garber continued to score inside and, from the perimeter in the second quarter, added 7 points to his personal tally while Michael, Rokey and Christian McAfee attacked the lane and combined for 6 points. The Jays would increase their lead by 9 points at the intermission to lead 29-20.

The first half belonged to the Bluejays, but the second half was a thrill-filled roller coaster ride, with Perry chipping away at Sabetha’s lead. Since garnering so much attention in the first two frames, Garber had a defender in his hip pocket and was shutout in the third quarter. Perry’s leading scorer, Kamryn Kaniper, had 10 points in the first half and put up 10 points in the third quarter alone to put his team on his back in the game.

McAfee had a pair of buckets and two free throws for 6 points, Michael drained another trey and had 5, and Davis Rokey had 4 points in the third period. The Kaws outscored their guests, 22-18, in the third and the Jays held onto a skinny lead, 47-42, headed into the home stretch.

Garber erupted for 14 points in the final eight minutes, but Perry answered with scores of their own to pull within 2 points, 59-57, with 35 seconds to play. Garber went to the line for a one-and-one opportunity and swished both to give the Jays a little breathing room. The Kaws answered at the other end, but sent junior Marcus Bauman to the line for a one plus the bonus. Bauman made the first of his two shots to give Sabetha a 3-point advantage.

Garber went to the stripe once again for a one-and-one with six seconds to play, but missed the first shot, giving Perry a last ditch effort to tie the game with a three pointer. The clock ticked away, an errant shot missed its mark and the Bluejays came away with the victory, 62-59.

“Perry threw a lot of different defenses at us,” Coach Burger said. “I thought we adjusted very well and made plays down the stretch. We are excited to go through the first round of league action undefeated. We look forward to the Burlington tournament this week.

The Bluejays sit atop of the Big Seven with a 7-0 record, 9-0 overall, and will enter the Burlington Invitational Tournament with the No. 1 seed. Sabetha faced the 0-8 Paola Panthers on Tuesday, Jan. 17, in opening round action. The results of this game were not available at The Herald’s press time.

Pete Schuetz240 Posts

Pete Schuetz is a reporter for The Sabetha Herald, where he has been on staff since 2022. Pete is a retired teacher from the USD 113 Prairie Hills School district. He lives in Sabetha with his wife and one of his two sons.


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