Chaparral showed its ability to shoot from long range in its 91-64 win over Douglas County on Feb. 29 in a second-round Class 5A boys state playoff basketball victory.
The Wolverines fired away over the Huskies’ zone defense from 3-point range and were successful, making 14 shots, to win their ninth straight game to advance into the Sweet 16 on March 4 with an 18-6 record.
Senior Konnor Ruth came off the bench, tied a school record with seven 3-pointers and finished with 23 points. Kobe Sanders, a senior who was the leading scorer in the Continental League, had a pair of baskets from beyond the arc and added 17 points, along with sophomore Joel Speckman ii, who scored Chaparral’s first seven points and also had two 3-pointers.
Chaparral shot 56 percent from the field in the game.
“Normally, we aren’t a shooting team,” said Ruth, who made five 3-point shots in the second quarter. “We move the ball, get it to the post to our big guys, so that is that the typical play style for us. Against Douglas County, it was just based off the zone they were playing. The corners were always wide open and that was why they put me in. I’m our instant offense off the bench. When we need a shooter or some scoring, I’m the guy.”
Chaparral coach Nat Rohnert urged his team to shoot.
“They decided to key in on a couple guys and left our other guys open,” said Rohnert. “Our team is more than just a couple players. We’re deep on our bench. Guys came in ready to play. I told them if they were open to shoot the ball.”
Chaparral, seeded seventh in the state playoff bracket, was set to face Smoky Hill in the Sweet 16.
“We’re playing good defense and no one really believes in us and gives us any chance, and that gives us more energy,” said Sanders.
Douglas County dropped a 70-61 game to Chaparral during the Continental League season but couldn’t keep the second game close.
Sophomore Jaeton Hackley scored 20 points and senior Tim Broom had 18 to pace the Huskies, who saw their season end with a 15-10 record.
“Credit Chaparral,” said Douglas County coach Clay Comstock. “They are a very good team and very well coached. They deserve all the credit in the world. It didn’t have anything to do with us. It was their game.
“I’m very proud of this team. We reached new heights this year. We took a lot of steps forward. It was a big step backwards against Chaparral, but it doesn’t define our season. Our group of seniors really pushed the underclassmen to do better next year.”
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