Kit Carson is coming off a very successful preseason where head coach Damon Dechant led his Wildcats to a 4-1 start and a Lamar Holiday Basketball Tournament runner-up finish. They now enter 2018 where the full schedule will get underway. Coach Dechant was happy that hoops action was back in the limelight and pleased to get two quality wins out of the chute including a 64-26 win over Bethune on Friday night and a win over Arickaree-Woodlin, 57-44. “Anytime we can get two wins in a weekend we will take it. It is good to get those first games back from break out of the way so the team can get back into a routine.”
At Bethune on Friday night, the Cats enjoyed 12 players, of the 13 on the roster, getting in the scorebook. Dechant used his entire team throughout the game as Bethune struggled to score against an excellent Wildcat defense. It took the Cats a little while to get some momentum, only scoring 12 points in the first quarter, including a long ball by Jayden McCombs-Farmer and another by Cordell Farmer, but when they did the Cats blew Bethune out of their own gym. By the second quarter, four long balls and a barrage of short artillery fire was falling from the rafters as they poured in 30 points. By halftime it was 42-10 and for all intents and purposes the game was decided. The Cats would have 9 three-balls on the night.
McCombs-Farmer led all players with 15 points on the night, while Cordell Farmer added 10 more. Hunter Clapper had a nice first half scoring 9 points.
Dechant commented on the close Arickaree-Woodlin contest the next night played in Kit Carson, “Arickaree/Woodlin was a good challenge for us. They are an athletic team that plays at a frantic pace.”
The Cats gained a slight edge, just barely, in both the first and second quarters outscoring the AW group 25-20. In this game, it would be a triangle for the Cats that kept them in the game offensively. William Hornung, the big man for Kit Carson, had a very nice inside-outside game, mostly holding down the paint, while guards McCombs-Farmer and Clapper took the point guard and shooter roles respectively. Clapper was red hot going into the third period hitting for three long balls. In fact, it would be the 25 points produced by the Cats in the third period that was the difference in the game. Luckily, both teams showed some early-season fatigue as the scoring dropped substantially from both sides and KC outscored their opponent by two, 7-5. Only KC’s shifty point guard, McCombs-Farmer, showed he still had gas in the tank scoring all seven points for the Cats.
The triangle of Hornung, McCombs-Farmer, and Clapper did the bulk of scoring for the Kit Carson group. McCombs-Farmer led his team with 17 points, while Clapper added 15 points, including three long balls, and Hornung chipped in 13 more. Hornung had an impressive 5-for-6 from the charity line in the Arickaree-Woodlin game.
As usual, the defense was key in Kit Carson’s two victories. Another key aspect of the weekend was the fact that Dechant was able to play a number of players in both contests. “Both games were important for us to build depth, as those reps will become valuable as we get later into the season.”
They will need to continue to improve as the Cats will be on the road all weekend traveling to a conference game on Friday at Granada (4:00 pm) and then going north to take on Flagler/Hi-Plains on Saturday night.