The boys ended the season ranked #4 in 2A. Saturday night (Feb 18th) they faced a Watonga Eagle team that they beat earlier in the season that also happens to be without their best player. The boys come into this game on a 19-3 record and an 8-game win streak. Seth Simunek went 0-2 from the line to start, but a rebound-assist combination by Hunter Weber to James Sims kicked off tonight’s scoring for the Eagles. Watonga responded though, to tie it up, but James Sims sent the message right back.
The Eagles were having a slow start, but following a steal and fast break layup by Seth Simunek things started to get rolling a bit as Layton Choate scored back-to-back layups seconds later. A pair of free throws for Sims ended the 1st for the eagles 12-4. The Eagles finally got a three to fall, following their poor effort from beyond the arc in the first 12 minutes of play, when Hunter Weber hit one from the corner. A few minutes later and Layton Choate walked down the court and hit a 3 from the deep wing to give him a team-leading 9 with 1:52 to go in the 2nd. Hunter Weber then took the team lead in points, with 1 layup, unfortunately, he missed his free throw.
The first half ended 34-19. Seth Simunek kicked off the 2nd half for the eagles with a layup. The final first 4 minutes of the 3rd quarter was a back-and-forth slugest between Watonga and Hennessey. Though down by 21, the Watonga Eagles refused to give up. The younger guys came in late in the 3rd quarter. At the end of the 3rd, Garret Vinson hit a buzzer-beater 3, and the Eagles led by 28.
The 4th quarter was a time for the less experienced players that will be mainstays in the rotation next year, to get some playing time in a big game. The game turned out to be a lot of mop-up duty. Ethan Munroe though hit a pair of threes and a layup with 3:40 to go in the 4th before being subbed out. After a very long possession for the Eagles, Gunner Carthel hit a 3 to put the Eagles up 66-33 with 2 minutes to go. Carthel then hit a pull-up jumper the following possession. Layton and Hunter combined for 24 points. The final score was Hennessey Eagles 72 – Watonga Eagles 33.
Story by Taylor Ladwig, Photos by Jack Quirk