Sometimes all a team needs is a swift kick in the pants to get going.
After a slow first quarter which saw Central High leading Ryan 17-16, the Bronchos woke up and took control, eventually leading to a 67-34 victory over the Cowboys in the first round of the Stephens County Tournament in Marlow.
“I let the kids have it after that first quarter,” Central coach John Nease said. “We were playing falty on defense and I just told them that’s not how we need to be starting a game. Our guys got the message and woke up in the second quarter and played like were supposed to play.”
Ryan tried to keep up before halftime, but the Bronchos had too much offensive firepower as CHHS went into the break with a 42-23 advantage.
Another solid defensive effort was to follow in the third quarter for the Bronchos (10-7) as they held Ryan to just four points, while Central High put in 16.
Dallin Ferrin led all scorers on the night with 19 points, followed by Zarek Hickman with 12 points. Kevin Harris added nine points with John Repp putting in eight points.
Ryan (1-8) was led by Lucas Ninman with 10 points followed by G.W. Seay with six points.
Central High now advances to play Frederick in the championship semifinals on Thursday night at 9 p.m. while Ryan will meet Empire in the consolation semifinals Friday night at 6:20 p.m.
“Our bump in the road the last time we were in the semifinals of a tournament was nerves,” Nease said. “I’m expecting a very talented Frederick team with a lot of athletic players. We just need to study them and prepare as best as we can.”