Hayti downs Purdy 63-46 in Class 2 boys basketball semifinal
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Doing things to create extra scoring opportunities has been a key to success for the Hayti varsity boys basketball team since Day 1.
“Coach always tells us in practice you have to work hard,” Hayti senior Kobe Cooper said. “We especially have to focus on defense and rebounding. And we did that tonight.”
Transition baskets and second-chance points fueled Hayti’s offense from the get-go at the Class 2 Final Four at JQH Arena in Springfield Thursday night.
Hayti tallied 20 points on second-chance opportunities and 10 more on transition baskets as it beat Purdy 63-46 in a Class 2 state semifinal.
“Rebounding has been a point of emphasis coming into the Final Four,” Hayti coach Aaron Bidewell said. “You are not going to meet a bad team up here. Purdy is a high-quality well-coached team and you could tell that by the way they came out and competed in the third quarter. A lot of tribute should go to their coach and their kids for doing that, but our kids were very excited about competing and know how important rebounding is if you want to be able to have success at this level. Credit our kids for that.”
Hayti, which led wire to wire, did most of its damage before halftime. The Indians spurted out to a 22-11 lead by the end of the first quarter. Hayti increased its lead to 28-15 by the 3:51 mark of the second period before scoring the final 10 points of the first half to build a 38-15 lead by halftime.
“We just had to close out, move our feet and play defense,” Cooper said.
Purdy outscored Hayti by one point in the third quarter and five points in the fourth period but never cut the deficit closer than 15 points at any time in the second half.
The Indians outrebounded the Eagles 50-28.
“We knew we had to crash the glass to get a win,” Hayti senior Darius Jones, who finished with a team-high 15 rebounds, said. “Coach puts emphasis every day in practice about blocking out or going home and we [blocked out] tonight.”
Hayti shot 38 percent (26 of 69) from the field. Four Indians scored in double figures.
Jones and junior guard Nakwon Harris paced Hayti with 13 points each. Junior guard Chrivantae Moore added 11 points and junior guard Jerrod Covington contributed 10 points. Junior forward Ivory Winters also tallied eight points and brought down seven rebounds for Hayti.
Purdy shot 36 percent (16 of 44) from the field.
Senior guard Colt Keeling paced the Eagles with 17 points. Senior forward Jose Sanchez also finished in double digits with 10 points.
“We really positioned ourselves well on defense in the first half,” Bidewell said. “A lot of that credit goes to our assistant coaches - Bart Chance and KC Gilmer. They do a wonderful job giving us scouting reports on the offenses teams run. We knew they would come off that double screen with their all-state kid and knew we had to be in help position for him.”
Purdy, which is making its first trip to the Final Four in boys basketball in school history, drops to (24-7) with the loss. Purdy is slated to take on Mid-Buchanan (26-5) in the Class 2 third-place game Friday at 12:50 p.m. at Hammons Student Center in Springfield.
“I am very proud of my guys,” Purdy coach Jeremy Dresslaer said. “When we are up here in the Final Four there are no negatives to be had. There are a lot of teams that want to be here. There is going to be one state champion and three Final Four teams. Unfortunately, I felt like the big gym and big atmosphere kind of got to us a little bit the first half. But I’m not even worried about the first half because what I saw was a team that was down 23 at half that ended up losing the game by 17.
"We got back by doing the things we were good at. We held them to under 10 offensive rebounds and shot 16 free throws after halftime,” Dresslaer continued. “We thought if we could control the boards and get to the free throw line we had a really good chance. Unfortunately, we didn’t execute enough the first half, but the second half I was very proud of my boys.”
Van-Far beat No. 2 ranked Mid-Buchanan 58-55 in the other Class 2 boys state semifinal Thursday.
Van Far (28-3) has won 17 straight games. Hayti (24-5) has won 10 straight.
“Our senior leadership has been fantastic all year long,” Bidewell said. “The coaching staff and administration have also been very supportive. We wouldn’t probably be here without that support. But most of the credit goes to the kids because they’ve put in the hard work.
“We have high-character kids,” Bidewell added. “A few minutes ago we were very upset as a coaching staff and were able to go in the locker room and kind of let them know we were upset and they took it well. They are going into the state title game, but here they are listening to three coaches get onto them about the way they played in the third quarter. How they took that is a tribute to their character and also probably a reason they will be successful in their life because they can take someone getting onto them and use it for positive things.”
Hayti will square off against Van-Far in the Class 2 state championship Friday at 4:30 p.m. at JQH Arena in Springfield.
“It has been a blessed year, especially with my coaches and teammates. I love all of them,” Jones said. “I just feel like it’s our time this season and we’ve just got to prove it [Friday]. We’ve got to step it up.”
Hayti 63, Purdy 46
HHS 22 16 14 11 - 63
PHS 11 4 15 16 - 46
HAYTI (63) - Ivory Winters 8, Jaishaud Moore 2, Kobe Cooper 2, Darius Jones 13, Jerrod Covington 10, Demorri Reed 4, Nakwon Harris 13, Chrivantae Moore 11. FG 26, FT 8/16, F 17. (3-pointers: C. Moore 1, Harris 1, D. Jones 1; Fouled out: None).
PURDY (46) - Jose Sanchez 10, Hunter Cook 7, Tyler Keeler 5, Osiel Aldava 4, Colt Keeling 17. FG 16, FT 13/20, F 15. (3-pointers: Keeler 1; Fouled out: None).