SUTTON — The Sutton Mustangs and the High Plains Storm gave the crowd exactly what they paid for … at least in the first half Tuesday night.
Just as the second quarter buzzer went off, Sutton's Cole Wiseman hit a long baseline 3-point shot giving Class C-2 No. 2 Sutton a lead it would never relinquish. The Mustangs pulled away for the 53-35 win in non-conference boys' basketball.
That momentum appeared to carry over to the second half as the Mustangs got every loose ball and the Storm seemed one step behind the rest of the night.
The Storm struggled in the third quarter to make up any ground once the Mustangs started to pull away, hitting only one of their 10 attempted shots.
On defense the Sutton offense shredded the Storm defense with backdoor cuts and open shots created by screens and movement.
A pair of 5-2 runs to open the third quarter was too many for High Plains to overcome.
In the early going it was the 3-point shooting of High Plains' Logan Engel, three in the first quarter, that allowed the Storm boys, rated No. 1 in D-1, to stay close. Engel's shooting opened some driving lanes for the Storm, but in the second half those lanes were closed to traffic by the Sutton defense.
High Plains trailed 18-15 at the end of the first quarter, but cut the lead to 18-17 late in the second and eventually went on top 24-23 with the Mustangs having the final possession of the first half.
High Plains head coach Cameron Hudson had his bench in early as the game was not in doubt midway through the fourth quarter.
After scoring 24 points and matching the Mustangs blow for blow in the first half, the Storm could not generate any offense in the third or fourth quarters, only scoring 11 points.
Leading High Plains' scoring was Engel, all on the three first quarter treys for nine points. Picking up eight points was Cole Klingsporn and with seven was Dylan Shenk.
Sutton was led by Austan Rath with 20. Cole Weisman tossed in 13 and Brody Yost scored 11.
“They came out in the third quarter and we didn't,” said Hudson. “The kids start to fall behind and they start to look for that 10-point shot and you just take yourself out of your game. This is a springboard for us, this tells us what we need to do and what we need to work on. This by no means sidetracks us on any of the goals we have set for ourselves, it will only make us better.”
High Plains was 14-18 at the charity stripe with Sutton at 12-20.
High Plains (1-1) ............... 15 9 6 5—35
Sutton (2-0) ............... 18 8 18 12—53