Hershey took control right away on Monday against Maxwell and the Panthers never let up to win 58-29 in the first round of the South Platte Valley Association tournament at North Platte Community College."I thought our kids played very well," Hershey coach Dustin Jorgenson said. "We distributed the ball well and we did a lot of nice things. It was a very good team effort and we were well-balanced."
The Panthers (6-8) scored the first five points with a three-pointer by Landan Maassen and a basket by Josh Connell.
Then after Brandon Fletcher scored the first two points for Maxwell (1-12), Hershey scored the next eight points with the final six coming on a three by Colton Marshall and a three-point play by Connell.
"Our kids came out with a sense of urgency," said Jorgenson. "We played smart and we played good defense."
It was 20-5 at the end of the first quarter, which wasn't where Maxwell coach Travis Klein wanted his team to be because his team hasn't been able to generate enough offense to make runs from behind this season.
"It's hard for us to come back when we don't score the ball well," Klein said. "Hershey came out and they hit a lot of good shots. They just kicked our butts on the boards tonight."
After that, it was tough sledding for the Wildcats. They found themselves down 35-12 at halftime. The one positive from the game for Maxwell, however, came in the third quarter, when it outscored Hershey 12-10 in the period. But it didn't last in the fourth.
"I thought our effort was better in the third quarter," said Klein. "We rebounded better but in the fourth quarter, they went back to killing us on the glass."
Hershey will play Imperial in the semifinals on Thursday and Maxwell will play winless Sutherland for fifth place on Saturday.
Maxwell 5 7 12 5 - 29
Hershey 20 15 10 13 - 58
Maxwell (29)-Brandon Fletcher 9, Marcus Miller 6, Jeremiah Keith 1, Kevin Hancock 4, Zac Miller 8, Brandon Groseth 1
Hershey (58)-Tyson Osborne 4, Colton Marshall 9, Josh Connell 9, Landan Maassen 7, Josh Margritz 11, Kalon Czarnick 6, Ariel Quiroga 2, Ryan Cox 2
Free Throws: M 10-19, H 5-10; Three Point Goals: M 1 (M. Miller), H 5 (Marshall 2, Maassen, Margritz)