DIAMOND — The Baxter Springs Lions never trailed Thursday night and utilized a couple of big scoring runs to earn a 59-36 win over the Diamond Wildcats.
The guests from Kansas went on a 10-0 run in the second quarter for a 25-12 score and eventual 30-19 halftime lead, then put together a 17-3 clincher over the third and fourth quarters to build a commanding 59-34 lead with 2 minutes, 41 seconds remaining in the contest.
Diamond’s Ben Moreland scored a basket for a 15-12 score and that’s when Baxter Springs rattled off 10 straight points on a basket from Max Sheffer, back-to-back Trey White baskets, a Preston Landis basket, and a Billy Buck basket. During that stretch, Diamond blanked on four throws, but otherwise it was what felt like a multitude of turnovers. Either way, Diamond had too many empty possessions until Hunter Renfro broke the 10-0 run with a basket.
Christian Maturino’s second trifecta of the night gave the Wildcats a chance to go into halftime down only single-digits, but Blake Thiessen’s 3-point shot made it a 30-19 halftime lead for the Lions.
In the third quarter, Diamond cut its deficit to six multiple times, before the Lions stretched the lead back into double-digits on a series of points from White.
After a Moreland basket made it 42-31, Diamond again lost the chance to get the game into single-digits at the end of a quarter, since a Buck basket and then a Thiessen dagger three at the buzzer gave the Lions a 47-31 lead headed into the final 8 minutes.
Two Colton Long free throws and one Noah Hubbard free throw were Diamond’s lone points of the fourth until Renfro hit two free throws with 1:52 on the clock.
Both teams emptied their benches for the last couple minutes.
White scored a game-high 23 points for the Lions and Thiessen added 10, including his clutch 3-point shots at the end of the second and third quarters.
Renfro led Diamond with 13 points and Long finished with nine. Long scored all five of Diamond’s points in the first quarter.
Diamond only managed a combined 10 points in the first and fourth quarters, both not starting and not finishing strong Thursday night.
Diamond enters Spring River Valley Conference play Tuesday against College Heights with a 2-7 overall record. The Wildcats close out their 2017 portion of the schedule Thursday on the road against McDonald County.
BAXTER SPRINGS 59, DIAMOND 36
Baxter Springs 11 19 17 12 — 59
Diamond 5 14 12 5 — 36
BAXTER SPRINGS (2-1) — Trey White 23, Stephan Namelo 2, Brant Trease 6, Blake Thiessen 10, Preston Landis 4, Billy Buck 6, Tucker Graves 4, Max Sheffer 4.
DIAMOND (2-7) — Hunter Renfro 13, Noah Hubbard 1, Colton Long 9, Ben Moreland 7, Colton Maturino 6.
3-point goals — Baxter Springs 4 (Thiessen, White 2), Diamond 2 (Maturino 2).