SENECA — In the first three games of the boys side of the Class 3, District 12 tournament on Wednesday night, there was at least one big scoring run that decided the game’s final outcome.
In the opener, top seed Mount Vernon raced past Diamond 68-28 thanks to a 46-11 edge in the first and third quarters, 19-4 in the former and 27-7 in the latter.
In the second game, host and No. 4 seed Seneca used a 13-0 run in the second and then a 14-0 run in the third quarter to get past Sarcoxie 58-40.
In the third game, East Newton saw a 14-12 lead after one quarter disintegrate into a 33-18 halftime deficit as No. 2 Stockton put a 21-4 second quarter up on the Patriots.
East Newton never recovered and took a 52-40 defeat.
In that second quarter, Stockton scored the first nine points, then East Newton answered with its lone four of the stanza and finally Stockton closed out the first half with the final 12 points.
In the first half, Stockton sharpshooter Drew Wheeler showcased that sharpshooting form with five 3-point baskets, including three in that pivotal second quarter.
Wheeler only scored four more points the rest of the way — all on free throws late — but he already had done all the damage necessary in the first half.
Stockton’s 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior Gannon Kenney proved nearly as effective from the outside as Wheeler, hitting a trio of trifectas en route to 13 points.
Fellow seniors Clayton Hubbard and Jacob Greenlee each provided the interior punch with eight points.
East Newton sophomore Connor Killion led the way for the Patriots with 11 points and fellow sophomore Kyson Lahman added eight points (six in the first half), while Bryce Cambers began each half with a 3-point shot en route to his six points for the night and sophomore Tanner Youngblood also stepped out for a pair of trifectas and six points.
East Newton finished its season 9-15 overall and seniors Cambers, Colton Ball, Jake Mathis, and Davis Turner each played their final high school basketball games.
The Patriots should return several key contributors next season.