Hutchinson beats Kapaun on Wells’ last-second shot
Hutchinson senior Braydon Wells wasn’t having the kind of offensive game that he expects Thursday night at Koch Arena.
But with one second remaining, Wells hit a jumper to help Hutchinson complete an impressive comeback 51-50 win over Kapaun.
“I work on that shot a lot in practice, the fake three and then pull up for the jump shot,” Wells said. “Luckily I executed it tonight. I did struggle all night offensively, which is frustrating. I’m just thankful I got to put one down at the end for my team.”
Through the third period, Kapaun (2-4) appeared in control, leading 36-25. And then there was a reversal.
Kapaun, which had made 8 of 11 free throws, suddenly couldn’t make one, hitting 5 of 17 in the final period.
Kapaun coach John Cherne would periodically update his coaching staff with the Crusaders’ free-throw shooting stats. Then he’d shake his head.
“We’re going through growing pains,” Cherne said. “We’re a young group. We have lost three games by seven points.
“You shoot 50 percent, it’s not a ballgame. The two reasons we lost is lack of execution and free throws. It’s an inexperienced group. It’s not the end of the world. We have two months of basketball left.”
On the other side, Hutchinson (2-3) couldn’t miss from the free-throw line, hitting 13 of 18 in the period after only making 7 of 17 through the first three quarters.
The Salthawks went on a 20-4 run over nearly five minutes for a 45-40 lead with 2:07 to go.
“We haven’t finished (many) games this year,” Wells said. “The fourth quarter, we’ve been struggling all year. I’m glad we finally came through and finished the ballgame.”
With 11.2 seconds to go, Kapaun’s Thomas O’Connor hit a three-pointer and was fouled. He made the free throw for a 50-49 lead.
“Your head’s down, time’s ticking off, it’s ticking off,” Cherne said. “The kid steps up and hits the shot. Great for him. He’s a shooter and people are defending him like a shooter.”
The Crusaders had the momentum, but Wells still had time to make the game-winning play.
“Braydon had a bad foul called on him, he came down, forgot about it and hit a big shot,” Hutchinson coach Nathan Henry said.
Wells finished with six points, while teammate Radley Arnold had 13 points, including eight in the final period. Jezel Parra had 11 points.
Kapaun was led by Paul Patton’s nine points, while Nick Auer had eight rebounds.
Kapaun: Cherne 5, O’Connor 6, Auer 6, Monty 7, Patton 9, Hickerson 4, Dempsey 7, Lickteig 6.
Hutchinson: Wells 6, Stoecklein 7, Hilst 4, Parra 11, Arnold 13, Webster 5, Norman 5.