Jays suffer first loss of season

Just short of a week after defeating the Marysville Bulldogs in football for the state championship, the 1-0 Bluejay boys’ basketball team traveled to Marysville on Friday, Dec. 1, to take on the defending 3A State Champions on the hardwoods. The Bulldogs moved to Class 4A DII this season and received the nod for a third place pre-season ranking as they return many of their starters from a season ago.

“I knew this would be a good measuring stick for us,” said Head Coach Scott Burger.

The Jays measured up and the game was tied at the half, but they struggled in the second half and fell on the road, 59-47.

Sabetha took the advantage in the first period on a balanced scoring attack with five players scoring, led by Jesse Burger with 5 points and Brett Stallbaumer with a triple. The Jays battled on the boards, which helped contain Marysville’s high-powered offense. Sabetha led 14-12 at the end of one.

The Bulldogs outscored their guests in the second quarter 10-8, but the Jays got some good work from post player Kyle Grimm, who muscled his way around the lane. Grimm had 4 points in the second frame on his way to a double-double for the night. The game was knotted at 22 at the intermission.

“I was really happy with our effort and execution,” Coach Burger said. “We out-rebounded them, which kept the game close for most of the night, but during the third quarter they got about four stick-backs that opened it up.”

The Bulldogs outscored the Jays 20-13 in the third quarter.

“We were able to contain their offensive power [in the first half], but Gabe Pieschl showed us why he is one of the best players in the state,” Burger said.

Pieschl put up 15 points in the second half — 7 of those in the third quarter. Sabetha trailed 42-35 headed into the final stanza.

Although the Bluejays continued to bang the boards and tally points in the fourth, they were outscored 17-12 in the final eight minutes to suffer their first loss of the season, 59-47.

“Our kids battled all night and stayed in the game for the entire 32 minutes,” Coach Burger said.

Sabetha falls to 1-1 on the season with the loss. Grimm finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Stallbaumer had 8 points; and J. Burger finished with 7 points, seven rebounds and two assists.

On Tuesday, Dec. 5, Sabetha traveled to Perry-Lecompton, who won their opener over Holton. These results were not available at The Herald’s press time.

The Bluejays will host ACCHS on Friday, Dec. 8, who lost to Atchison in their first contest.

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