LINDSBORG — It’s hard to beat a good team twice. Especially when it is back-to-back against a league opponent.
But the Smoky Valley High School boys basketball team made it look easy Friday night in Lindsborg, handing Halstead another loss, 59-40. The two teams matched up back before the winter break on Dec. 20, with the Vikings invading Halstead with a six point win.
Halstead is now 0-2 against Smoky Valley, and 5-1 against everyone else.
“I didn’t have any doubt we could play the level of basketball that we are playing,” Smoky Valley head coach Doug Schneider said. “We knew it might take a little while to get our sea legs under us, but once we did that I feel we’ve progressed at exactly the rate we should. We just need to continue to move forward into our next two league games, and into the Sterling Invitational which is always a tough tournament.”
The Vikings were consistently solid on the defensive end, holding Halstead to 10 points in all four quarters. Led by Nick Reinert’s 16 points, the Smoky Valley offense was able to score from inside and out, and received double-digit outings from three Vikings.
“I thought we did a nice job of playing together; we established the inside game early,” Schneider said. “Our defense was the biggest key for us early. We really got after it defensively. We always seemed to come up with a big play, and I think that’s a testament to our team coming together and beginning to play like a family. Everyone of our guys knows he can step up and make a play if he needs to.”
Smoky Valley led nearly the entire night, cruising to an 18-10 first quarter lead and a 33-20 halftime lead. Credit to the Vikings for never letting their feet of the pedal, outscoring Halstead 26-20 in the second half.
Brett Heitschmidt scored 12 points with Jacob Adams adding 10 more. Ross Schrag and Ben Weldy each had 7 points.
With the win, the Vikings are now 5-2 and remain unbeaten in the Central Kansas League. They are currently riding a five game winning streak after starting the season 0-2.
Schneider knows the CKL is as tough as it gets, but also knows his team plays well when they have a chip on their shoulder.
“We know everyone in the league is tough on any given night,” Schneider said. “I always tell my guys I think we play in one of the toughest leagues in the state. Whether it’s a 2A team or a 3A team or a 4A team they will all be very competitive.”
The Vikings turn around and travel to Nickerson on Tuesday.
Contact Gallagher Martin by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GMartinSentinel.