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Central dictated the tempo in the first quarter. The Bulldogs' Landon Shelton provided a spark off the bench in his first action of the season and the Chiefs had three starters with two fouls apiece. Even so, Kickapoo was able to establish a 5-point lead by the end of the first quarter.
The Chiefs were able to turn lemons into lemonade with some strong contributions off the bench. Kickapoo Coach Dick Rippee had to rely on several reserve players to take up the slack.
“Luke Thomas came in and was solid. I thought [Ryan] Burland was solid. And John Fuchs played good minutes,” said Rippee.
Kickapoo built an 11-point lead at the half. The third quarter was pivotal for the Chiefs.
Kickapoo sophomore Jack Simpson outscored the entire Central team, scoring 10 points in the frame, including two 3-pointers.
“Jack’s intensity is contagious…He was a bright spot for us,” according to Rippee. Simpson finished with 23 points.
Although Central played with a lot of energy in just its second home game of the season, it didn’t translate into points on the scoreboard. Central coach Armando Johnson believed that if his team had done “the little things” that his team would have been in a better position.
“It started out with missed free throws and not boxing out. I told the kids I that I can’t be mad at them," said Johnson. "I thought defensively we got after them about as good as we could have. The kids had a lot of nervous energy."
Kickapoo improved their record to 6-3 and enter conference action this Friday in West Plains. Central falls to 3-9 and will face Willard Friday at home.
Kickapoo – 56 Central - 41
1 2 3 F
Kickapoo 16 13 15 12
Central 11 7 8 15
Kickapoo: Burland, 8; Bussell, 5; Dean, 6; Ridder, 4; Simpson, 23; Ward, 10.
Central: Bedell, 7; Gibbs, 6; Hardin, 6; Hodges, 4; Holyfield, 2; Johnson, 3; T Neal, 10; Robinson, 1; Shelton, 2