Lionel Tipton Especially for Butler County Times Gazette USA TODAY NETWORK
Circle Boys 79, Winfield 41
TOWANDA – A lot – pretty much everything – went well for the Circle guys on Tuesday night.
The Thunderbirds hit 13 three-pointers, ran to a 23-6 lead after a quarter and easily crossed a winless Winfield team, 79-41.
“We just played really well,” said T-Birds coach Bo Horyna. “We just didn’t give them a chance to get started.
“We shot the ball really well (Tuesday night). It’s like I said to the boys: when you see the ball go in, the confidence grows for everyone.”
Circle’s usual suspects were the leaders of the three-point jump-off: seniors Luke McGinnis and DJ Middleton (four each) and junior Trevor Cowman (two). But three reserves also hit a three-pointer — senior Daniel Webb, sophomore Conner Chadwell and freshman Keaton Koenigsman.
The abundance of threes surprised McGinnis.
“Actually?” he said. “Wow! I didn’t know it was that much. I knew we had nice shots, but I didn’t know it was that much.”
Getting the contributions from his reserves also did Horyna good.
“I thought they came in and did a good job for us,” he said. “As I told them, I said, ‘You work hard every day in practice to make us better; this is your chance to get out there and show what you can do.’
“And I thought they did a good job there in the fourth quarter.”
McGinnis’ three-pointers helped him to a game high of 21 points. Cowman and Middleton each had 12, and junior Ty Smith did his damage within the arc, finishing 11.
“If you have a flashy shooter like DJ, you get it from him every night. I don’t think he missed a ‘three,’ said McGinnis.
The game quickly spiraled out of control as Circle (5-3) took a 46-19 lead at halftime and extended it to 72-32 after 45 minutes in a game that went to a running clock for damage. to limit. Winfield (0-8) was also understaffed, seating only nine players.
“We’ve come out pretty well in the last few games,” Horyna said. “I think our focus has been better; that’s something we talked about. We need to be focused and ready to go from the start. We can’t come out and let the other team take the lead and then try to overtake.”
Despite all the excitement and elation the T-Birds felt, a harsh, cold reality was just around the corner.
Circle travels to the eighth McPherson (5-3) on Friday evening. The Bullpups sent Augusta, 71-56, home Tuesday night.
“Our guys know Friday will be a struggle,” Horyna said. “It will be a fight on every possession – attack, defense, the whole nine yards.
“It will definitely be a good test halfway through the season to see where we are. I look forward.”
Both have lost to third-ranked (Class 4A) Buhler this season. But McPherson’s only other losses were to Dodge City (No. 5 in 6A) and Andover (No. 1 in 5A).
“We just have to see where we are as a team and then we can move on from there,” Horyna said. “Then next week we have our midseason tournament (in Chaparral), so hopefully that will be a springboard for the next (games).”
In the Chaparral tournament, the field includes Arkansas City, which defeated the T-Birds in December, as well as Clearwater, Conway Springs, Mulvane, Wellington, Belle Plaine and hosts Chaparral.
Following McPherson at the blazing pace of games in a tournament is something McGinnis knows can be challenging, but he said he thinks the T-Birds are ready.
“It’s a lot of games in a short time, but I think it’s going to be okay,” he said. But for now it was time to enjoy and enjoy Tuesday’s triumph.
“Everyone contributed,” McGinnis said. “I hated coming out early, but you have to give the young guys time.
“In the locker room we told ourselves we wanted to start strong and finish early. Finish the game as early as we could and don’t just wait and keep (Winfield) in the game and give them hope.”
McGinnis said the team can take advantage of Tuesday’s win.
“This gives us momentum, it gives us confidence to go into (Friday)’s game,” he said. “We’re going to use (Tuesday’s win) the rest of this week.”
Circle Boys 79, Winfield 41
Winfield – Moore 9, Yingling 9, McCauley 8, Acosta 7, Stanley 6, Thiel 2.
Circle – McGinnis 21, Cowman 12, Middleton 12, Smith 11, Koenigsman 9, Chadwell 8, Webb 5, Galloway 1.
Circle Girls 40, Winfield 34
TOWANDA – Circle sophomore Kya Thornton provided the best illustration of why free throw practice is important.
Thornton hit eight of 11 from the foul line – including six of eight in the fourth quarter – and the Thunderbirds took a 40-34 win on Tuesday night visiting Winfield – Circle’s fifth win in a row.
Thornton led Circle in scoring for the third game in a row, and her free throws were part of a final 17-point period that enabled the T-Birds to get away after Winfield drew within 24-20 after three quarters. .
“Kya played really well for us (Tuesday night),” said Circle coach Brian Henry. “She got into the clutch with the free throws towards the end.”
Fellow sophomore Mia Fox and senior Adie White (eight points each) accounted for all but 11 of Circle’s total points.
Thornton said she works on her free throws every day, including some extra time once practice is over.
“After training, I stay and shoot only free throws, I shoot threes, work on my game,” she said.
Thornton is in her second year at varsity and will be part of Circle’s highly successful girls soccer team in the spring.
“It’s hard to control everyone when it’s an exciting game (and) the nerves are on,” she said. “I’m just doing my best to calm everyone down, keep the level and not get too aggressive.”
Circle (6-2) jumped out to an early 11-5 lead after a quarter, supported by three-pointers from White, Thornton and junior Katie Coble. But Circle sales in the second and third quarters allowed the Vikings (4-4) to stay close. In the third period, Winfield defeated Circle 9-4 and tightened the game considerably.
But with Circle in the bonus and the Vikings having to make a mistake to have a chance to catch up, T-Bird freshman Emma Johnson hit two after missing her first two tries; Coble and senior Erin Johnson each hit one of the two.
Winfield caused some matchup trouble inside with 6-foot-2 sophomore Aleah Moree and 6-1 senior Nevaeh Green. But Moree was held to 10 points and Green failed to score.
“We knew Moree was a great athlete,” Henry said. “We had to focus well as a team to keep her under control. We did a good job as a team, I think, making her work for everything.”
Revenues — especially Q2 and Q3 sales — are a concern, Henry said.
“We just have to get better at handling basketball and a little bit better at handling pressure,” he said. “We’ve given them some opportunities that we really shouldn’t have by not taking care of the basketball.
“But overall, our girls played with a lot of heart and determination.”
As satisfying as this win was, the T-Birds have only a few days to enjoy it and make the necessary adjustments before traveling to the perennially tough McPherson (5-2), who is surprisingly unranked. The Bullpups’ only losses were to Andover and Dodge City, and they come from a 47-21 win over Augusta.
“McPherson is always a talented team,” said Henry. “They are a little bit down for a McPherson team, but they are still strong in (Class) 4A.”
Thornton said, ‘We will certainly have to work, see what they do and do our best. Just play our game.”
And in a few weeks, the T-Birds will be competing in the Lady Cat Classic at El Dorado High.
“We definitely need to prepare for the tournament,” said Thornton, noting that the nature of the tournament often requires fast turnaround times.
“Just play our game.”
Circle Girls 40, Winfield 34
Winfield – Moree 10, Curtis 8, Sparks 5, Shelton 3, McIntyre 3, Witcher 3, Malbec 2.
Circle – Thornton 13, Fox 8, White 8, Erin Johnson 5, Coble 4, Emma Johnson 2.