Game #20 for the Kiowa County Varsity Mavericks was a heartbreaker. The Sub-State first round 48-45 loss to the Elkhart Wildcats, a game that was decided in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, sent the Mavs home early but may spark the young team to a better finish next season. 

Game #20 for the Kiowa County Varsity Mavericks was a heartbreaker. The Sub-State first round 48-45 loss to the Elkhart Wildcats, a game that was decided in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, sent the Mavs home early but may spark the young team to a better finish next season.  

“I think overall the season was pretty good,” said Head Coach Nick Perez. “We didn’t quite reach expectations, which were to go to State.”

The start of the season looked bleak for the young team who dropped four of their first six contest, including a 60-25 loss against Hoisington on Dec. 6 at the Keady Classic and missed an opportunity against the Kinsley Coyotes with a 39-35 loss on Dec. 10 at the tournament in Larned.

“We started to go to our bigs more following the Christmas break,” added Perez. “We decided to go to our big guys and see what they could do. We changed our offensive strategy and I think it really helped us out.”

The Mavs rolled following Christmas break with an impressive 5-game winning streak from Jan. 6 to Jan. 24. During the stretch the Mavs outscored opponents 265-167 with decisive wins against four division rivals. 

A blowout loss to Ashland, who finished their undefeated season (26-0) on March 10 with a State Championship win against Udall, started a series of wins and losses, with the Mavericks finally putting together a 3-game win streak (with wins vs. Fairfield, South Gray and Bucklin) going into the Sub-State game against Elkhart.

“The way the season ended was kind of tough for us. We didn’t play our best basketball when we played Elkhart. Anytime you finish out the season not playing your best basketball you are going to be disappointed.”

Kiowa County won three quarters in that game, including the fourth quarter where they outscored Elkhart 8-10, but a 17-point Elkhart second quarter was the difference. Missed free throws and turnovers hurt the Mavs in the fourth quarter.

“None of the guys will tell you that we played well in the fourth quarter. We had chances to win that game. We missed some free throws, we turned it over late [in the game], but the guys never thought we were going to lose. We always approach the game like we are going to win and we always thought we had a chance to win that game. I didn’t matter that we were down 5 points with thirty seconds left; it wouldn’t have mattered if we were down 10 points with a minute and a half left. We had the talent to win that game, but we didn’t execute.”

Within minutes, following their loss to Elkhart, Perez and his players began looking to next Fall.

“After the Elkhart game was over we sat and talked for just a second before I let everyone go,” said Perez. “We all agreed that we’ve got to get better. We get better by lifting weights in the summer. We get better by shooting baskets in the summer. We get better by playing in the summer. And we should play against people who are better than us, older than us and stronger than us. We should get more physical. I think we got pushed around a little bit. We’ve got kids with a lot of room for growth.”

Perez was quick to note that the “Big Three” Rustin Ardery, Damien Odle and Caleb Davis are expected to return for the 2012-2013 basketball season.

“Those three guys were our key [offensive] guys. If you asked the other coaches in the conference they’d tell you ‘we have to guard Caleb first and we can work off of their bigs second.’ I really felt like those guys stepped up.”

He is also expecting many of his bench players to return.

“I’ve always said that you are only as good as your second team. Montana [Ralstin] didn’t score much but he distributed the basketball and he would come in when people would over play Caleb. Michael Behm would come in and he could shoot a little for us and he had a nice three pointer in the league tournament and that was the deciding factor in that game. Jordan Wyrick and Keith Prosser did a great job coming off of the bench. Wyrick’s not a big scorer but he’s a pass-first-shoot-second kind of player. When we get Trevor [Powell] in the game he is going to play hard. He may not score as much as I’d like for him to, but he’s big for the team and he helps other players score.

David Perez is the ultimate team guy; he reminds me a lot of Montana, he really approachable, does what ever you need him to do. He makes all of the other players better. He’s a great defender; he makes the opposing players fearful because he’s going to come at you.”


Southern-Plains Iroquois League Final

Ashland            12-0-0            26-0-0            1.000            1693            1125            26 W

S.Gray            9-2-0            18-5-0            0.783            1342            999            1 L

Fowler            8-2-0            20-5-0            0.800            1469            1114            1 W

S.Central            7-3-0            14-7-0            0.667            1152            963            1 l

Kiowa            7-3-0            11-9-0            0.550            932            906            1 l

Minneola            5-7-0            10-12-0            0.455            1050            1078            1 L

Hodgeman            4-6-0            9-12-0            0.429            992            1065            2 L

Bucklin            2-8-0            6-16-0            0.273            961            1201            1 L

Ingalls            2-8-0            4-14-0            0.222            668            874            3 L

Spearville            1-8-0            1-17-0            0.056            634            1005            10 L

Pawnee            0-10-0            0-14-0            0.000            312            802            14 L


Division 2A Men’s Basketball Standings Final

27. Oxford            12-9-0           

28. Syracuse            13-10-0           

29. Skyline            9-7-0           

30. Mdes Cygnes            11-9-0           

31. Kiowa County            11-9-0           

32. Wash. County            12-10-0           

33. Bennington            12-11-0           

34. Inman            11-11-0           

35. Oakley            10-10-1           


Team Stats

Total Games: 20

Avg. Points Per Game: 46.6 

Avg. Assists Per Game: 11.2

Avg. Rebounds Per Game: 28.3

Avg. Steals Per Game: 8.3

Total Season Points: 932

Total Points Allowed: 906

Season Steals: 166

Season Turnovers: 350

Avg. Points Per Quarters

Q1 12.35

Q2 13.75

Q3 12.8

Q4 9.95


Opp. Avg. Points Per Quarter

Q1 10.3

Q2 13.1

Q3 13.1

Q4 8.8


Win % by Quarter

Q1 .500

Q2 .250

Q3 .500

Q4 .400


Team Field Goal % .420

2-pt Field Goal % .490

3-pt Field Goal % .270

Team Free Throw % .540

Off. Reb. Ratio: .352:1



#Name PPG            FG%            FTA            FT%            REB            STLS            TO             PF

25Odle            11.1            .550            37            .541            166            22            47            52

4Davis            10.4            .354            24            .760            52            48            50            31

21Ardery 9.7            .500            62            .565            139            19            34            47

42Watson 5.1            .320            23            .304            39            16            43            38

2Ralstin 3.3            .411            42            .452            53            15            61            36

35Behm 3.2            .321            11            .727            24            5            28            7

13McKinney 1.5            .357            2            2/2            3            2            5            3

11Prosser 1.5            .368            6            3/6            8            4            7            6

15Wyrick 1.4            .545            8            4/8            41            14            21            22

3Powell 1.3            .227            4            4/4            18            2            13            4

5Perez .4            3/5            4            0/4            20            16            39            30

12Tyree .3            1/3            0            0            2            3            2            2