Sophomore Moses Moses came off the bench to score 25 points to lead the Nixyaawii boys to a 66-44 victory on Wednesday over Horizon Christian in the first round of the 1A state basketball tournament at Baker High School.
“It was a good win,” Golden Eagles coach Shane Rivera said. “Moses is a heck of a shooter and a heck of a player.”
Nixyaawii (26-2) will play Prairie City at noon Friday in the semifinals. The Panthers (26-2) rallied from a nine-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter to beat Sherman County 52-48.
“We haven’t played them yet this year,” Rivera said of the Panthers. “It will be a contrast of styles. They have guys who are 6-5 and 6-4. We are not that tall. It should be an interesting matchup.”
Horizon Christian (19-7) opened the game with a 3-0 lead, but the game quickly got out of hand. Moses came off the bench with 4:10 left in the first quarter and promptly hit a 3-pointer. He would score 14 of his points in the quarter for a 21-12 lead heading into the second quarter. He finished the game 7 of 9 from the 3-point line.
“When we put Moses in, it opened things up,” Rivera said. “He knocked down shots with defenders in his face.”
Mick Schimmel, who finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Nixyaawii, scored eight of his points in the second quarter as the Golden Eagles enjoyed a 39-25 lead at the half.
The Hawks would pull within 42-36 in the third behind five points from Johnston and four each from Bailey Holste and Caleb Lingel, but they would only score two more points in the final 3:59 of the quarter as the Golden Eagles soared to a 51-38 lead.
“We turned up the pressure defensively,” Rivera said. “And Magi (Moses) and Moses came off the bench and played good minutes for us.”
Tyasin Burns, who chipped in 11 points for Nixyaawii, scored six of his points in the fourth quarter.
Magi Moses added 12 points and hauled down seven rebounds, while Quanah Picard had six rebounds and four points for the Golden Eagles.
Defensively, the Golden Eagles forced the Hawks into some poor shots. Horizon Christian, the 2012 state champion, shot just 29 percent from the floor, and got zero points from its bench.
Derek Johnston led the Hawks with 12 points and six rebounds, while Alex Petshow added 11 points and eight rebounds.