HENDERSON - The struggling Deshler boys didn't find what they were looking for Tuesday night in Henderson.
The Dragons came into the game against 9-9 Heartland at 4-13 and seriously needing a taste of victory. The cupboard was bare, however, and the Huskies feasted, 47-24.
The Huskies found themselves down early, 6-2, but at 3:04 Lincoln Ruybalid set things straight with a 3-pointer. When 6-8 Heartland senior Brent Regier hit for two at 1:40 of the first the Huskies were up 7-6. They did not trail again in the contest as their margin of comfort stayed uncomfortably thin through the first half, then increased to the 23-point difference at the end.
Heartland was up 10-6 at the first break, got another trey from Ruybalid in the second along with an offensive rebound from Cody Kroeker and a jumper at 1:50 from Regier. Even so it was 17-16 at the half and still anybody's game at that point.
Coach Jon Baer wasn't impressed with his Huskies in the first 16 minutes.
"I didn't think we played real well in the first half," he said. "The kids made some adjustments the second half and played real fundamental."
Indeed, his team did buckle down after halftime to the tune of a 20-3 scoring advantage in the third period. It was an ambush from which Deshler had no chance to recover.
Cole Nickels hit a point-blank bunny after a Heartland steal that made it 24-16 at 6:53 of the third. Buckets in succession by Colton Siebert, Nickels and a Jordan Heinrichs three had the Huskies way out front at 31-16 with 4:40 to go in the period.
Deshler frustration hit a peak when Regier put an offensive rebound back in at 45.3 to go in the third, was fouled but missed the free throw.
Kroeker snagged the rebound of Regier's miss and got the stickback bucket for what was effectively a four-point play. Then Heinrichs let loose a two and missed, but hustled to get his own long rebound and fired in a jumper at the buzzer.
It was 37-19 after three.
Heartland doubled up the Dragons again in the final stanza, 10-5, to account for the final score.
The Dragons hit eight 2-pointers, a trey and 5-11 free throws. Heartland's bottom line was 15 twos, four threes and 5-8 at the stripe.
Heinrichs had 12 points and Regier scored 11 for Heartland, which got eight from Ruybalid. Nickels and Kroeker scored six each and Siebert netted four.
Only three Dragons scored in the game, beginning with 11 and 10 from Caleb Vonderfecht and Kyle Dlouhy. Brett Finke added three.
Baer said Deshler came out fast and played well at the start. As for his Huskies he said, "We need to be more sound early" in games. "I thought we were more sound the second half."
Deshler...............................6 10 3 5 - 24
Heartland.......................10 7 20 10 - 47