No. 9-ranked Class 5A Shawnee Heights was challenged early, but over the final three quarters was able to secure a non-league 67-55 home victory over a Hayden team beginning to return to full strength.

JaretSanchezHayden 2Shawnee Heights junior Jaret Sanchez (23) scored 22 points to lead the T-Birds in Friday's 67-55 win over Hayden. [Photo by Kyle Manthe/Special to TSN]

After knocking off No. 4-ranked De Soto on the road earlier in the week, coach Ken Darting knew that getting focus from the start could be a challenge, but was glad to be on the winning end.

“We’ve talked about it all week, you play a team that has lost seven or eight in a row and you just came off of beating a fourth-ranked team … so we are all full of ourselves and we have some injuries and sickness, but the bottom line is we just didn't play (well),” Darting said. 

After cracking the rankings for the first time this season and winning nine of the last 10 games Darting wants his team to continue building.

“There’s steps of every year, you’ve just had success in a tournament, we’ve just gotten ranked … so now are you going to feel good about yourself the rest of the year and get knocked off by somebody or are you going to say ‘wow’ we’ve really got a chance and go, so that’s the next step to find out,” Darting said. 

TreyBrownHeights 1Hayden coach Trey Brown gives instructions to his Wildcats during Friday's 67-55 loss at Shawnee Heights. [Photo by Sarah Carson/Special to TSN]

On the other sideline, Hayden coach Trey Brown’s return home, where he led the T-Birds to a 5A state title in 2017, was spoiled by a high-scoring balanced offensive outing from Shawnee Heights.

With a trio of Shawnee Heights grads on the coaching staff of Hayden, Darting knew that they would get the Wildcats’ best.

“I’m sure they had an incentive and they did a great job, Hayden did a great job, they played well and did what they had to do to give themselves a chance,” Darting said.

Hayden jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the opening minutes, with senior Dom Ridley knocking down a pair of 3-pointers. The next six points came from the home team but the Wildcats were able to stave off the Thunderbirds for a quarter and lead 16-15.

Sophomore Da’Quan Lee scored the first three points of the second quarter for Shawnee Heights to take the lead and apart from one tie the  T-Birds would control the lead for the rest of the game.

A personal 6-0 run by junior Jaret Sanchez was capped off by a dunk at the 4:41 mark in the quarter which put Heights up 24-18 and created some separation. The Wildcats kept it close going into the half trailing by just three, 28-25.

“The adjustment as halftime was is we went to posting up and jumped right out to 15 points in a hurry and then held on,” Darting said.  

DeaconPomeroyHayden 1Junior Deacon Pomeroy scored 12 points to help Shawnee Heights take a 67-55 home win over Hayden. [Photo by Kyle Manthe/Special to TSN]

That is exactly what Shawnee Heights did, featuring Sanchez and junior Deacon Pomeroy while getting contributions from the guards which pushed the lead up to exactly 15 with 3:36 left in the quarter.

Still, Hayden would not go away, ending the quarter with the score at 48-38 after Ridley went 4-4 at the free throw line following a technical foul on Shawnee Heights.

The Wildcats continued to hang around, as senior Cooper Colboch sunk a pair of 3-pointers in the opening minutes of the fourth to get the lead down to as few as five. The Thunderbirds called timeout up by six with 2:47 remaining and out of the break senior Brennon Dodge forced a turnover and took it himself for a layup to spark a 6-0 run and put the game away for Shawnee Heights.

Jaret Sanchez led Shawnee Heights with 22 points while Dodge and Pomeroy each had 12. Dylan Sanchez and Ontarius Emmot both had seven in the game.

DomRidleyHeights 2Senior Dom Ridley led Hayden with 22 points in Friday's 67-55 loss at Shawnee Heights. [Photo by Sarah Carson/Special to TSN]

Returning from an injury, Ridley had 22 points, with 14 in the second half, to lead Hayden. Cooper Colboch had 20 points on five 3-pointers while no other Wildcat eclipsed four points.


Hayden                 16 9 13 17 – 55

Shawnee Heights 15 13 20 19 – 67

Hayden (4-9) – Colboch 6 3-5 20, Charvat 1 0-0 2, Ridley 7 4-4 22, Mitchell 1 0-0 2, Becker 0 0-0 0, Hanika 2 0-0 4, Grace 0 0-0 0, Kuta 2 0-0 4, Zwiesler 0 0-0 0, Padilla 0 1-2 1. Totals: 19 8-11 55.

 Shawnee Heights (9-3) – Cook 1 0-0 2, Pomeroy 4 3-5 12, D. Sanchez 2 2-2 7, Dodge 4 3-5 12, Lee 2 1-2 5, Ross 0 0-0 0, Emmot 1 4-4 7, Holly 0 0-0  0, J. Sanchez 8 6-9 22. Totals: 22 19-27 67.         

3-point goals – Shawnee Heights 4 (Pomeroy, D. Sanchez, Dodge, Emmot), Hayden 9 (Colbach 5, Ridley 4). Total fouls – Shawnee Heights 15, Hayden 24. Fouled out – Becker. Technical fouls – Ridley, Holly.

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