Augusta boys make like Thermopylae in win

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
Jett Hand (12) of Augusta drives by Wichita Collegiate's Quentin Fair (33) on Friday, Feb. 5 at Wichita Collegiate School. Hand finished with seven points in the 52-45 win over Collegiate.

WICHITA—Ely Wilcox wasn’t happy with the result they had on Tuesday night and was determined to change that on Friday night.

“Yeah, that wasn’t the outcome we wanted,” Wilcox said. “We wanted to come out and show that’s not the kind of season we want to have.”

After falling to Clearwater, the Orioles bounced back in a big way on the road, taking down No. 4 in Class 3A, Wichita Collegiate 52-45. 

Collegiate, known for the press tried to hurry Augusta (10-4) up all evening. It took a minute for the tendencies to be solved but Augusta trusted their practice and it paid off.  

“It’s so tough to prepare for a press like Collegiate has,” Augusta Head Coach Ryan Petty said. “We did our best but I was nervous coming into the game.”

Despite the many turnovers, three of which came on called charges against Augusta, the Orioles only trailed by three and made it a quick turnaround to take the lead. 

Wilcox was fouled on a made bucket to bring Augusta within one and then Ryan Andrews completed an and-one of his own to give Augusta their first lead of the game with 2:30 remaining in the half. 

The 13-9 win in the second quarter was a stark contrast to what they’ve done all season. Games at Buhler and against McPherson have put Augusta into some early holes. They’ve been able to climb out of some but on Friday, they didn’t need to climb out of any hole. They rose to the occasion.

“We know we’re a good second half team,” Petty said. “We talked about being a good four quarter team.”

Wilcox scored in the final minute of the half to give Augusta the 23-22 lead at the break.

They would never trail again.

Augusta jumped out early in the third and Collegiate (10-4) responded with a run of their own. However, it was a team effort to put away Collegiate. After the Spartans closed within 31-30, Wilcox completed an old fashioned three-point play. Then, Brendan Parker drained an open three off a turnover to put Augusta up seven heading into the fourth. 

That’s when the Orioles came together as a team. Four different players scored over a span that saw Augusta’s lead grow five to double digits. 

“We talked about letting the loss to Clearwater not snowball on us,” Petty said. “I thought we did a good job of clearing our heads and not letting that happen.”

Augusta did a good job containing Charliee Goree, the junior for Collegiate standout. He was limited to only six points and they all came in the first half. 

“We have a lot of size and we used that as a team tonight,” Wilcox said. “We did a good job of defending all night.”

The Orioles now have won 10 games a season for the last six seasons. 

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Augusta, as they travel to Rose Hill (8-5) on Tuesday and host divisional foe, Winfield (1-13) on Friday.

“We’re heading into the second part of the schedule where coaches start doing different things,” Petty said. “We have three teams that are 4-1, It’s going to be tough.”

Buhler, Augusta and McPherson are all 4-1 in the AVCTL-III.

Augusta 52, Collegiate 45

Augusta - 10;13;14;15—52

Collegiate - 13;9;10;13—45

AUG: Wilcox 15, McDaniel 10, Andrews 8, Parker 7, Hand 7, Schmidt 3, Roberts 2 WCS: Duarte 9, Kates 9, Ramsay 8, Goree 6, W. Fair 6, Beaubrun 2, Clay 2, M. Fair 2, Brown 1.

Charles Chaney has been the Sports Editor for the Butler County Times-Gazette since Aug. 2019. You can reach him at cchaney@butlercountytimesgazette.com or on Twitter at @ChuckChaneyBCTG.