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Orrick Coach Morgan Dickson was hoping his Bearcats could hang tough with the formerly state-ranked Santa Fe Chiefs Friday night for courtwarming. The Bearcats did just that for about a half, but then the Chiefs took control in the second half to remain unbeaten in I-70 Conference play with a 76-47 road victory.
The Santa Fe victory allowed the 6-0 Chiefs to stay just ahead of the 4-1 Wellington-Napoleon Tigers in the league race, while also improving to 19-2 overall. Orrick falls to 1-4 in the conference and 5-14 overall.
Santa Fe held a 10-9 lead after the opening eight minutes thanks to the Chiefs hitting 6 of 9 free throws, with Luke Brandt, who ended the night with a game-high 26 points, converting 6 of his 8 attempts.
The Santa Fe offense picked up the pace a bit in the second quarter with a 17-10 scoring advantage as the visitors took a 27-17 halftime lead. The third period belonged to the Chiefs.
“Santa Fe put more pressure on in the third quarter and we got out of control,” Dickson said. “The kids played hard and should be proud of their effort. We still have problems we need to correct, but we’re getting better with each game.”
The Chiefs ended the game with a 27-14 scoring advantage in the third quarter and closed out the game with a 22-14 edge in the final 8 minutes.
Brandt ended the night hitting 10 of 13 free throws on the way to game-scoring honors. Taylor Wesley also reached double digits for the Chiefs with 14.
The Chiefs visited the stripe 37 times in the game and hit 25 of them, Orrick made 13 of its 21 attempts from the free throw line.
Preston Karnes was the lone Bearcat in double figures with 10 points, while Dakota Harth and Eric Rodenberg added 8 each. Cameron McGlothlin hit for 6 points, followed by Clayton Jones with 5, Joe Kaufman with 4, Kalija Rogers with 3, Luke Searcy with 2, and Ty Griffin with a free throw.