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The Hardin-Central Bulldogs tuned up for tonight's Class 1, District 9 tournament opener Thursday night by facing one of the top Class 2 teams in the area.
The Bulldogs closed out the regular season with a 9-16 record as they fell to the Chiefs, 75-43, at Santa Fe.
Hardin-Central's district opening game with LaMonte, originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon, was postponed due to snow. That game will be played this evening at 9:15.
The Chiefs, now 23-2, were led by Bryan Sander with 15 points, while Luke Brandt and Taylor Welsey each chipped in 13 points.
"They were too big and fast for us to handle for long," Hardin-Central Coach Kirk Thacker said. "We played a good first quarter and we handled their press and hung with them. We made some adjustments and played a solid second half against them. It was a good game for us to play before districts. We saw some things we can build on."
Patrick King scored 21 for the Bulldogs while grabbing 9 rebounds. Chris Herring and Mark Carpenter each scored 9, with Daniel Carpenter adding 4. Mark Carpenter also had 6 rebounds and dished out 4 assists.
Santa Fe held a 21-13 lead after 8 minutes, 45-16 at the half, and took a 66-36 cushion into the fourth period.