Gudde, Hack spark FSHS boys

? Sometimes scoring is contagious. One guy on a basketball team gets hot, and the others follow suit. Free State High experienced a little of that Tuesday night at Shawnee Mission West. But the Firebirds’ passing turned out just as infectious, as crisp ball movement and open shots helped FSHS coast to a 55-40 victory.

Junior Hunter Gudde and senior Weston Hack set the tone for Free State’s five-guard lineup, facilitating both open jumpers and layups for their teammates as the visitors raced out to a 15-3 lead in the first quarter.

In the first minute, Hack found senior Jack Raney inside. Soon after, Gudde spotted seniors Justin Narcomey, Andrew Keating and Raney for three-pointers. Then Hack cut to the hoop and scored a lay-in off Gudde’s fourth assist, which put the Firebirds ahead 13-0. The first quarter concluded with sophomore Jacob Pavlyak scoring a layup off a dish from Hack.

FSHS (11-8) came out blazing, and Gudde, who finished with 15 points and seven assists, said that stretch made all the difference.

“It just carried on the rest of the game,” the 6-foot-2 junior said, “built up our confidence and we just kept playing just like that and came out with the win.”

Hack, who had 12 points, six assists and seven rebounds, said the Vikings (7-12) had a style that fed into what Free State likes to do.

“When teams come out and try to pressure us like that and sort of trap,” Hack said, “it opens up a lot of space on the floor, and as a team we did a great job of trying to find each other today and getting a lot of easy buckets at the rim.”

Keating, who scored seven points in the win, starts at point guard for FSHS, but coach Chuck Law has multiple passers within the offense capable of setting up their teammates.

“I thought we played really unselfish basketball,” Law said, “shared the ball exceptionally well tonight.”

The coach noted the best team Free State ever had, in 2005, featured guys between 5-foot-11 and 6-2 who had the requisite skills to succeed, without size inside.

“I’ve always said, I’d rather have five guys that can dribble, pass, catch and shoot than necessarily having big guys,” Law said, “because you can find ways to somehow limit bigs.”

So who is Free State’s best passer?

“Weston, by far,” Gudde said. “He knows everything that’s going on on the floor. He knows where everybody is gonna be at any time in the game.”

But Gudde’s ability to move the ball has developed this season, too, even if he hasn’t quite caught up with Hack.

Free State held SMW to 9-for-28 shooting in the first three quarters, leading to a 21-point advantage entering the fourth. The Vikings missed their first seven field-goal attempts of the game in the midst of the Firebirds’ passing and shooting clinic.

“The best part of that,” Law said of the remarkable start, “was sometimes you get out to big leads like that and they quickly dissipate, because you get comfortable and the other team gets it right back.”


Andrew Keating3-6 0-0 7, Weston Hack 2-2 8-8 12, Justin Narcomey 3-6 0-1 7, Hunter Gudde 5-8 4-5 15, Jack Raney 3-3 1-2 8, Jay Dineen 1-1 2-2 4, Chrision Wilburn 0-0 0-0 0, Jacob Pavlyak 1-2 0-0 2, Sloan Thomsen 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-28 15-18 55.

SM WEST (40)

Tyriq Gunnels 3-4 0-1 6, Louis Rollins 2-7 0-0 5, Isreal Watson 2-2 1-2 7, Zach Witters 1-6 0-0 3, Asher Goldston 0-0 1-2 1, Darrell Stewart 4-9 1-2 9, Tarik Watson 2-5 2-2 7, Tyler Brewer 1-3 0-0 2, Michael Kinkelaar 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-37 5-9 40.

Free State 15 12 16 12 — 55

SM West 3 10 9 18 — 40

Three-point goals: FSHS 4-8 (Keating, Narcomey, Gudde, Raney); SMW 5-12 (I. Watson 2, Witters, T. Watson, Rollins). Fouled out: None. Turnovers: FSHS 9, SMW 9.