FSHS boys knock off Junction City in opening round of McPherson Invitational

Behind three double-digit scorers, Free State’s boys basketball team was in control from start to finish in its 53-38 victory over Junction City on Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the McPherson Invitational.

The Firebirds, who have already played a number of close games this season, got out to a comfortable lead with a 14-8 advantage in the opening period. Free State (7-2, No. 9 in Class 6A) scored at least 11 points in each of the four periods in the team’s double-digit victory.

DK Middleton, Olin Yoder and Miles Branch all reached double figures for the Firebirds. Middleton netted 5 points at the free-throw line in his 12-point performance to lead the team. Yoder drilled three triples to finish with 11 points, while Branch provided 10 points off the bench on four baskets.

Middleton, who is a senior playing in his final McPherson Invitational, also paced the team with eight rebounds and five assists in the win. Sophomore point guard Mozae Downing logged four assists as well.

Free State will now face Derby (No. 7 in Class 6A) in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Junction City 8 17 7 6 — 38

Free State 14 11 16 12 — 53

Free State (53)

Mozae Downing 0-2 2-2 2, Ethan Lincoln 1-3 0-0 3, DK Middleton 3-7 5-6 12, Andrew Piper 2-2 2-4 6, Olin Yoder 3-4 2-3 11, Kris Daniels 2-4 0-0 5, Wyatt Durland 0-0 0-0 0, Alyus Wisdom 0-0 0-0 0, Dash Hawkins 2-2 0-0 4, Miles Branch 4-7 2-2 10. Totals: 17-31 13-17 53.

Three-point goals: Junction City 5-16 (Terrence Tedder, Chris Dixon); Free State 6-10 (Yoder 3, Lincoln, Middleton, Daniels). Turnovers: JC 11, Free State 11. Fouled out: None.


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