Bearcats capture pair of double-digit victories
     2011-01-13      By Terry Gaston   
The Scottsbluff boys’ basketball team had to shake off first-quarter deficits in each of their games last week, but by the end of each contest the Bearcats were double-digit winners.
In its first game since taking third place in the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference Tournament on Dec. 30, Scottsbluff fell behind Ogallala last Thursday at the SHS gym before rolling past the Indians 78-59.
On Friday, the Bearcats trailed Alliance by 10 after one quarter before forging a halftime tie and rolling in the second half to a 61-50 victory in Alliance.
In the win over Ogallala, junior Rich Wiliams fueled Scottsbluff with 27 points that included three 3-point baskets. Junior Isaiah Castellaw followed with 14 points and sophomore Michael Hadden added 13, while junior leading scorer Zach Clemens was held to nine points but compensated with 12 rebounds.
“In the second quarter, we started playing better,” said Scottsbluff coach Tony Siske, whose team trailed 16-14 after the first quarter but forged ahead 34-27 by halftime “Defensively we played very well and offensively we played OK.”
Williams did more than OK in the second half, however.
“He started to fill it up,” Siske said of Williams’ 12 third-quarter points that included a pair of his 3-balls. As a team, the Bearcats outscored the Indians 44-32 in the second half.
Against Alliance, Scottsbluff fell behind the Bulldogs 18-8 but used a 20-10 second-quarter run to knot the score at 28-all at intermission.
“We definitely gave up way too many points in the first quarter,” said Siske, whose team improved to 9-3 with its third straight win. “We got down by 10 and started playing better.”
Clemens returned to his team-leading scoring ways with 15 points and added a team-high eight rebounds. Sophomore Matt Klein followed with 11 points with a team-leading five assists, while Williams added 10 points and Hadden scored nine.
Alliance (5-5) got 13 team-high points from junior Tyler Plfughoft.
“I think we are in a good position,” Siske said of his team’s progress through its first dozen games. “We’ve played a very tough schedule, and I am pleased with where we are.”
Scottsbluff plays the Wyoming capital’s pair of high schools on back-to-back nights, starting Friday at home against Cheyenne East at 7 p.m. The Bearcats then travel to Cheyenne on Saturday to face Central at 5:15 p.m. SHS is then off until they visit Gering on Jan. 22.

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