Hot-shooting Bearcats sweep Sidney, Alliance
     2013-02-07      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen - Scottsbluff’s senior Michael Hadden (No. 32) muscles past Sidney defender sophomore Hunter Vowers (No. 13) while teammate junior Beau Lofink (No. 42) eyes the play. 
SCOTTSBLUFF — Anyone who walked away from the Scottsbluff High School gymnasium last Thursday night and felt like the effort put forth by the Bearcat and Sidney Red Raider boys’ basketball teams was disappointing, well, they must have been a highly biased person from Sidney.

A nearly packed house of red-and-black-clad Bearcat and Red Raider fans were treated to a full battle between two of the Panhandle’s best teams in a 79-68 win for Scottsbluff that was decided only when the Bearcats slowed down a torrid shooting pace by both teams and won the game the old-fashioned way.

Not only did the Bearcats earn the win, but after a barrage of 15 3-point baskets between the two teams, three good-old, traditional three-point plays on driving layups by Scottsbluff senior Michael Hadden in the final quarter.

Hadden finished the night with 26 points, hitting 10 of 18 field goals and 6 of 7 free throws, and he also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Senior Eric Moreno also had a big night, hitting 9 of 14 shots that included 5 of 7 3-point attempts on his way to scoring 23 points.
Hadden and Moreno led the Bearcats to a 53.4 percent shooting night (31-for-58), including 7-for-19 from 3-point range (36.8 percent).
But even the Sidney crowd, strong especially for a school night, had to applaud the efforts of their Red Raiders, who shot 56 percent (28-for-50) from the floor that included 8 of 18 3-point shots (44 percent).

Quite a difference from five nights earlier, when Scottsbluff scraped out a 54-50 win at Sidney.
“We both shot the ball a lot better,” Scottsbluff boys’ coach Tony Siske said. “In both games, the shooting percentages were comparable between the two teams, but tonight they were just 20 points higher for each team.”

The Bearcats and Red Raiders ran a torrid pace in the first quarter, after which Scottsbluff led 21-19 on its way to a 38-35 halftime lead. Both teams scored 21 points in the third period.
“A lot of what Sidney did, you just have to give them credit,” Siske said. “There were some areas where our defense broke down, but I kept looking at the assistant coaches and I was like, I don’t think we can defend them any better, they’re just putting the ball in the hoop.”

Finally, the Bearcats took the ball out of the Red Raiders’ hands in the fourth quarter by running a half-court offense.
“I know we ran a lot of clock,” Siske said. “They were trying to jump in the passing lanes and started switching to see if they could get something that way, but our kids just did a good job of moving the ball and moving themselves.

“We were efficient offensively and patient, and they had to go from playing defense for 30 to 40 seconds and then try to go down and score, and they were behind,” Siske said. “In your mind-set, you have to score quick in that situation, and we were doing a good job of running the clock and then if they put up a quick shot, we got the rebound, came down and ran the clock again. So we were playing offense for a minute and a half to their 15 seconds or whatever it was.”

And when the Bearcats found a seam in Sidney’s defense in the fourth quarter, Hadden was not afraid to take the ball inside, where he scored three times and drew fouls that led to three ensuing free throws as well.

“I think the best way to describe Michael is he is a closer,” Siske said. “He’s the guy you want the ball in his hands. Late in the game, you want him on your team because you know that defensively he will come up with that big rebound and offensively you know he’ll make the right play, whether it’s him scoring or finding an open teammate.”

Senior Matthew Klein added 14 points and six rebounds for the Bearcats. Sidney got 15 points from junior Logan Lewis and 14 apiece from junior Paxton Ehler, who had 12 at halftime that included two long-range 3-pointers, and 14 more from senior Casey Mabey.

The Bearcats’ offense didn’t miss a beat Friday when Alliance came to Scottsbluff, with the hosts running up an 88-62 total on 55 percent shooting from the floor.
Scottsbluff was 33-for-60 overall, including a 10-for-22 effort from the 3-point arc led by Klein’s 3-for-7 effort. Sophomore Jackson Hinze was 2-for-3 from outside and five other Bearcats had one trey apiece.

Scottsbluff (15-3) also held the Bulldogs to 40.7 percent shooting (22-for-54) and just 18.7 percent in a first quarter the Bearcats used to bolt to a 22-11 lead. They led 41-32 at halftime before a 24-15 outburst in the third quarter gave Scottsbluff a 65-47 advantage.

Four Bearcats scored in the teens, led by Moreno’s 16-point outing on 6 of 9 field goals. Hadden and Klein had 15 points apiece, with Hadden grabbing seven rebounds and making five assists, while Klein pulled down six boards.

Moreno also had six rebounds, and senior Taylor Winkler had 13 points on 6 of 9 shot attempts.
Alliance (8-9) was led by Jordan Mills’ 17 points, while Trevor Kamerzell added 15.

The Bearcats hit the road this weekend for the East-West Shoot-Out, which begins Thursday at Lexington. Scottsbluff then visits McCook on Friday night and North Platte on Saturday at 2 p.m.
SHS girls drop pair to Alliance, Sidney

The Scottsbluff girls fell to Alliance 50-40 Friday night and to Sidney 55-32 Saturday night, falling to 1-16 on the season.
Against Alliance (9-8), Scottsbluff junior Toni Rosado scored a game-high 14 points and junior Kiley Guerue added 13.
Guerue led the Bearcats against Sidney (14-5) with 10 points, while Sarah Mahr led the Red Raiders with 13 points.

Scottsbluff will host its three games in the East-West Shoot-Out, beginning Thursday against Lexington and followed by McCook on Friday night and North Platte on Saturday at 2 p.m.

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