Minatare boys win opener to earn split of season-opening doubleheader
     2013-12-12      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Roger Holsinger/for the Citizen - Chance McAllister goes up for the jumper last Friday night against the Knights of South Platte while teammates Dominic Longoria, left, and Tyler Koke work for the rebound. 
MINATARE – Season-opening games can be rewarding and challenging at the same time.
Such was the case for the Minatare basketball teams Friday night, who offered their coach’s encouragement yet displayed the need for continued work.

The Minatare boys got off to a quick start against South Platte, leading 11-2 after one quarter and outscoring the Blue Knights by 10 in each of the next two periods on their way to scoring a 58-28 win.

“I thought we played very hard and definitely got after them,” second-year Minatare boys’ coach Kyle Cotton said. “Our intensity was fantastic. Our ball movement was very good, but we missed too many layups, like about 20, and free throws (3-for-12).

“There were times when we looked pretty good on possessions, but we need to put several good possessions together in a row.”

Junior Javier Guerrero led the Indians with 16 points and sophomore Dominic Longoria followed with 13. Junior Tyler Koke added 10 for Minatare.

The Minatare girls, coming off a 1-15 season last year, took a 52-23 loss to South Platte.

First-year girls’ coach Matt Kurkow, however, said he saw improvement already.

“Overall, it was a huge improvement from last year,” Kurkow said. “Everybody was getting off shots if they had the opportunity, and for them to drive and be willing to pass it off was encouraging.”

Kurkow said his team – which is all juniors and freshmen – panicked some early, getting outscored 23-2 in the second quarter and trailing 31-7 at halftime. “We just have to continue to improve,” he added.

Junior Angelica Longoria led Minatare with 10 points. South Platte sophomore Grace Kotschwar led the Blue Knights with 18 points, including 10 in their second-quarter run.

Minatare paid a visit to Banner County on Tuesday and returns home Friday to play Sioux County.

Bayard opens with consolation finishes

The Bayard Tigers lost their season-opening games Friday by a combined eight points in the first round of their tournament against Leyton.

The Tiger girls, however, rebounded to take third place Saturday with a 39-29 win over Bridgeport. Senior Haley Sauer scored a game-high 15 points in leading the Tigers, while junior Chellani Parriott and Kaylie Fiscus added eight points apiece.

In the Tigers’ loss to Leyton, Sauer led Bayard with 14 points. Kaitlyn Berner led Leyton with a game-high 15 opints and added ine rebounds, eight steals and two blocks for the Warriors.

The Bayard boys fell to Lingle-Fort Laramie in their third-place game, 51-46. Junior Justin Baird led the Tigers with 16 points, while junior Tyler Fiscus added 10 points and classmate Phillip Schuller added nine.

Bridgeport won the boys’ bracket with a 61-43 win over Leyton, which had edged Bayard 47-42 on Friday. Baird and fellow junior Bryce Hargens led the Tigers in their opener with 10 points apiece.

Lingle-Fort Laramie won the girls’ title with a 55-20 win over Leyton.

Bayard will entertain Bridgeport on Friday and Alliance on Saturday.

Banner County loses opening doubleheaders

The Banner County boys lost their first two games, falling to Garden County 49-45 on Friday at Harrisburg and then 64-45 at Potter-Dix on Saturday.

Junior Tyson Dahlgrin led the Wildcats against Garden County with 16 points and made seven rebounds. Senior Ben Hostetler had a team-high nine rebounds and added eight points. Junior Mike McKown had four steals to go with his nine points.

Against Potter-Dix, Banner County got 11 points and six rebounds from Dahlgrin.

The Banner County girls were swept over the weekend, 52-23 to Garden County and 49-31 at Potter-Dix.

Against Garden County, sophomore Taylor Evans had a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds in leading the Wildcats.

Against Potter-Dix, Banner County got nine points and seven rebounds from senior Dalle Rutledge.

The Wildcats played host to Minatare on Tuesday night. Banner County will then be off until a Dec. 20 visit to Leyton.

Morrill swept in Kimball Invitational

The Kimball Invitational was not a kind season-opening setting for either Morrill team. The Lion boys lost to Dundy County-Stratton 76-29 Friday and to Yoder-Southeast 52-19 on Saturday.

The Morrill girls fell to Dundy County-Stratton 64-28, led by senior Kiley Guerue with 14 points. The Lion girls then dropped a 46-37 decision to Southeast.

Morrill will play at Garden County on Friday and at Kimball on Saturday.

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