Sharp-shooting Bearcat boys rip nets against Cardinals: Chadron girls ride game-opening 35-point rally to win; Mitchell, Bayard score Friday night sweeps
     2013-12-23      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
What are the chances of a basketball game beginning with one team scoring 35 unanswered points?

Or the odds of having a team not only hit 17 3-point baskets in a game, but doing it by hitting better than a 50 percent of its attempts from the arc?

How about both happening on the same night? On the same court?

Not likely? Well, both did, on Friday night at the Scottsbluff High School gymnasium.

The first feat came for the visiting Chadron girls, who held Scottsbluff scoreless for the first 17 minutes in rolling 77-28.

And then the host Bearcat boys ripped 10 first-half 3-balls and shut down Chadron’s top two scorers in shooting past the Cardinals, 78-53.

Scottsbluff boys rip treys, top Chadron

Not only did the Bearcats hit 17 3-balls, but they did it on 32 attempts — 53.1 percent — and quickly built a 15-5 lead in the first quarter that they extended to 27 in the second period. Scottsbluff led 47-23 at halftime.

“In my seven years here I don’t remember us ever hitting that many,” Scottsbluff coach Tony Siske said of the Bearcats’ long-distance explosion.

Starters Trent Harris (6-for-9) and Jackson Hinze (3-for-5) got the long-distance explosion rolling, and freshman Dru Kuxhausen came off the bench to hit 5 of 7 treys. Dillon Hernandez was 2-for-4 from 3-point range.

Harris scored 22 points in the first half and finished with a game-high 27, followed by Kuxhausen’s 17 points and Hinze with nine. Sophomore Austin Clarkson added six points to go with his nine-rebound effort.

The 3-point barrage, Scottsbluff coach Tony Siske said, was a by-product of the Bearcats’ tight defense on Chadron’s leading scorers, in particular Clarkson’s effort on Cardinals senior leader Spencer Eliason, who hit 6 of 12 shots for a team-high 14 points — seven below his six-game average.

And junior guard Vonsinh Sayaloune was blanked on six shot attempts after averaging 10 points per game.

“Defensively our kids executed our game plan extremely well. They had two guys coming in who were scoring a combined 31 points a game and we wanted to take those two away.”

As a result, the Cardinals (6-2 after Saturday’s home win over Gering) got 13 points from junior Jake Danielson and 10 from junior Keenan Johnson.

But a quick 17-7 Scottsbluff advantage after one quarter — which Kuxhausen ended with the fourth of the Bearcats’ first-period treys — was plenty of fuel for the Bearcats to get rolling.

“We wanted to get off to a good start,” said Siske, whose team struggled on 2-point shots in comparison at 12-for-31. “I don’t think we moved that well offensively.”

The Bearcats’ margin kept moving upward, however. After Kuxhausen ripped three treys early in the third quarter, Scottsbluff led 59-29. Chadron never got as close as 25 again, and the Bearcats led by 30 again, 68-38, midway through the fourth period.

Experience paces Chadron girls

Simply put, the difference between Chadron’s girls and Scottsbluff’s, besides a 49-point margin, is the Cardinals’ overwhelming experience with seven seniors, while the Bearcats are composed mostly of sophomores with two juniors.

Chadron had senior twins Ashlea Kerr (15 points) and Bailea Kerr (10) pave the way to their 32-0 first-quarter outburst. Junior Ashley Hills scored a 3-pointer in the first minute of the second quarter to cap off the Cardinals’ 35-point opening run.

Scottsbluff junior Aubree Ford was the Bearcats’ leading scorer with 11 points and finally broke their game-opening scoring drought with a 3-point jumper 62 seconds into the second quarter.

Rookie head coach Rachel Larson, whose Bearcats (1-4) were just 35 percent accurate on shots but 5-for-8 from 3-point range, said she hopes the Cardinals’ decisive experience can be a target for which Scottsbluff can aim.

“We told the kids to keep their heads up because the team we lost to is a very good team,” said Larson, who coached many of the Bearcats as freshmen last year.

“They’re a lot older than we are, and they shot the lights out. We told them that in a few years, that could be us because we have a lot of sophomores.”

Ford scored five more points in the quarter, in which Scottsbluff outscored what was mostly Chadron second-teamers 21-15.

“The second quarter gave me some optimism because we shot the ball very well. We are capable of shooting, but it’s just a matter of them knowing that they can,” Larson said.

Ford also led Scottsbluff in steals with three, while sophomore Aly Camacho had five rebounds. Sophomore Chloey Reifschneider added eight points for the Bearcats.

Ashlea Kerr led Chadron (7-1 before Saturday’s home win against Gering) with a game-high 24 points, followed by senior Peyton Hinn with 13 and Bailea Kerr with 10.

The game featured the first chance for most fans to witness the implementation of the Nebraska School Activities Association’s new 40-point running clock rule.

Chadron gained the 40-point margin during a 9-0 run to finish the third quarter ahead 70-26, and the clock remained on during all normal dead balls afterward. Unlike football’s 35-point rule, however, the running clock continues even if the score difference falls below 40.

Scottsbluff returns to action when the Bearcats play host to the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference Tournament on Jan. 2-4. A preview and schedule will be in next week’s Gering Citizen.

Mitchell sweeps Southeast

The Mitchell boys bolted to a 19-4 lead in the first quarter and rolled from there to a 57-30 win over Yoder-Southeast on Friday at Mitchell High School.

Senior Jamie Fegler paced the Tigers (2-4) with 22 points and two 3-pointers, while classmate Bo McVay tallied 15 points and senior Antonio Barrios chipped in eight.

In the girls’ game, Mitchell junior Kady Lower scored 13 of her game-high 16 points in the first half, leading the Tigers to a 38-34 victory.

The win was the Tigers’ fourth in a row and they improved to 4-2 on the season before Saturday’s home doubleheader against Morrill.

Minatare boys still unbeaten

The Minatare boys improved to 5-0 Friday with a with a 58-35 romp over Arthur County in Arthur, while the Indian girls remain winless after falling to the host Wolves, 37-25.

Chance McAllister led the Minatare boys with 17 points, while Javier Guerrero followed with 15 and Juan Garfio added 10. The Indians turned a 16-10 first-quarter lead into a 32-22 halftime advantage in downing Arthur County (2-2).

For the Indian girls, Angelica Longoria paced Minatare with 11 points. Arthur County (3-1) led 10-2 after one quarter and 21-10 at halftime.

Minatare is off until a home doubleheader Jan. 11 against Creek Valley.

Bayard boys get first win in Tigers’ sweep

A trip to Hay Springs proved worth the while for the winless Bayard boys, who came away with a 62-16 victory over the Hawks on Friday.

The Tigers (1-4) bolted to a 19-1 lead in the first quarter and led 43-3 at halftime. Senior David Schuler led Bayard’s first victory with 18 points and junior Justin Baird added 10 as 10 Tigers scored in all. Hay Springs (0-6) scorers were not available.

The Bayard girls also downed Hay Springs, scoring a 47-29 win to improve to 2-3. Hay Springs fell to 1-5 with the loss. No scoring leaders were available for either team.

The Tigers had games against Kimball on Saturday to close out their pre-holiday schedule.

Morrill girls get another win

The Morrill girls kicked off their 72-11 home win over Edgemont, S.D., with a 21-5 run to open the Panhandle Conference contest Friday night in Morrill.

Kiley Guerue led the Lions with 20 points and Jessica Harvey added 10 in Morrill’s second straight win after the Lions started with four losses. The Lions finished their pre-break schedule Saturday at Mitchell.

Edgemont scored a 47-36 win over Morrill in the boys’ contest. The Lions fell to 1-5 with the loss.

Leyton sweeps Banner County

Banner County’s team suffered some tough luck Friday in the Wildcats’ trip to Dalton to face the Leyton Warriors in a Minuteman Activities Conference doubleheader.

The Leyton girls downed the Wildcats 50-17, outscoring Banner County 19-0 in the first quarter and 30-2 in the first half.

Sophomore Taylor Evans led the Wildcats (1-3) with 10 points. Leyton (3-3) had 10 scorers, led by sophomore Natalie Cruise with 11 points.

On a very bright side for the Wildcats, senior guard Amanda Harrison committed no turnovers, Banner County coach Brittany Cooper commented on MaxPreps, “Pretty good for a point guard.”

The Leyton Boys also got a quick start in scoring their 70-30 win over Banner County. The Warriors jumped out to a 26-6 lead after the first quarter and led 39-9 at halftime.

Tyson Dahlgrin led the Wildcats with 14 points, while Brennen Cruise led Leyton with 23 points and had teammates Cody McKay score 14 and Alex W. Frerichs add 10.

Banner County finished its pre-break schedule Saturday at Chappell against Creek Valley. The Wildcats then play Crawford in the first round of the Harrison Holiday Tournament on Jan. 3.

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