Minatare boys roll past Creek valley to stay unbeaten
     2014-01-16      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen - Minatare junior Juan Garfio (No. 2) closes in on the basket while teammate, junior Javier Guerrero, (No. 1) rushes to assist against Creek Valley opponents Keith Everitt (No. 31) and Lane Godfrey (No. 20) during Saturday’s blowout at Minatare. The Indians remain undefeated with a 6-0 season record. 
MINATARE – Three weeks is a long time in between playing basketball games during a high school season.

That was the case the Minatare Indian boys faced Saturday night when they took their home floor against Creek Valley, which had game competition on its side after having played the week before.

After sporting a 5-0 record in the first month of the season, Minatare started its 2014 debut methodically and led by six points at halftime before the Indians took commence early in the third quarter and rolled to a 58-34 victory.

After holding a 26-20 lead at intermission, Minatare answered a Creek Valley free throw with eight unanswered points to take a 34-21 advantage. The Indians regained that margin at the third-quarter buzzer, when sophomore Dominic Longoria’s lay-up dropped to give Minatare a 41-28 lead.

“I felt we came out well, but you could definitely see with the turnovers that they weren’t used to playing in a basketball game in a while,” Minatare coach Kyle Cotton said.

“In the second half, I thought the defensive intensity was really what changed the game. We got after them, got some easy baskets and the offense started coming.”

Meanwhile, Minatare calmed the Storm (2-7) and opened up its lead with sharp transition play.

The Indians locked down on Creek Valley senior Lane Godfrey, who had a game-high 12 points in the first half. However, Godfrey was limited to just three second-half points.

“We did some different things that we haven’t done all year to get the ball out of his hands, and I think we did a pretty good job,” Cotton said.

The Indians thus took a 6-0 record to Oshkosh on Tuesday night to face Garden County (4-3).

“We have a lot of room to improve,” Cotton said. “We have to keep practicing and keep playing and getting better on defense. We only have seven guys, so we can’t afford to be lax or fouling. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

The Minatare girls, on the other hand, were simply outplayed, outsized and dominated by Creek Valley’s athleticism and experience, exemplified by the Storm’s 20-1 run in the first quarter.

And Creek Valley’s 59-11 victory could have been much worse, after the Storm (7-2) missed plenty of open shots.

Minatare (0-7) closed to within 27-9 by outscoring Creek Valley 8-7 in the second quarter, but the Storm allowed the Indians just one free throw – by junior Angelica Longoria, who fouled out late in the third period with a team-high four points – early in the third before holding the Indians scoreless the rest of the way.

Senior guard Summer Mueller paced the Storm with 27 points.

After Tuesday’s action at Garden County, the Indians will travel to Morrill on Friday and play host to Banner County on Saturday. The Indians will then begin play in the Minuteman Activities Conference Tournament, the boys on Monday and the girls on Tuesday.

Wildcat boys gain two wins

After starting the season with five straight losses, the Banner County boys have gone 3-2 in 2014, including a 52-47 victory Monday night at Hyannis.

Senior Brenton Soule led three Wildcats in double-figure scoring with 17 points. Senior Ben Hostetler followed with 15 points and junior Tyson Dahlgrin added 12 to go with 18 rebounds. Hostetler had four assists and three steals.

The Wildcats began a run of three games in four days with a 46-18 win Friday at Hay Springs. Dahlgrin led Banner County with 20 points, while Hostetler followed with eight points and had a team-high seven rebounds. McKown added seven points with five steals.

In between the Wildcats’ road victories was an 83-36 home loss Saturday to Hemingford. The Bobcats (6-3) overpowered Banner County with junior Matthew Wood scoring 28 points, including six 3-point baskets, and junior Colt Foster adding 27.

Hostetler led the Wildcats with 11 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and had three steals. Dahlgrin followed with eight points and six rebounds, while McKown also had three steals.

The Banner County girls were outplayed in all three of their games over the four-day span, falling at Hyannis 73-18 Monday night.

Sophomore Taylor Evans had eight points and five rebounds in leading the Wildcats (1-9).

In their 48-21 loss Friday at Hay Springs, the Wildcats got seven points from senior Amanda Harrison and six from sophomore Paige Cross. Senior Dalle Rutledge pulled down a team-high six rebounds.

On Saturday, a 21-2 second-quarter run lifted Hemingford to a 54-13 win over Banner County at Harrisburg. The Wildcats trailed just 11-8 before the visiting Bobcats took command to lead 32-10 at halftime.

Harrison led Banner County with six points. Junior Ashlynne Hanan led the Wildcats in rebounds with five.

Banner County will play host to Crawford on Friday before the Wildcats visit Minatare on Saturday. The Minuteman Activities Conference Tournament then begins Monday with boys’ action and Tuesday with girls’ first-round play.

Mitchell girls edge Kimball; Tigers split with Cardinals

The Mitchell girls extended their winning streak to eight last Tuesday with a 44-43 win at Kimball, but the Tigers had their run snapped Saturday at home with a 68-53 loss to Chadron.

The Mitchell boys, meanwhile, scored a 57-52 win Saturday over Chadron, giving the Tigers four victories in their last five outings.

In the Mitchell girls’ win over Kimball, Tiger senior Taylor Peters scored 11 of her team-high 15 points in the second half to pace the victory.

Kimball built a 19-12 lead after one quarter and the Longhorns still led by seven, 27-20, at halftime.

Peters hit an early 3-pointer in the third quarter to spark a 13-8 run by the Tigers, trimming Kimball’s lead to 35-33 going into the last quarter. Mitchell took the win in the final seconds, when freshman Celeste Cardona found an open junior Kady Lower to come from behind.

Lower followed Peters’ output with 12 points and Aspen Reifschneider added 11. Shelby Vogel led Kimball with a game-high 16 points and Danika Daum followed with 15 for the Longhorns.

On Saturday, the Chadron girls were just too much for Mitchell.

The visiting Cardinals (9-3) led 19-15 after one quarter and 36-27 at halftime. Chadron put the game away with a 19-13 run in the third quarter and led by as many as 23 points in the fourth period.

Lower paced Mitchell with 17 points, with Reifschneider adding 13 and Cardona scoring 10.

Senior Ashlea Kerr led Chadron’s double-figure scorers with a game-high 22 points.

The Mitchell boys overcame a 16-10 deficit in the second quarter to take a 24-20 lead into halftime, and the Tigers (5-5) led 42-33 after three periods.

Chadron (8-3) closed to within one at 53-52, but Mitchell secured the win with four free throws in the final 25 seconds.

Senior Jamie Fegler led the Tigers with 18 points, with senior Bo McVay following with 16. Antonio Barrios added 13 points in the win.

Chadron senior Spencer Eliason led all scorers with 23 points.

Mitchell played Tuesday night at Burns, Wyo., and the Tigers will be at Bridgeport on Saturday.

Bayard, Gordon-Rushville split pair

The Bayard boys scored a 60-40 win Saturday at home over Gordon-Rushville, while the visiting Mustang girls downed Bayard 44-33.

In the boys’ contest, Bayard improved to 3-7 with the dominating victory, in which four Tigers reached double figures in scoring. Bayard led 10-5 after one quarter and 27-14 at halftime.

Bryce Hargens led with 14 points, while Justin Baird, Tyler Fiscus and David Schuler added 10 apiece.

In the girls’ game, Bayard got 11 points from Kaylie Fiscus and eight apiece from Haley Sauer and Megan Stuart, but the Tigers could not overcome 10-for-23 shooting at the free throw line and dropped to 4-5 on the year. Gordon-Rushville improved to 3-7.

Bayard had home dates this week against Morrill on Tuesday and Hemingford on Friday.

Morrill girls win, boys fall at Guernsey-Sunrise

The Morrill girls improved to 5-5 with a 66-33 win Friday at Guernsey-Sunrise, Wyo.

Senior Kylie Guerue led the Lions’ charge with 15 points and had four assists, while Jessica Harvey added 13 points and six assists. Madie Schafer followed with 10 points for Morrill.

The Lion boys (2-8) fell to the host Vikings 74-36.

After playing at Bayard on Tuesday, Morrill plays host to Minatare on Friday. The Lions will then be in Panhandle Athletic Conference Tournament action next week.

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