Bearcats’ Kuxhausen gives full meaning to Shootout: Sophomore breaks Scottsbluff boys’ 3-point scoring record, scores 31 points in win at McCook
     2015-02-19      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Steve Towery/for the Citizen - Bearcat junior Trent Harris goes for a dunk at the East/West Shootout held in McCook on Saturday. Three was the magic number for the Bearcats, with Dru Kuxhausen breaking the 3-pointer school record with 10 treys in one game, helping the team to score three wins over the weekend against McCook, Class A North Platte and Lexington. Scottsbluff will host Gering Friday night for their third match up of the season. 
While the Scottsbluff boys’ basketball team was playing its third road game in as many days, one could not have sensed any weariness, especially when it came to watching the Bearcat record-setting performance of sophomore Dru Kuxhausen on Saturday at McCook.

Kuxhausen broke the Scottsbluff boys’ school record for 3-pointers made in one game with 10 treys, and for good measure he added an extra point for 31 points in leading the Bearcats to a 71-30 romp over McCook in the East/West Shootout.

“He’s been shooting well lately, and a lot of that just has to do with us playing really well as a team,” Scottsbluff boys’ coach Tony Siske said of Kuxhausen, who hit 10 of 16 trey attempts on his way to breaking the Bearcat record of nine – most recently reached by Eric Moreno in the Bearcats’ state runner-up season of 2012-13.

While Siske decided to pull all his starters late in the third quarter, and knowing Kuxhausen had tied the 3-point record with five treys in the third period, the eighth-year coach decided to give the sharpshooting guard one shot at breaking the record in the fourth quarter.

If it goes in, it’s Kuxhausen’s record. Miss it, and he remains tied with the other trio.

“You just try to figure out ways to give him another shot when you’re hitting them like he does,” Siske added of Kuxhausen, who drained six treys in the second quarter of the Bearcats’ 70-56 win Feb. 6 over Sidney.

Scottsbluff, after leading 16-15 at halftime, used a 13-2 run in the second quarter to take a 29-17 halftime lead. Then the Bearcats outscored the Bison 28-8 in the third period and 14-5 in the fourth.
“We have the ability to put up a bunch of points in a short amount of time,” Siske said. “We’re shooting and rebounding well, and I just like the way we’re playing.”

Senior Trent Harris followed Kuxhausen with 14 points and matched the sophomore’s six rebounds, as did sophomore post Landon Walker, who finished with eight points along with senior Dillon Hernandez.

That win, Scottsbluff’s seventh straight, lifted the Bearcats to 17-4 on the year. In its other two Shootout games, Scottsbluff rolled past North Platte on Thursday 65-40 and Lexington on Friday 68-36.

In beating North Platte (5-17), the Bearcats hit 13-3-pointers – five by Kuxhausen – and held the host Bulldogs scoreless for the first 5:37 of the game en route to grabbing a 13-3 lead after one quarter. Scottsbluff then extended its lead to 40-10 at halftime and 54-23 after three periods.

Kuixhausen’s five 3s paced his 17-point outing, and Walker followed with 11 points. Harris and junior Austin Clarkson followed with nine points apiece.

Against Lexington (5-17), Scottsbluff Scored 20 points in each of the second and third quarters after leading 15-10 following the first period.

Hernandez led the Bearcats with 11 points, while Kuxhausen – who had just one 3-ball against the Minutemen – and Walker followed with 10 points. Walker secured a double-double with 10 rebounds, leading Scottsbluff’s 40-26 barrage on the boards.

The Bearcats held Lexington to just 24.5 percent shooting while they connected on 51 percent of their own.
Scottsbluff wraps up regular-season play with home action Friday against Gering and by heading northward to Rapid City to face the Central Cobblers.

“If we just keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll just keep getting better at it,” said Siske, whose team has held its opposition to 50 points or below in all seven of its games during its winning streak – including five with 40 or fewer.

“Our scoring and our defensive points allowed the last six or seven games have been pretty impressive.”
District B-6 boys’ pairings will be announced on Tuesday, with Scottsbluff likely to be the No. 2 seed behind Sidney and the Bearcats playing Gering again in semifinal play on March 2 in either McCook or Sidney. The site will depend on if McCook wins its first-round game over Alliance.

“I think it’s pretty set that we’ll be the 2 and playing Gering,” Siske said. “We’ll just keep doing what we’ve been doing and how we’re playing.”

Bearcat girls bury McCook, losing streak

Although the Scottsbluff girls entered their Shootout finale Saturday against McCook on a five-game losing streak, Bearcat girls’ coach Rachel Larson said she was impressed by the improvement in her team’s play during the first two days of action despite losses to North Platte and Lexington.

But Scottsbluff (7-11) took care of its slide by outscoring McCook 22-1 in the first quarter on its way to taking a 55-25 romp over the Bison (6-16).
The Bearcats then led 32-6 at halftime and 42-12 after three quarters.

“We’re getting better at shooting and boxing out, we’re out of our shooting slump, so I think we’re definitely moving in the right direction,” said Larson, whose team will be the No. 2 seed in the District B-6 tournament after being the No. 5 seed and just 2-20 during her first season.

“We’re doing a better job of looking for each other and finding the open person. I think the weekend was definitely a positive.”
In defeating McCook, Scottsbluff shot nearly 40 percent from the floor and got a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds from junior Aly Camacho. Sophomore Rudi Salazar added 12 points, and eight other Bearcats got into the scoring column.

“We came out really fast and aggressive,” Larson said. “We played a really good defensive game, and I was just really pleased with their effort, especially on the defensive end, because that’s how we were able to get a lot of our baskets was off our press and we were able to push the ball in transition.

“We did a good job of executing in the half court. Something we really tried to do in the second half was just being able to execute our offense in the half court.”
Larson took the high road in finding positives in the Bearcats’ 75-62 loss Thursday to North Platte (13-9) and 54-51 defeat Friday to Lexington (8-15).

“We didn’t play terrible against North Platte,” said Larson, whose team last season was ripped by the host Bulldogs 76-35 in the Shootout. “Last year we got beaten badly and this year it was only 13, so I think that was definitely an improvement.”

After Scottsbluff lost a 42-29 decision at Lexington last year, the Bearcats took the Minutemaids to the wire on Friday.
“Against Lexington, we were in a position to win the game and they just made one or two more shots than we did, and we had a half-court shot that rimmed in and out that would have put it into overtime,” Larson said. “So I think there were a lot of good things to take from the weekend.”

Unstoppable for Lexington, however, was junior Hannah Ostrom and her 33-point outing. With Scottsbluff leading 39-35 after three quarters, following a 12-point Bearcat advantage, Ostrom scored 13 fourth-frame points that included 10 out of 11 attempts at the free-throw line.
Camacho had a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds for Scottsbluff, and junior Chloey Reifschneider – whose half-court attempt just missed sending the game into four extra minutes – also had 17 points.

Scottsbluff will play host to Gering (5-17) on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and then finish the regular season Saturday at Rapid City Stevens. The Bearcats then open District B-6 play on Feb. 26 in a semifinal game against No. 3 seed McCook at McCook Community College.

“We’re really excited for the opportunity to play in districts, with the chance to possibly go to state, because the district is still wide open,” Larson said. “The kids are still focused and we’re playing our best at the right time.”

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