By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
The Chase County Longhorns fell to 2-7 Saturday when they lost to the Wray Eagles, 41-50.
They’ll look for a couple of wins this week when they travel to Perkins County tonight (Thursday) and then play host to Gothenburg Friday.
Perkins County brings in a 5-5 record while Gothenburg stands at 4-6 after both teams defeated Sutherland in action last weekend.
The Perkins County game will be a rematch with Perkins County winning the first one in their holiday tournament, 46-37.
That was a game the Longhorns stayed with the Plainsmen until the final minutes of the game.
Coach Carl Zuege said the changes they’ve made since that tournament came in response to that loss.
He said they’re looking forward to the rematch as they prepare for the SPVA conference tournament, which begins next week.
The Longhorns drew the fourth seed in the six-team tournament and will face fifth-seeded Hershey in the opener Tuesday, Jan. 19.
The winner will face top-seeded Maxwell in the semis next Friday while the loser will be off until the fifth-place game Saturday afternoon.
A bracket of the tournament appears with this story.
In final preparation for the tournament, the Longhorns will face Gothenburg here Friday night.
Zuege said it’s imperative for his team to get off to a quick start in their upcoming games.
They’ve struggled offensively in the opening quarter and found themselves in a hole early.
Zuege said he feels the team has made the right adjustments offensively to get points on the board.
Wray gets early lead
Early in Saturday’s game against Wray, the Longhorns fell behind 8-1 in the first three minutes but got it back to two, 6-8, before Wray went on a 7-2 run to close the quarter.
Trailing 15-8, the Longhorns rattled off three straight 3-pointers to open the second quarter, knotting the score at 17 with five minutes left in the half.
From there, Wray went on another run of their own, outscoring the Longhorns 10-2, making the halftime score 19-27.
To open the third, Alec Spady and Jeff Banks each dropped 3-pointers. Those, coupled with a bucket by Tanner Stromberger pulled the Longhorns with two, 27-29.
But it was another run by the Eagles in the last four minutes of the quarter that broke the Longhorns’ back.
Over the next four minutes, Wray went on an 11-2 run to open up an 11-point lead going into the fourth.
They extended that lead to as many as 15 before the Longhorns pulled it back to nine at the end, 41-50.
Banks led the team with three treys offensively to finish with nine points. Stromberger scored seven.
2 PT. 3 PT. FT/
FG FG FTA F TP
Kyle Bottom 1 0 1-1 2 3
Jakob Burke 0 1 0-0 1 3
Shane German 0 0 0-0 0 0
Alex Strand 0 1 0-0 5 3
Steven Fish 0 0 0-0 0 0
Adam Moline 0 0 0-0 0 0
Alec Spady 0 1 3-4 1 6
Jeff Banks 0 3 0-0 4 9
Charlie Haarberg 2 0 2-2 5 6
Daniel Regier 1 0 0-0 2 2
Adam Dickey 0 0 0-0 0 0
Grant Lenners 1 0 0-0 0 2
Tanner Stromberger 3 0 1-2 3 7
TOTALS 8 6 7-9 23 41
Wray, Colo. 50
Cure 6, Jones 21, Vlasin 5, Ketteison 6, Fruhwirth 6, Siegrist 2, Holmes 4.
Wray’s totals: 2 pt. FG—17; 3 pt. FG—1; FT/FTA—13-27; Fouls—13, TP—50.
Points by quarters:
Imperial 8 11 10 12—41
Wray 15 12 13 10—50
This week’s action
Jayvee action at Grant today begins at 4:30 p.m., followed by the girls’ and boys’ varsity games.
Jayvee action here Friday begins 4 p.m., followed by the varsity games.
Chase County’s opener against Hershey in the SPVA tournament will start at 6 p.m. MT/7 p.m. CT Tuesday at the North Platte Community College gym.