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’Horns lose heartbreaker at Grant, can’t bounce back against Gothenburg PDF Print E-mail

By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican

Imperial’s Longhorn boys’ basketball team fell to 2-9 after a pair of losses last weekend.
In a rematch with Perkins County Thursday, the Longhorns played their best ball of the season, leading the game most of the way.
However, in the end, their inability to make some crucial fourth quarter free throws left the door open for Perkins County.
Leading by just one with 13 seconds left, the Longhorns missed a pair of free throws that could have put them up three, forcing Perkins County to make a trey to tie.
Instead, Perkins County got the rebound and went down the court and threw inside to their big man, 6-10 Kye Kurkowski.
Kurkowski hit the shot to go up by one, 48-47, with :08 left.
The Longhorns tried a long inbounds pass with time running out but it was intercepted, forcing Chase County to foul with just seconds left.
Perkins County made the first free throw and missed the second.
A last ditch heave to the hoop by Alex Strand bounced off the rim, sealing the ’Horns fate, 47-49.
Coach Carl Zuege said it was a heartbreaking loss for his team. “We played our best ball of the year,” he added. “We played really hard.”
Looking for a quality win to break a three-game skid, the Longhorns shot the ball well, going 15-30 from 2-point range and 4-12 from 3-point range.
It was the free throw shooting that proved to be their undoing, making just 5-12 for the game and only 3-8 in the final quarter.
Both offensively and defensively, Zuege said the Longhorns performed well.
They attacked Perkins County’s defense offensively and led for nearly all of the game.
Defensively, they held Kurkowski to just 16 points and controlled the boards.
He said they got a little sloppy taking care of the ball in the final 90 seconds and Perkins County capitalized on those mistakes.
“But the kids battled hard,” he noted.
Strand turned in a good game with 9 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists.
He noted Jeff Banks hit some big shots, including a pair of treys to finish with 12 points to lead the Longhorns. He hadn’t missed a free throw all season until the fourth quarter.
Zuege said Charlie Haarberg turned in some real hustle plays down the stretch while Tanner Stromberger and Daniel Regier did a “tremendous” job of keeping Kurkowski in check.
Imperial 47
2 PT.    3 PT.    FT/        
FG    FG    FTA    F    TP
Kyle Bottom    0    0    0-0    0    0
Jakob Burke    0    0    0-0    0    0
Shane German    0    0    0-0    0    0
Alex Strand    0    2    3-7    4    9
Steven Fish    0    0    0-0    0    0
Adam Moline    0    0    0-0    0    0
Alec Spady    2    0    0-0    0    4
Jeff Banks    3    2    0-2    0    12
Charlie Haarberg    1    0    2-3    5    4
Daniel Regier    5    0    0-0    1    10
Adam Dickey    0    0    0-0    1    0
Grant Lenners    0    0    0-0    0    0
Tanner Stromberger    4    0    0-0    3    8
TOTALS    15    4    5-12    0    47
Perkins County 49
Sexson 12, Hagan 4, Jones 10, York 7, Kurkowski 16.
Perkins County’s totals: 2 pt. FG—18; 3 pt. FG—2; FT/FTA—7-11; Fouls—16, TP—49.
Points by quarters:
Imperial    10 15 14 8—47
Perkins County    10 13 13 13—49
’Horns a step slow Friday
After Thursday’s crushing loss to the the Plainsmen, the Longhorns struggled to get going against the Gothenburg Swedes here Friday.
Their main shooter, Landen Haake, came out on fire, hitting four shots, including a trey, in the first quarter. His hot hand continued in the second with a pair of baskets and another 3-pointer.
Despite his quick start, the Longhorns pulled back to within two, 8-10, in the first quarter. However, the Swedes were able to stretch out their lead to five, 15-20, after the first quarter.
The Longhorns kept it to within six at half, 23-29, but lost their edge in the third, giving up 15 while only answering with six to trail by 15 going into the final quarter.
They kept the margin at 15 in the fourth, falling 35-50.
Stromberger led the scoring with 9.
Zuege said the Longhorns seemed to be a step slow all night,  no doubt a result of the effort the night before against Perkins County.
It was more mental tiredness than physical, Zuege thought.
The loss left the Longhorns at 2-9 going into Tuesday night’s SPVA conference tourney opener against Hershey.
Imperial 35
2 PT.    3 PT.    FT/        
FG    FG    FTA    F    TP
Kyle Bottom    2    0    0-0    1    4
Jakob Burke    0    0    0-0    1    0
Shane German    1    0    0-0    0    2
Alex Strand    1    2    0-1    2    8
Steven Fish    0    0    0-0    0    0
Adam Moline    0    0    0-0    0    0
Alec Spady    0    0    0-0    1    0
Jeff Banks    3    0    0-0    0    6
Charlie Haarberg    0    0    2-2    3    2
Daniel Regier    2    0    0-0    2    4
Adam Dickey    0    0    0-0    0    0
Grant Lenners    0    0    0-0    0    0
Tanner Stromberger    3    0    3-5    2    9
TOTALS    12    2    5-8    12    35
Gothenburg 50
Hilderbrand 4, Franzen 2, Ahlenstorf 4, Haake 26, Teahon 4, Sheets 6, Reeves 4.
Gothenburg’s totals: 2 pt. FG—15; 3 pt. FG—15; FT/FTA—5-8; Fouls—11, TP—50.
Points by quarters:
Imperial    15 8  6 6—35
Gothenburg    20 9 15 6—50