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Longhorns capture one of three close games PDF Print E-mail

By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican


The Chase County Longhorns found themselves in the midst of three tight games last week.
With just a minute left, the Longhorns remained tied with the top-rated D-2 Wauneta-Palisade Broncs last Tuesday, Feb. 8 at Wauneta.
With  six seconds left Friday, the Longhorns led the Bayard Tigers 63-60.
Saturday night, they trailed SPVA champ and 10th-ranked Hershey by just three, 59-56, with 5.9 seconds left.
When the final buzzers sounded, the Longhorns held on to their lead against Bayard but suffered another pair of close losses.
While the Longhorns captured a 63-61 win over Bayard, Coach Carl Zuege said his team played their best games in the two losses.
He said they showed the kind of intensity on both ends of the court that he’s been looking for.
He was especially pleased with the play of senior Kyle Bottom against the point guards for Wauneta-Palisade and Hershey.
Zuege said he gave them fits  with excellent ball pressure. And against Hershey, he added 11 points. It was his best game of the season by far, Zuege said.
Subdistrict play next week
The 9-13 Longhorns will finish the regular season Friday night when they play host to the 12-9 Sutherland Sailors in boys’ action.
The Longhorns fell to Sutherland in the consolation of the SPVA tournament, 50-60.
Friday’s game provides the Longhorns the chance to avenge the earlier loss and to notch another win before going into the C2-11 subdistricts Tuesday at McCook High School.
The Longhorns will play the 14-6 Dundy County-Stratton Tigers in their opening round at 6:30 MT. The Longhorns defeated the Tigers before Christmas 66-54.
North Platte St. Pat’s, 17-4, drew the top seed and will face the winner of the Monday’s play-in game between Perkins County and Southwest.
With the way the Longhorns have rallied last week in some close games against tough opponents, this would be a perfect time for the Longhorns to peak.
Wauneta-Palisade
Going into the game, Zuege knew his squad could stay right with the Broncos. He also knew putting pressure on Broncs’ ball handlers would make a difference.
Zuege put that job on Bottom who kept the Broncs’ Chris Bartels frustrated most of the night.
After the first eight minutes, the Longhorns trailed 10-15 but narrowed that gap to just three at half, 23-26.
With 12 points from the field and another five at the line, the Longhorns captured a 40-39 lead going into the final quarter.
With less than four minutes left to play, the Longhorns held a 52-46 lead following a pair of free throws by Tanner Stromberger.
From there on, the Longhorns struggled to get the ball to go down as the Broncs closed the gap, 52-52, with under two minutes.
After burning some time off the clock, the Longhorns got a good look at the basket with 50 seconds left.
The goal, Zuege said, was to get the ball inside to Stromberger to challenge their post players.
Instead, he got double teamed so skipped the ball out to Shane German for a 15-footer. The shot rimmed out and W-P took the ball down court, with Drew Harris popping a trey to regain the lead for the Broncos.
That shot stole the momentum and forced the Longhorns to foul. The Broncs made four out of six to seal the win, 59-52.
Stromberger led the team in scoring with 13 and pulled down a total of 15 rebounds, including five offensive bounds.
The Longhorns went 2-9 from three-point range (29%), while holding the Broncs to just 4-13 (31%).
Inside the arc, the Longhorns were 19-48 (40%) compared to the Broncs’ 15-41 (37%).
The difference came at the free throw line, with the Longhorns hitting just 8 of 17 (47%) compared to Wauneta-Palisade, who hit 17 of 28 attempts (68%).
Imperial 52
2 PT.  3 PT.   FT/    
FG     FG     FTA       F    TP
Travis Wheeler    0    0    0-0    0    0
Kyle Bottom    1    1    1-5    3    6
Jakob Burke    0    1    0-0    1    3
Shane German    3    0    0-0    2    6
Alex Strand    4    0    0-1    5    8
Steven Fish    0    0    0-0    0    0
Adam Moline    0    0    0-0    0    0
Kale Gockley    0    0    0-0    0    0
Hunter Spady    0    0    0-0    0    0
Charlie Haarberg    2    0    2-4    3    6
Daniel Regier    4    0    2-3    2    10
Grant Lenners    0    0    0-0    0    0
Tanner Stromberger    5    0    3-4    3    13
TOTALS    19    2    8-17    19    52
Wauneta/Palisade 59
Bartels 21, Harris 20, Martin 16, Fanning 2.
Wauneta/Palisade’s totals: 2 pt. FG—15; 3 pt. FG—4; FT/FTA—17-25; Fouls—11; TP—59.
Points by quarters:
Imperial    10 13 17 12—52
Wau./Palisade    15 11 13 20—59
Bayard
Bayard came into the game at 10-8 and battled back and forth with the Longhorns in opening eight minutes.
The Longhorns finished the quarter with a 14-11 lead, thanks to a buzzer beater by Bottom.
After a bucket by Adam Dickey midway in the second quarter, the Longhorns went on a 11-6 run with five points from Regier and four from Stromberger, with the last bucket coming at the buzzer.
Alex Strand and Bottom each had baskets to open a 36-23 lead early in the second half.
However, Bayard knocked down three treys and, with just 1 minute left in the third, haderased the Longhorns’ margin, 42-42.
Charlie Haarberg and Steven Fish each hit a pair of free throws to stop the run and give the Longhorns a 47-44 lead going into the fourth.
One thing the Longhorns did in the final quarter was make free throws. In the final eight minutes, they went 14-20.
Despite building a 57-50 lead with 2:03 left, Bayard wouldn’t go away.
They dropped a trey and a pair of free throws to pull within one, 57-56 with 1:22 left.
Strand answered with a pair of free throws to reopen a 59-56 lead. Bayard added  one of two free throws and got the ball back inside a minute after which the Longhorns were whistled for an offensive foul.
Fortunately, Bayard couldn’t capitalize and were forced to foul Regier, who stepped to the line and drained both for a 61-57 cushion.
Another Longhorn foul sent Bayard to the line with 17 seconds left and they dropped two free throws to pull within two, 61-59.
Forced to foul, Bayard sent Strand to the line for two more. Again, he dropped both for a 63-59 lead.
With six seconds left, the Longhorns fouled a Bayard three-point shooter, sending Nate Rice to the line for three shots. He made two and intentionally missed the third, trailing 63-61.
The Longhorns secured the ball and Bayard fouled Stromberger, which sent him to the line for two.  
He missed both and with less than 6 seconds left, Bayard got off one last trey. It rimmed out but would not have counted, having been shot after the buzzer, preserving the Longhorns’ ninth win.
Three Longhorns finished in double figures, led by Regier with 18, Strand 16, and Stromberger 10. Stromberger added 13 rebounds while Strand had 10.
From the field, the Longhorns were 1-8 (13%) outside the arc and 19-44 inside (43%).
This compared to Bayard who went 6-10 (60%) outside the arc and 15-33 (45%) inside the arc.
The Longhorns went 71 percent at the line, making 22-31 compared to Bayard’s 13-21 effort (62%).
Imperial 63
2 PT.  3 PT.   FT/    
FG     FG     FTA       F    TP
Travis Wheeler    0    0    0-0    0    0
Kyle Bottom    3    0    0-0    5    6
Jakob Burke    0    0    2-4    0    2
Shane German    0    0    2-4    0    2
Alex Strand    4    0    8-10    0    16
Steven Fish    0    0    2-2    0    2
Adam Moline    0    0    0-0    0    0
Kale Gockley    0    0    0-0    0    0
Hunter Spady    0    0    0-0    0    0
Charlie Haarberg    1    0    3-3    4    5
Daniel Regier    5    1    5-6    1    18
Adam Dickey    1    0    0-0    1    2
Grant Lenners    0    0    0-0    0    0
Tanner Stromberger    5    0    0-2    4    10
TOTALS    18    1    22-31    15    63
Bayard 60
Parriott 11, Schmall 3, Jobman 15, Rice 11, Fenning 2, Stuart 14, Coon 4.
Bayard’s totals: 2 pt. FG—15; 3 pt. FG—6; FT/FTA—13-21; Fouls—22; TP—60.
Points by quarters:
Imperial    14 16 15 16—63
Bayard    11 12 21 16—60
Hershey
Saturday’s game at Hershey pitted coaches and long-time friends Carl Zuege and Dustin Jorgenson against each other.
With a win under their belt the night before, the Longhorns came out strong both defensively and offensively.
Led by Stromberger with six first-quarter points, the Longhorns held a 13-12 lead after the first period.
Stromberger added six more in the second while Hershey regained a slight margin at half, 20-19.
Aided by seven free throws in the third, Hershey opened their lead to five, 40-35.
The Longhorns got treys from Strand and Regier,  with the second one tying the game, 47-47 with 4:18 left.
Fouls took a toll on the Longhorns as 12 of Hershey’s next 14 points came at the line.
Strand and Bottom each dropped a pair of free throws but Hershey managed to open a 57-51 lead with :36 left.
Regier answered back with a trey with :25.4 seconds left to pull the Longhorns within three, 57-54.
The Longhorns were forced to foul and Hershey knocked down both for a 59-54 lead.
Strand picked up a bucket off an inside rebound to make the score 59-56 with :05.8 left.
Zuege called time-out in an attempt to make a play on the in-bounds pass.
Hershey got the ball in and broke the Longhorns’ press for an easy bucket at the horn to make the final 61-56.
Four players finished in double figures with Regier and Strand each with 14, Bottom 11 and Stromberger 10.
Stromberger led the rebounding with 9, followed by Strand with 7.
From the field, the Longhorns went 5-13 (38%) outside the arc and 16-47 (34%) inside and 9-12 at the line for 75 percent.
The big difference came at the line with Hershey shooting 34 free throws in the game, making 27 for 79 percent.
They went 2-7 (29%) outside the arc and 14-36 inside the arc (36%).
Imperial 56
2 PT.  3 PT.   FT/    
FG     FG     FTA       F    TP
Travis Wheeler    0    0    0-0    0    0
Kyle Bottom    3    1    2-2    2    11
Jakob Burke    0    0    0-0    3    0
Shane German    1    0    0-0    1    2
Alex Strand    3    2    2-4    3    14
Steven Fish    0    0    0-0    0    0
Adam Moline    0    0    0-0    0    0
Kale Gockley    0    0    0-0    0    0
Hunter Spady    0    0    0-0    0    0
Charlie Haarberg    0    0    1-2    4    1
Daniel Regier    4    2    0-0    4    14
Adam Dickey    0    0    2-2    2    2
Grant Lenners    0    0    0-0    0    0
Tanner Stromberger    5    0    2-2    5    12
TOTALS    16    5    9-12    24    56
Hershey 61
Pishna 2, Kuroki 4, Moore 16, Hellmuth 15, Young 8, Blomstedt 3, Hiatt 13.
Hershey’s totals: 2 pt. FG—14; 3 pt. FG—2; FT/FTA—27-34; Fouls—15; TP—61.
Points by quarters:
Imperial    13    8 14 21—56
Hershey    12  10 18 21—61

 

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