|Top-rated Chadron ends Longhorns’ season in subs|
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
After defeating Gordon-Rushville in the first round of the C1-12 subdistricts last week, the Longhorns saw their season come to an end with a 44-77 loss to Chadron in the subdistrict final.
The final loss left the Longhorns with a 4-16 season mark.
Despite the loss, Coach Carl Zuege said he was encouraged with the way his kids played against the top-ranked Chadron Cardinals.
The Longhorns went into the subdistricts without their 6-9 big man, Josh Schuman. He missed both games due to sickness.
As a result, Zuege turned to senior Daniel Morales and sophomores Tanner Stromberger and Daniel Regier to pick up the slack inside.
Senior Colin Larson stepped up strong in his last game as a Longhorn, scoring 13 points.
Sophomore Alex Strand played one of his best games of the year, Zuege noted, contributing all over the court while scoring 15 to Lead the Longhorns.
Several others aspects of the team’s play stood out for Zuege.
Chadron pressed the Longhorns in the first half and “we handled it,” the coach said.
He was pleased to see the Longhorns handle the press well because that’s been a problem for much of the season.
One of the biggest rewards came in the form of attitude. Zuege said his kids played spirited ball and responded well to the challenge of playing the top-rated team in the class.
Even though they got behind, Zuege said the boys “played hard, didn’t fold and still competed.”
That gives them something to build on going forward, he noted.
The Longhorns’ task was a tough one indeed, with Chadron’s dominance inside led by 6-11 junior Elliott Eliason.
Zuege said their plan was to pack it in around Eliason and take their chances with forcing Chadron to shoot outside—and shoot from the outside they did.
The held Eliason to just four in the first quarter but Chadron responded with a pair of treys and three other outside hoops.
In the second, Chadron’s Alex Holmquist caught fire from the outside, hitting five treys en route to 19 in the period. For the game, he went 7-9 from the three-point arc and led all scorers with 30.
His run enabled Chadron to build a 49-24 lead over the Longhorns, who only gave up another 10 points of margin in the rest of the game, falling 44-77.
Chadron defeated Kearney Catholic 65-62 Monday to win the C1-6 district and advance to the boys’ state tournament next week.
2 PT. 3 PT. FT/
FG FG FTA F TP
Kyle Bottom 1 0 0-1 0 2
Matt Hayes 0 1 0-0 0 3
Alex Strand 3 3 0-0 2 15
Jakob Burke 0 0 0-0 0 0
Alec Spady 0 0 0-0 0 0
Jeff Banks 0 0 0-0 0 0
Casey Francis 1 0 1-2 1 3
Daniel Regier 0 0 0-0 0 0
Colin Larson 5 0 3-4 3 13
Daniel Morales 0 0 0-0 2 0
Alex Sharp 0 0 0-0 1 0
Tanner Stromberger 4 0 0-0 3 8
TOTALS 14 4 4-7 12 44
T. Reeves 5, W. Blome 4, A. Yeradi-Danielson 1, A. Holmquist 30, J. Lordino 8, Z. Bargen 17, E. Eliason 12.
Chadron’s totals: 2 pt. FG—17; 3 pt. FG—10; FT/FTA—13-17; Fouls—6; TP—77.
Points by quarters:
Imperial 8 16 13 7—44
Chadron 21 28 26 2—77