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Tough week for Longhorns PDF Print E-mail

By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican

There’s one way Coach Carl Zuege and his Longhorn basketball can put three straight losses last week behind them—win an SPVA conference title.
That’s exactly what the Longhorns will seek to do as they take the first step tonight (Thursday).
The Longhorns will face Hershey in a re-match in tonight’s semi-finals. Hershey, 6-8 defeated Maxwell 58-29 Monday night to advance to the semis. The Longhorns drew a first-round bye as the second seed.
Imperial and Hershey first met in the Cabela’s holiday tournament in Sidney with the Longhorns winning 65-59.
Zuege said Hershey has stepped up their game since the holiday break with three straight wins.
The challenge for his club will be to bounce back from a week that saw the Longhorns fall to 12-1 Southern Valley by eight, 58-50, to 7-7 Perkins County 54-53, and to 5-7 Gothenburg 53-37.
Southern Valley
Zuege said the Longhorns stayed in the game against Southern Valley, who is ranked fifth in C2 by the World-Herald.
After falling behind by 16 early in the second half, he said the boys chipped away at the margin. They pulled to within six in the fourth, 48-54, but could get no closer.
He said the Longhorns didn’t handle the pressure put on by Southern Valley.
In the first half, the Longhorns ran a zone in an attempt to put some pressure on Southern Valley’s 6-9 post player.
The Longhorns gave up a 11-5 run to end the first half so Zuege came back with full-court man pressure in the second half.
He said that changed the tempo of the game and brought his kids back into it.
In the final quarter, the Longhorns went just 7-16 at the line. Southern Valley was 10-20. Some of those free throws go the other way for the Longhorns and the outcome could have been different, Zuege said.
The Longhorns played the game without starter Isaac Sorensen, who was out with the flu.  
Jeff Dickey paced the Longhorns with 15, followed by Kelton Fisher with 11.
The Longhorns were just 39 percent from the field compared to 44 percent for Southern Valley.
Imperial 50
2 PT.  3 PT.      FT/    
FG    FG         FTA      F     TP
Travis Luhrs    1    0    2-3    3    4
Ryan Moline    0    0    0-0    0    0
Freddie Kasselman    0    0    0-0    0    0
Kevin German    0    0    0-0    0    0
Dan Sullivan    0    0    2-5    1    2
Jeffrey Dickey    1    3    4-4    1    15
Kale Gockley    2    1    0-0    5    7
Kelton Fisher    5    0    1-2    5    11
Justus Wallin    3    0    1-2    1    7
Hunter Spady    0    0    0-0    0    0
Trey Milner    0    0    2-6    4    2
Calin Griffin    0    0    0-0    0    0
Darrin Knobbe    0    0    0-0    0    0
Brian Bell    1    0    0-0    0    2
TOTALS    13    4    12-22    20    50
Southern Valley 58
S. Kucera 13, A. Kaup 14, J. Perkins 1, D. Best 17, H. Quinn 11, D. Brooks 2.
Southern Valley’s team totals: 2 pt. FG—16; 3 pt. FG—4; FT/FTA—14-26; Fouls—17; TP—58.
Points by quarters:
Imperial    8    9    17    16—50
Southern Valley    20    11    15    12—58
Perkins County
Zuege said this was a game that they let get away.
Fisher found his range at the elbow of the lane. He hit three shots in a row and finished the quarter with eight to help the Longhorns build a 16-10 lead.
In the second, Perkins County pulled to within one, 20-19 before the Longhorns went on a 7-1 run to lead at half, 27-20.
The Longhorns scored on their first three possessions to open the second half.
Sorensen hit a duece and Dickey and Kale Gockley added back-to-back treys. Another trey by Dickey gave the Longhorns a 38-20 lead.
But by the end of the third, Perkins County chopped the Longhorns’ lead down to 10, 43-33
Zuege knew then his Longhorns were in for a battle in the fourth.
Perkins County opened with a 7-0 run before Justus Wallin scored the first fourth-quarter basket for the Longhorns with 4:13 left.
With 2:52 left, Sorensen gave the Longhorns a 4-point 49-45 lead with a pair of free throws.
Perkins County started applying full-court pressure. The Longhorns broke loose deep but couldn’t hang on to the ball.
Perkins County went to the bucket and pulled to within two with a pair of free throws.
The Longhorns followed by turning the ball over on the press. Perkins County’s Quinton Hite took the ball right to the hoop to tie the game 49-49 with 1:24 left.
Gockley was fouled with :58.4 left and calmly drained a a 1-and-1 from the line for a 51-49 lead.
He got fouled 20 seconds later and drained 1-and-1 pair to put Chase County up 53-49.
With 21 seconds left, Hite knocked down  a trey to Perkins County to pull them within one, 53-52.
Gockley was fouled again with 14 seconds left but couldn’t convert either toss this time.
Hite took the ball to the hoop on the other end and drew a shooting foul on the Longhorns with 7.7 seconds left.
He dropped both free throws to give Perkins County their first lead since the opening two minutes, 54-53.
Zuege called a timeout to set up a play. They got the ball to the front court but turned the ball over without getting a shot off to seal the Longhorns’ fate.
Fisher led the team with 18 followed by Dickey with 13 and Gockley with 10.
Imperial 53
2 PT.  3 PT.      FT/    
FG    FG         FTA      F     TP
Travis Luhrs    0    1    0-0    1    3
Ryan Moline    0    0    0-0    0    0
Freddie Kasselman    0    0    0-0    0    0
Kevin German    0    0    0-0    0    0
Dan Sullivan    0    0    0-0    1    0
Jeffrey Dickey    2    3    0-0    0    13
Kale Gockley    1    1    5-9    2    10
Kelton Fisher    7    0    4-7    2    18
Justus Wallin    1    0    1-2    2    3
Hunter Spady    0    0    0-0    0    0
Trey Milner    0    0    0-2    2    0
Isaac Sorensen    1    0    2-2    4    4
Calin Griffin    0    0    0-0    0    0
Darrin Knobbe    0    0    0-0    0    0
Brian Bell    0    0    2-2    2    2
TOTALS    12    5    14-24    16    53
Perkins County 54
E. Carlson 7, Q. Hite 13, T. Johnson 4, C. White 3, J. Sexson 4, A. Johnston 10.
Perkins County’s team totals: 2 pt. FG—18; 3 pt. FG—2; FT/FTA—12-20; Fouls—17; TP—54.
Points by quarters:
Imperial    16    11    16    10—53
Perkins County    10    10    13    21—54
Gothenburg
The Longhorns defeated Gothenburg in the Cabela’s tournament 52-48 by holding down the production of the Swede’s two 6-7 and 6-5 inside players.
Zuege said they planned to do the same thing—only this time is was Gothenburg’s bigs that controlled the Longhorns.     
Last time they held 6-7 Logan Koehler to 10 and 6-5 Tanner Borchardt to 14. Friday, Koehler put 26 on the Longhorn defense while Borchardt finished with 18.
“Their bigs just controlled the game,” Zuege said.
Last time, they were able to keep Koehler away from the hoop. The Longhorns couldn’t get that down Friday.
“They worked harder than we did,” Zuege said.
Not to make excuses, but Zuege felt the guys had left it all on the floor the night before against Perkins County. As a result, they lacked the focus they needed to go up against a bigger team like Gothenburg.
Luhrs led the scoring with 11, followed by Fisher with 10.
While the Longhorns were tied 10-10 after one, they fell behind seven in the second and 11 in the third.
Imperial 37
2 PT.  3 PT.      FT/    
FG    FG         FTA      F     TP
Travis Luhrs    0    3    2-2    0    11
Ryan Moline    0    0    0-0    0    0
Freddie Kasselman    0    0    0-0    0    0
Kevin German    0    0    0-0    0    0
Dan Sullivan    0    0    0-0    2    0
Jeffrey Dickey    2    1    2-2    3    9
Kale Gockley    1    0    0-0    2    2
Kelton Fisher    4    0    2-3    2    10
Justus Wallin    1    0    0-0    3    2
Hunter Spady    0    0    0-0    0    0
Trey Milner    0    0    1-2    1    1
Isaac Sorensen    1    0    0-0    3    2
Calin Griffin    0    0    0-0    0    0
Darrin Knobbe    0    0    0-0    0    0
Brian Bell    0    0    0-0    0    0
TOTALS    9    4    7-9    16    37
Gothenburg 53
C. Schwanz 6, B. Ristine 3, T. Borchardt 18, L. Koehler 26.
Gothenburg’s team totals: 2 pt. FG—19; 3 pt. FG—0; FT/FTA—15-21; Fouls—13; TP—53.
Points by quarters:
Imperial    10    7    7    13—37
Gothenburg    10    14    11    18—53
SPVA tonight
Game time for tonight’s semi-final SPVA conference tournament game with Hershey begins at 6:30 p.m. MT.
The winner will play the winner of the North Platte St. Pat’s/Perkins County game on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 5 p.m. MT.
The tournament is being played in the Mid-Plains Community College gym on the south Mid-Plains campus.

 

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