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Longhorns finish as runner-up in SPVA PDF Print E-mail

By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican

This year’s Longhorn boys basketball team accomplished something they haven’t been able to do since 2004—make the SPVA finals.
The Longhorns defeated Hershey 47-38 in the semi-finals Thursday after drawing a bye as the #2 seed.
They finished as the runner-up after falling to North Platte St. Pat’s 33-44 in the finals.
Coach Carl Zuege said his team played really well defensively during the tournament.
Their goal was to keep teams out of the paint and were able to do that.
Zuege praised Justus Walling and Trey Milner for their work against St. Pat’s. “They really did a nice job defensively, despite being undersized,” he said.
While the defense rose to the occasion in both games, the Longhorns struggled offensively.  They shot just 36 percent against Hershey and only 37 percent against St. Pat’s.
Zuege said they did the job defensively, like holding St. Pat’s to 44. “We just need to score.”
Hershey
In the semi-final against Hershey, both teams struggled to put the ball in the hoop.
Hershey hit just two field goals in the first half but capitalized on the Longhorn’s aggressive defense.
The Longhorns sent the Panthers to the line 19 times, where they converted 11 to stay within four of the Longhorns at half.
In the third, Jeff Dickey hit a trey and two deuces, along with a trey and deuce from Hunter Spady to keep the Longhorns up by six going into the final quarter, 33-27.
Sorensen hit a bucket to open the fourth, followed by two baskets from Kelton Fisher to open a 10-point, 39-29 lead.
From there on, the Longhorns won the game at the free throw line.
Hershey put Wallin to the line six times and he converted five while Dickey went to the line four times and converted three.
That success at the line boosted the Longhorns to a 47-38 win to advance to the finals.
“I was happy with the win,” Zuege said. “It could have been prettier but it was a win and advanced us.”
Dickey led all scorers with 15 with Sorensen adding 10 and Wallin 9.
Imperial 47
2 PT.  3 PT.      FT/    
FG    FG         FTA      F     TP
Travis Luhrs    0    0    0-0    1    0
Ryan Moline    0    0    0-0    0    0
Freddie Kasselman    0    0    0-0    0    0
Kevin German    0    0    0-0    1    0
Dan Sullivan    0    0    0-2    0    0
Jeffrey Dickey    3    2    3-4    2    15
Kale Gockley    0    0    0-0    4    0
Kelton Fisher    2    0    0-0    5    4
Justus Wallin    2    0    5-6    2    9
Hunter Spady    2    1    0-1    0    7
Trey Milner    1    0    0-0    4    2
Isaac Sorensen    5    0    0-0    4    10
Calin Griffin    0    0    0-0    0    0
Darin Knobbe    0    0    0-0    0    0
Brian Bell    0    0    0-0    0    0
TOTALS    15    3    8-13    23    47
Hershey 38
T. Osborne 2, L. Weir 1, J. Connell 10, L. Maassen 6, D. Johnson 11, J. Margritz 4, R. Cox 2, D. Streeter 2.
Hershey’s team totals: 2 pt. FG—11; 3 pt. FG—0; FT/FTA—16-32; Fouls—16; TP—38.
Points by quarters:
Imperial    8    11    14    14—47
Hershey    8    7    12    11—38
St. Pat’s
Zuege said his team got off to a good defensive start against the Irish.
The Longhorns’ goal was to shut down St. Pat’s top scorers, Sean Keenan and Joe Clinch.
Clinch got six in the first quarter but was held to seven for the game.
Keenan had just five before leaving the game in the middle of the third quarter with a torn ACL.
The Longhorns stayed within five of the fourth-ranked Irish at half, 17-22.
The Irish exploited the Longhorns’ weakness with a pressure man defense, forcing  a dozen turnovers.
“We struggled to take care of the ball,” Zuege said, noting that disrupted establishing any offensive flow.
Despite that, the Longhorns were able to close to within four at the 3:20 mark in the third, 23-27.
However that proved to be their finals points in the quarter. At the other end, the Irish’s 6-3 junior Mark Mayfield went off for eight in the quarter himself, giving them a 35-23 lead over the Longhorns.
The Irish opened the fourth with a trey by Mayfield to go up 15.
The Longhorns answered with eight straight with a pair of baskets by Dan Sullivan, along with one each from Sorensen and Fisher.
That seven-point difference would be the closest the Longhorns would get.
With the Irish stalling, the Longhorns had to foul. The Irish got their final four points at the line en route to the 44-33 win to claim the SPVA championship.
Fisher was the only Longhorn to finish in double figures with 12.
Imperial 33
2 PT.  3 PT.      FT/    
FG    FG         FTA      F     TP
Travis Luhrs    1    1    0-0    0    5
Ryan Moline    0    0    0-0    0    0
Freddie Kasselman    0    0    0-0    0    0  
Dan Sullivan    2    0    0-0    4    4
Kevin German    0    0    0-0    0    0
Jeffrey Dickey    1    0    0-0    3    2
Kale Gockley    0    0    0-0    3    0
Kelton Fisher    5    0    2-2    2    12
Justus Wallin    0    0    0-0    5    0
Hunter Spady    0    0    0-0    0    0
Trey Milner    1    0    2-2    1    4
Isaac Sorensen    3    0    0-0    3    6
Calin Griffin    0    0    0-0    0    0
Brian Bell    0    0    0-0    0    0
TOTALS    13    1    4-4    21    33
N.P. St. Pat’s 44
S. Keenan 5, J. O’Malley 1, B. Nieson 1, M. Buhrman 2, J. Clinch 7, A. Harms 6, M. Mayfield 22.
N.P. St. Pat’s team totals: 2 pt. FG—14; 3 pt. FG—1; FT/FTA—13-24; Fouls—10; TP—44.
Points by quarters:
Imperial    10    7    6    10—33
N.P. St. Pat’s    12    10    13    9—44
Haxtun this week
The Longhorns will face another highly-ranked team Saturday when they travel to face the Haxtun Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs have only one loss against seven wins.
The first game of a five-game marathon will begin at 1 p.m. with a C Team boys game. That will be followed by the girls and boys jayvee games and the girls and boys varsity games.



 

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