By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
The CCS Longhorn dropped a close game to the Sidney Red Raiders 49-56 Friday, but came back to handily defeat the Ogallala Indians on Saturday 49-17.
Both nights, the Longhorns got off to a slow start, Coach Carl Zuege said.
They trailed Sidney by as many as nine points in the first quarter and 15 in the second quarter there Friday.
On the home court Saturday, the Longhorn defense held Ogallala to just four points in the first quarter. However, the offense could only score four as well.
Zuege wasn’t especially pleased with how his team performed in the first half at Sidney.
Instead of dictating the rhythm of the game, they played in a reactive mode to what Sidney was doing.
On defense, Zuege said the Longhorns were chasing after Sidney rather than forcing mistakes.
On Saturday, Zuege said the effects of a close, hard-fought game against Sidney, along with kids leaving early for ACT tests, played a role in the Longhorns’ slow offensive start.
However, he said the defense didn’t yield any easy shots to Ogallala, keeping them in the game.
As the game progressed, the Longhorns put double figures on the board the next three quarters.
Zuege said their goal is to put up 15 points per quarter. With 60 points a game, Zuege said his team will come out on top of most of those games.
The Longhorns will play host to the Yuma, Colo. Indians tonight (Thursday).
The Indians, a state semi-finalist in Colorado’s 2A division, comes in with a perfect 5-0 record.
Zuege said it will be a good challenges for his team as Yuma is always an athletic team with quickness and good ball-shooting ability.
Boys’ jayvee action begins at 4 p.m. in the Shorthorn gym while the C-Team girls will play in the Longhorn gym.
Around 5:30 p.m., Chase County’s jayvee girls will play Yuma in the Longhorn gym. The boys’ varsity will follow at approximately 7 p.m.
The Longhorns never led until midway in the fourth quarter and fell behind as many as 10 in the first quarter and 15 in the second quarter.
The Longhorns grabbed some momentum just before half. Sidney was trying to hold on for the last shot but the Longhorns got a steal.
Kelton Fisher got the ball and drove to the bucket for a lay-up and a foul. He dropped the free throw to pull the Longhorns within 10 at half, 21-31.
At half time, Zuege told his kids they had just cheated themselves out of a half of basketball, when they don’t play up to their capabilities.
The next 12 minutes, Zuege said he saw a whole new team, especially on defense.
The Longhorns’ aggressive man-to-man held the Red Raiders to just seven points while Longhorns answered with 15. At the third quarter break, the Longhorns only trailed 36-32.
The ’Horns continued their charge into the fourth quarter and took the lead 44-43 on a Travis Luhrs trey and Jeff Dickey free throw with four minutes left.
Sidney responded over the next three minutes, scoring nine unanswered points to go up 44-52 with less than a minute left.
Isaac Sorensen hit a jumper to pull the Longhorns within six, 46-52. The Longhorns fouled to send the Red Raiders to the line, hoping they wouldn’t convert.
Sidney knocked down four in a row to go up by 10 with just 31 seconds left.
Luhrs added another trey but it was too little, too late, with the Longhorns falling 49-56.
Sorensen and Fisher led the team with 13 points each, followed by Luhrs with 11.
The Longhorns shot 44 percent from the field, going 41-18, including 6-16 outside the arc.
Fisher also led the rebounding with 8, followed by Dickey with 6.
Zuege said the team will learn from the loss and the importance of playing hard for four quarters.
2 PT. 3 PT. FT/
FG FG FTA F TP
Travis Luhrs 1 3 0-0 1 11
Ryan Moline 0 1 0-0 2 3
Kevin German 0 0 1-2 1 1 Dan Sullivan 0 0 0-0 4 0
Jeff Dickey 1 1 1-3 1 6
Kelton Fisher 5 0 3-3 4 13
Trey Milner 1 0 0-2 3 2
Isaac Sorensen 4 1 2-2 1 13
TOTALS 12 6 7-12 17 49
L. Harvey 8, P. Ehler 13, C. O’Connell 3, L. Lewis 10, T. Wintholz 12, L. Rosenbaum 7, J. Sager 3.
Sidney’s totals: 2 pt. FG—14; 3 pt. FG—3; FT/FTA—19-26; Fouls—15; TP—56.
Points by quarters:
Imperial 8 13 15 13—49
Sidney 16 15 7 18—56
With the exception of a lack of offense in the first quarter against Ogallala, Zuege felt his team played well in their 49-17 win over Ogallala.
Zuege said they can’t get by with scoring just four points in a quarter. In a different situation, the outcome could have been much different.
The Longhorns got back on pace in the remaining three quarters, scoring 15, 14 and 16 points.
After a 4-4 first quarter, the Longhorns fell behind to the Indians, 4-8.
Trey Milner hit back-to-back shots to tie the game and start a scoring rally. His four points were part of a 13-0 run in the final three and half minutes of the second quarter.
In the third, the Longhorns led by 14, 25-11, when Luhrs put the dagger in with back-to-back treys. That pushed the lead to 31-11 and the Longhorns never looked back.
Luhrs added another trey in the fourth, along with a deuce to lead the Longhorns in scoring with 19.
The Longhorns shot 46 percent from the floor while Ogallala hit just 16 percent of their 38 shots.
From three-point range, the Longhorns went 5-12 for 46 percent.
The Longhorns out-rebounded the the Indians 36-26, led by Dickey with 7, Fisher 6 and Sorensen 5.
2 PT. 3 PT. FT/
FG FG FTA F TP
Travis Luhrs 5 3 0-0 1 19 Ryan Moline 0 0 0-0 0 0
Kevin German 1 0 0-0 3 2 Dan Sullivan 0 0 0-2 1 0
Destyn Milner 1 0 1-2 1 3
Jeff Dickey 1 1 0-0 1 5
Kelton Fisher 3 0 0-0 2 6
Trey Milner 2 0 0-0 4 4
Isaac Sorensen 4 0 0-0 3 8
Calen Griffin 0 0 0-0 1 0
Kevin Chavira 0 0 0-0 0 0
Jared Sharp 1 0 0-0 0 2
Darin Knobbe 0 0 0-0 0 0
TOTALS 18 4 1-4 17 49
D. Folchert 2, J. Jaeger 5, T. Reiss 3, E. Tuttle 4,E. Schilz 1, D. Higgins 2.
Ogallala’s totals: 2 pt. FG—6; 3 pt. FG—1; FT/FTA—2-16; Fouls—14; TP—17.
Points by quarters:
Imperial 4 15 14 16—49
Ogallala 4 4 4 5—17