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Longhorns upset Southern Valley PDF Print E-mail

Capture #2 seed in SPVA

By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican

Junior Kelton Fisher did it again Tuesday night.
Trailing by one with 6 seconds left, Fisher got the pass, drove the length of the court, and kissed a lay-up off the glass with 0.3 seconds left for a 37-36 upset of the Southern Valley Eagles.
Coach Zuege and his players flew off the bench when the buzzer sounded, celebrating their upset of the 3rd and 4th ranked team in Class C2. (Lincoln Journal-Star has them ranked 3rd, the Omaha World Herald 4th.)
This marked the second time for Fisher’s heroics this season. He pulled off the same feat for the win at the buzzer against Yuma early in mid-December.
Crucial win for SPVA seeding
Not only was the upset sweet for Coach Carl Zuege’s squad, it also locked them in as the #2 seed in next week’s SPVA conference tournament ahead of Kimball.
Prior to last weekend’s games, it looked like SPVA newcomer Kimball would be the #2 seed. However, 3rd and 4th ranked C2 Kimball suffered their first loss.
That, combined with Tuesday’s upset over SV and Maxwell losing to Maywood, proved enough to move the Longhorns ahead of Kimball in wildcard points.
Following Tuesday night’s upset, Zuege said it wasn’t a pretty win. “But I’ll take it.”
He’s hoping the win will give the Longhorns some much-needed momentum. They face Perkins County tonight (Thursday) and Gothenburg  Friday and open SPVA play Tuesday against Hershey.
Defense the difference
Coach Zuege said the Longhorns really struggled offensively against the eagles’ zone defense, especially in the first half.
The Longhorns had trouble getting off shots and scored just seven in the first half.
They offset their lack of offense with a strong defensive effort, allowing SV just 19 to trail at half 7-19.
At halftime, Zuege told his kids they were still in it and challenged them to go out and take control of the game.
That’s exactly what they did, dominating the defending C2 state champions in the second half.
The Longhorns’ defensive pressure kept the Eagles off balance to open the second half. In fact, they didn’t give up a point until 1:31 left in the third while going on a 11-0 run.
By the time the third quarter ended, the Longhorns had pulled to within a pair, 21-23.
The Eagles rebuilt an eight-point lead with five minutes left, 22-30.
The Longhorns hadn’t been able to break down the Eagles’ zone defense until point guard Dan Sullivan started penetrating the middle midway in the fourth.
That opened the defense just enough, allowing the Longhorns to get off some quality shots and attack the offensive boards.
The Longhorns took advantage of the break-down, with Fisher and Isaac Sorensen getting baskets while Jeff Dickey and Travis Luhrs knocked down 3-pointers.
Luhrs’ trey with 1:38 left gave the Longhorns their first lead of the game, 32-30.
The Eagles began fouling, sending Luhrs to the line where he made his first two for a 34-30 lead.
Southern Valley answered with a three-point bomb from at least 24 feet out to pull within one.
They sent Luhrs to the line again, where he made the first of two for a 35-33 lead with :52 left.
The Eagles launched another 3-pointer to go ahead 35-36 with:40 left.
The Longhorns managed to survive three turnovers in the  final 30 seconds after Southern Valley went 0-4 at the line.
After the Eagles missed a pair of free throws with :06.2 left, then Luhrs grabbed the rebound and got it out Fisher on the bench side.
With pressure on him all the way, Fisher was undaunted as he released the shot. It went through the hoop with :0.3 left, giving the Eagle no time to call a time-out.
Dickey and Luhrs led the Longhorns in scoring with 8 each.
From the line, the Longhorns went 8-12 while the Eagles were just 5 of 16, and just 1 of 6 in the final minute.
Imperial 37
2 PT.    3 PT.    FT/
FG    FG    FTA    F    TP
Travis Luhrs    1    1    3-4    1    8
Ryan Moline    0    0    0-0    0    0
Kevin German    1    0    1-1    0    3
Dan Sullivan    0    0    0-0    2    0
Jeff Dickey    1    2    0-0    3    8
Kelton Fisher    3    0    0-1    2    6    
Justus Wallin    0    0    0-0    1    0
Trey Milner    1    0    3-4    3    5
Isaac Sorensen    3    0    1-2    3    7
TOTALS    10    3    8-12    15    37
Southern Valley 36
Alan Varela 2, Alex Kaup 12, Seth Miller 3, Dalton Best 3, Hunter Quinn 14, Dylan Brooks 2.
Southern Valley totals: 2 pt. FG—8; 3 pt. FG—5; FT/FTA—5-16; Fouls—12; TP—36.
Points by quarters:
Imperial    3    4    14    16—37
Southern Valley    12    7    4    13—36
Longhorns split last week
The Longhorns split in action last week. They defeated Dundy County-Stratton (DCS) there 66-50 on Tuesday, Jan. 7 and came back home Friday to face Holyoke, falling 57-62.
Zuege said their game with DCS marked their fourth game in six days.
The Longhorns got in foul trouble early in the first half. By halftime, four starters each had two fouls but they still led 31-25 at the break.
In the third, the Longhorns opened the lead to 11 and got it to 20 in the fourth quarter, cruising to the 15-point win.
Dickey led the team with 21. Sorensen hit a season high of 14 and Luhrs added 13 in the win.
Friday’s match-up between the Longhorns and Holyoke Dragons didn’t go the Longhorns’ way.
After building a 15-11 lead after the first quarter, Holyoke came back to close it to one at half, 25-24.
The Longhorns extended their lead to five, 31-26, on a four-point play by Luhrs. He drained a 3-pointer, was fouled during the shot, and then made the free throw.
The momentum didn’t last long as Holyoke went up 34-35 with three minutes left in the third.  They held a 37-39 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The back-breaker came when Holyoke’s Ryan Parker canned three consecutive treys to open up a 10-point lead, 41-51.
The Longhorns kept scratching back and pulled to within three, 57-60, after Luhrs was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three.
However, the Dragons pulled through at the free throw line, making their five final points from the charity stripe for the 57-62 win.
Dickey and Luhrs paced the team with 14 points each.
Imperial 66
2 PT.    3 PT.    FT/
FG    FG    FTA    F    TP
Travis Luhrs    2    3    0-0    0    13
Ryan Moline    0    1    0-0    0    3
Kevin German    1    0    0-0    2    2
Dan Sullivan    0    0    0-0    2    0
Jeff Dickey    6    3    0-0    3    21
Kelton Fisher    2    0    3-4    4    7    
Justus Wallin    0    0    2-2    5    2
Trey Milner    2    0    0-0    4    4
Isaac Sorensen    5    0    4-6    3    14
Calen Griffin    0    0    0-0    1    0
TOTALS    18    7    9-12    24    66
Dundy County-Stratton 50
K. Rotherham 8, P. Calvert 2, S. Woods 4, T. Haislip 15, C. Kerchal 4, C. Devel 12, R. Troutman 1, K. Krutsinger 4.
DC-S totals: 2 pt. FG—12; 3 pt. FG—4; FT/FTA—14-25; Fouls—14; TP—50.
Points by quarters:
Imperial    16    15    16    19—66
DC-S    12    13    10    15—50
Imperial 57
2 PT.    3 PT.    FT/
FG    FG    FTA    F    TP
Travis Luhrs    1    2    6-6    2    14
Ryan Moline    0    1    2-2    0    5
Kevin German    0    0    1-2    1    1
Dan Sullivan    0    0    0-0    4    0
Jeff Dickey    3    2    2-4    5    14
Kelton Fisher    2    0    1-2    2    5    
Justus Wallin    2    0    3-4    1    7
Trey Milner    3    0    0-0    2    6
Isaac Sorensen    1    0    3-4    0    5
TOTALS    12    5    18-24    17    57
Holyoke 62
L. Tharp 19, B. Cumming 2, R. Parker 13, T. Dalton 2, T. Smith 4, T. Fierro 16, R. Krogmeier 6.
Holyoke totals: 2 pt. FG—18; 3 pt. FG—5; FT/FTA—8-17; Fouls—19; TP—62.
Points by quarters:
Imperial    15    10    12    20—57
Holyoke    11    13    15    23—62
Action this week
The Longhorns play their annual “Pink-Out” game with Perkins County tonight. Jayvee action begins at 4:30 p.m.
On Friday, the ’Horns play host to Gothenburg with jayvee action starting at 4 p.m.
The Longhorns will open SPVA tournament play at North Platte’s Mid Plains Community College on Tuesday.
They will face the 7th seeded Herhsey Panthers with game time slated for 7 p.m.
A bracket for the tournament appears above.

 

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