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Longhorns finally victorious over St. Pat’s PDF Print E-mail

By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican

This year’s seniors on the Longhorn basketball team accomplished something Friday night they haven’t been able to do in their high school careers.
Every time they have faced North Platte St. Pat’s these last four years, they’ve been on the short end; but not anymore.
The ’Horns came out victorious Friday night, defeating the St. Pat’s Irish 47-41 in front of a boisterous home crowd in the Longhorn gym.
“It was a good win for our team,” Coach Carl Zuege said. He said Friday’s atmosphere had all the feel of a big post-season game.
The Longhorns had hoped to play St. Pat’s in the finals of the SPVA, but Bridgeport had something to say about that.
Over the last two Fridays since the SPVA, the Longhorns have defeated both Bridgeport and St. Pat’s in regular season games on the Longhorns’ home court.
It was the Longhorns’ night for sure with the Lady Longhorns defeating St. Pat’s in overtime in a re-match of the SPVA final.
Plus, both the jayvee girls and boys won their games making it a complete sweep after the boys’ win.
Longhorns never trailed
With the exception of a 2-2 tie in the opening minute of the game, the Longhorns led the whole game.
With 1:20 left in the first quarter, the Longhorns went up 10-4 on a put-back by Jeff Dickey.
The Irish answered back with what proved to be their only 3-pointer of the game to pull within three, 10-7 at the first quarter break.
A steal by Dickey and down court pass resulted in a lay-up by Travis Luhrs. The next time down the court, Luhrs followed that up with a 3-pointer to put the Longhorns up by 10, 17-7, in the first two minutes of the second quarter.
St. Pat’s rallied with three straight baskets to pull within four, 17-13.
Over the final four minutes of the half, Dickey and Luhrs each added baskets and Destyn Milner hit a free throw. Jared Sharp closed out the scoring with a basket underneath with :16 left in the half, giving the Longhorns a 24-18 lead at halftime.
1-3-1 zone working well
Zuege said they have been playing really good defense, using a 1-3-1 with Dickey out top. They took away the inside passing lanes and used some traps down low to disrupt St. Pat’s’ rhythm.
St. Pat’s got the ball to open the second half but Dickey promptly cut off a pass, throwing it down court to Luhrs for another lay-up.
Two minutes into the third, Luhrs popped another 3-pointer to give the Longhorns their biggest lead of the night, 29-18. They held a 33-25 advantage going into the final quarter.         Down by 10, 37-27, St. Pat’s started applying full court  pressure with about six minutes left.
St. Pat’s was able to force some Longhorn turnovers but were only able to convert one into a basket. That pulled them to within four, 41-37, with 3:01 left.
The Longhorns answered on a  fast break from Ryan Moline to Sorensen to give Chase County a 43-37 advantage.
Over the next two minutes, neither team was able to convert possessions into points. The Longhorns had also gone  back to the man defense so they didn’t leave any shooter unguarded down the stretch.
Still, St. Pat’s senior Andrew O’Neill hit a deep jumper to pull the Irish to within four, 43-39, with 1:23 left.
The Longhorns went to the stall but turned the ball over with 1:10. St. Pat’s drew a Longhorn foul, putting them in bonus with 1:01 left. They knocked down both free throws to pull within two, 43-41.
St. Pat’s still had fouls to give but the Longhorns were able to take 40 seconds off the clock before getting into the bonus.
With :19 left, Dickey hit both sides of a one-and-one to put the Longhorns up 45-41.
The Irish couldn’t score and the Longhorns got the ball back. This time they fouled Sorensen with :05 left. He gave the Longhorns their six-point win by dropping both free throws.
After shaking hands with the Irish Longhorn players and students celebrated the win together on the floor.
Zuege said the win will give his team confidence going forward. He would have liked to see the Longhorns finish cleaner but they came through when they needed to.
Luhrs paced the Longhorns with 18 points, followed by Fisher with 12.
Luhrs made the team’s only 3-pointers as the Longhorns went 2-14 outside the arc and 19-53 overall to finish at 38 percent.
Chase Co. 47
2 PT.    3 PT.    FT/
FG    FG    FTA    F    TP
Travis Luhrs    6    2    0-0    3    18
Ryan Moline    0    0    0-0    3    0
Ike Maxwell    0    0    0-0    0    0
Tyler Jennings    0    0    0-0    0    0
Jose Cepeda    0    0    0-0    0    0
Destyn Milner    0    0    1-1    0    1
Dakota Wallin    0    0    0-0    0    0
Jeffrey Dickey    2    0    2-2    1    6
Kelton Fisher    5    0    2-2    2    12
Isaac Sorensen    3    0    2-5    2    8
Eli Engbrech    0    0    0-0    0    0
Michael Musgrove    0    0    0-0    0    0
Jared Sharp    1    0    0-0    1    2
Darin Knobbe    0    0    0-0    0    0
Kevin Chavira    0    0    0-0    0    0
TOTALS    17    2    7-10    12    47
St. Pat’s 41
B. Byrn 10, D. McClellen 4, C. Clinch 10, A. O’Neill 17.
St. Pat’s totals: 2 pt. FG—15; 3 pt. FG—1; FT/FTA—6-6; Fouls—10; TP—41.
Points by quarters:
Chase Co.    10    14    9    14—47
St. Pat’s    7    11    7    16—41
Victory over Wray
Prior to their big win against St. Pat’s, the Longhorns traveled to Wray, Colo. Tuesday, Feb. 3, where the Longhorns cruised to a 66-28 win.
Zuege said the Longhorns dominated the game from the outset which enabled him to get all his players playing time.
Dickey led the team with 14 while Milner and Dakota Walling each added 10. Eleven different players scored for the Longhorns in the win.
Chase Co. 58
2 PT.    3 PT.    FT/
FG    FG    FTA    F    TP
Travis Luhrs    3    0    0-0    0    6
Ryan Moline    0    0    0-0    0    0
Ike Maxwell    0    0    0-0    3    0
Tyler Jennings    0    0    0-0    0    0
Jose Cepeda    1    0    0-0    0    2
Destyn Milner    4    0    2-6    0    10
Dakota Wallin    3    0    4-4    0    10
Jeffrey Dickey    6    0    2-2    1    14
Kelton Fisher    1    0    0-0    1    2
Isaac Sorensen    3    0    1-2    1    7
Eli Engbrech    1    0    1-2    2    3
Michael Musgrove    1    0    0-0    0    2
Jared Sharp    4    0    0-0    2    8
Darin Knobbe    1    0    0-0    0    2
Kevin Chavira    0    0    0-0    3    0
TOTALS    28    0    10-16    13    66
Wray 45
H. Layton 2, L. Walter 2, A. Swanson 2, C. Jones 6, M. Pariset 3, N. Alcorn 1, C. Cobb 3, A. Anderson 2, B. Stober 7.
Wray totals: 2 pt. FG—8; 3 pt. FG—1; FT/FTA—9-13; Fouls—12; TP—28.
Points by quarters:
Chase Co.    19    20    20    7—66
Wray    6    4    4    14—28
Holyoke, Hershey this week
Friday, the Longhorns travel to Holyoke to face the 9-7 Dragons, who play Wray the night before.
Zuege said it’s always a tough game and one the Longhorns will have to be ready for mentally.
On Saturday, they travel to Hershey with a current record of 9-11. The Longhorns defeated Hershey 50-41 in the third place game at SPVA.
On Tuesday, the Longhorns traveled to Wauneta-Palisade, picking up their 15th win of the season, 66-26.
Jayvee action at Holyoke begins at 4 p.m. MT, with action at Hershey beginning at 3:30 p.m.