No. 2 Scott City comes back to defend their title
Scott City came ready for the state tournament. The Beavers defeated their first round opponent Pittsburg St. Marys Colgan 61-48. They have nine seniors that are back-to-back defending 3A champions and are eager to prove they are the best once again.
“I was really excited to play in this one,” senior Trey O’Neil said. “I just wanted to get this weekend going and just go out there and prove that Scott City basketball is the best.
The Beavers dealt with a difficult third quarter against the Panthers. Scott City head coach Glenn O’Neil said although it was sloppy the main objective was to survive.
“We’ve got to play smarter, we’ve got to play better and we’ve got to execute our offense better,” he said. “I don’t know if we ran any half-court offense during the first half. I think a lot of it was transition off of attacking their trap. You know, when they got back in to their half-court defense we learned we have to do a better job of transitioning into our offense.”
Their inability to make shots as well as the imposing force of the Panther defense contributed to a slow start in the second half.
“I think it is a little of both because at state you always want to play good defense and they got here for a reason,” Trey O’Neil said. “They play good defense and they shut people down. Some of it was that we couldn’t make our shots. My threes were a little off but I could get into the 15 foot range and knock them down.”
That is exactly what he did. Three of their key players were able to make adjustments and score in the double digits. Trey O’Neil had 17 points and the senior posts Joey Meyer and Drew Kite earned a combined 29 points. Now, they can focus on the next opponent standing between them and their third consecutive state title.
“If we play Nemaha Valley we will probably see something more in the halfcourt where you probably have to grind it out,” said Glenn O’Neil.
Nemaha Valley stops Wichita Independent from coming back
There were no first game jitters for the Nemaha Valley Raiders either. They shut down Wichita Independent’s offense in the first quarter. Despite a solid comeback attempt in the second half, the Panthers still fell 53-47.
Nemaha Valley took off to a 10 point lead at the end of the first quarter and continued to build. At halftime the Raiders had a solid lead 29-15 due to their perimeter game. The Raiders made four three-pointers while keeping their opponent from making a single shot outside the arc. Rebounds matched up exactly but Nemaha Valley’s early lead was what saved them.
Wichita Independent’s offense found their weapon and drove the lane. They outscored the Raiders in the third and fourth quarters. The Panthers' Brice Dean led the way with 15 points. The momentum was in their favor throughout the second half but they ran out of time. Nemaha Valley stunted the Independent comeback and advanced past the first round. The Panthers will take on the Scott City Beavers in the semi-finals on Friday, March 8, at 8:15 p.m.
Humboldt battles to stay alive against Salina Sacred Heart
No. 1 Humboldt picked up win No. 24 Thursday in a battle with Salina Sacred Heart 41-37. There were seven lead changes throughout the game but in the final minutes the Cubs were able to sink a few vital shots. Humboldt's Noah Thornbrugh scored 15 points followed by teammate Nathan Whitcomb with 10. Salina Sacred Heart's only player in double digits was Tony Chavez with 12. Humboldt will meet No. 5 Silver Lake in the second round.
Silver Lake spoils a magnificent Beloit comeback
The No. 5 Silver Lake Eagles and No. 4 Beloit Trojans match up came down to the fourth quarter. The Eagles had the lead throughout most of the game but they were outscored 28-20 in the fourth quarter. Free throws were essential to the Eagles as they pulled out the 52-50 win. Beloit had two players in double figures. Junior Payton Vetter led the comeback with 14 points. Silver Lake, however had three players put up big points. The Eagles' Peter Pfannenstiel led with 17 points, Tyler Brown put up 14 and Trenton Smith earned 12. They will face No. 1 Humboldt in the second round.