Nickerson tops host St. John to reach finals
The Nickerson Panthers defeat the hosts St. John Tigers by a score of 58 to 46 to advance to the championship game Saturday evening at the 52nd St. John Lions Club Mid-Winter Classic Tournament.
St. John started the game without Tanner and Collin Halling in their lineup due to injury and illness. Also missing from the Tiger bench was long time Head Coach Clint Kinnamon. Kinnamon was at home fighting an illness too.
The game started slow with only 16 points scored between the two sides in the first quarter. St. John held a two-point lead going into the second quarter.
The game remained tight in the second frame. At halftime, Nickerson trailed by just one point.
The Panthers took control of the game in the third quarter. They made five of their nine three-pointers on the night in the quarter. Raef Tatro scored two threes; Logan Broomfield-Tate, Carson Linn, and Cristian Peterson each contributed one three.
St. John tried to hang on, but they trailed by five points at the end of the quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Nickerson continued to build on the lead and won the game with a 12-point margin.
"Our goal for the tournament was to get to the championship game tomorrow night," said Nickerson Head Coach Curt Field. "We took care of the ball better and had some good looks down the floor.
"We wanted to get the ball inside. They packed it in and they knew we wanted to get the ball inside. Shooting the three was an effort to get them out and work the ball inside."
Nickerson's Cristian Peterson lead all scorers with 16 points. Connor MacDonald scored 12. Logan Broomfield-Tate and Carson each added 11 to the total.
Marshall Woolf lead St. John with 13 points. Elijah Delp scored 12 points. Trey Fisher contributed 10 points.
Larned routs Ness City to set up rematch
The Larned Indians defeated the Ness City Eagles by a score of 75 to 42 to claim the last spot in the Championship game of the 52nd Annual St. John Lions Club Mid-Winter Classic.
Larned got out to a quick four point lead as Mason Perez scored off the opening tip off and then stole the ball from Ness City to score two more points.
The Indians lead the game 26 to 15 after the first quarter.
They added 17 more points and held the Eagles to just one point in the second quarter to lead 43 to 16 at halftime.
In a serious hole, Ness City came out determined to climb back in. They went on a nine point run. Taylor Cable scored 13 points of the teams 17 in the quarter. Larned managed to keep pace by adding 16 points to their total and lead 59 to 33 going into the final quarter.
By about four minutes left in the game, both teams subbed in their junior varsity players as the lead had grown to 30 points for the Indians.
The game ended with Larned ahead by 33 points.
"Last night we were selfish (against Central Plains)," said Larned Head Coach Jerrod Smith. "It showed in our defense and our scoring. It drug us down.
"We got to get back to making each other care. When we do that, we play like we did tonight. Its two different teams. It's my job to keep them up and keep them playing at that level. If we can do that, we will be pretty good down the stretch."
Larned's Layton Crosby led all scorers with 27 points. Only three of those points came from behind the arc. All the rest were field goals. Chance Sanger added 20 points to the total. Nine of the 12 players suited up for the Indians scored at least two points on the night.
Ness City's Taylor Cable lead his team with 22 points.
Larned will face Nickerson for the second time this year in the Championship game Saturday evening.
The Indians defeated the Panthers 52 to 35 on January 7th.