Final week sees Niobrara County split games


LUSK – In a late addition to the schedule and as a replacement for the Guernsey-Sunrise cancellations last week, the Tiger boys welcomed Edgemont to Tiger Gym for the first time in more than a decade. 

Tuesday games are rare, but the scrappy Moguls gave NCHS fits early with a 19-17 first period lead. Jayden Matthews buried a 3-pointer to give Lusk the 22-19 lead, but Edgemont kept attacking and forcing turnovers. Only a Declan Jensen steal and feed to a James Stone layup beat the buzzer for a 33-30 NCHS halftime lead.

Teagan Tschacher and Matthews bookended the third quarter with treys, yet could not shake the visitors by holding a slim 49-44 advantage with one stanza to go. Minutes into the fourth, Matthews sank another triple, pushing the lead to 10, as the Tigers were able to hold on for the 67-55 win. It was a reprieve for seniors Matthews (17 points), Tschacher (17) and Alec Penfield (12) after the lackluster effort against Southeast on Senior Day.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

EDGEMONT 19 11 14 11 – 55

NCHS 17 16 16 18 – 67

TEAM STATS

EDGEMONT 17/46 FG; 4/17 3PT; 9/16 FT; 34 REB; 21 TO; 14 PF

NCHS 24/47 FG; 4/13 3PT; 7/14 FT; 45 REB; 27 TO; 18 PF

NCHS PLAYER STATS: 

Scoring – Tschacher 17, Matthews 17, Penfield 12, Stone 8, Stauffer 5, Bruegger 5, Eaton 3. Rebounds- Bruegger 12, Stone 9, Penfield 9. Assists- Stone 10. Blocks- Bruegger 7. 

PINE BLUFFS – The Pine Bluff Hornet Senior Day went as planned as they fired off a barrage of three pointers, en route to a 17-4 first quarter lead Friday in Pine Bluffs. While the Hornets have aspirations of winning their third 2A State championship in four years, they can score in bunches and left the Tigers bewildered by turnovers. 

The lead was 40-8 at halftime and grew to 59-11 with one period to play. Four more treys outmatched Matthew’s hat trick in the final score of 77-24. The home team shot a blistering 49 percent from the floor and as a team sank 11-of-29 three-pointers.

NCHS now heads to the 2A East Regional as the No. 4 Southeast seed and will have their hands full with No. 1 Northeast seeded Big Horn on Thursday at Wright High School. The 7 p.m. quarterfinal is a rematch of the first game of the season, in which the Rams won 44-23 in Glenrock. On Feb. 22-23 games shift to Gillette with games at either Gillette College’s Pronghorn Center or Thunder Basin High School. All tournament brackets and admission prices are available at whsaa.org.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

NCHS 4 4 3 13 – 24

PBHS 17 23 19 18 – 77

TEAM STATS

NCHS 7/28 FG; 3/11 3PT; 1/3 FT; 24 REB; 32 TO; 12 PF

PBHS 20/34 FG11/29 3PT; 4/5 FT; 36 REB; 15 TO; 8 PF

NCHS PLAYER STATS: 

Scoring – Matthews 13, Stauffer 2, Stone 2, Penfield 2, Bruegger 2, Eiden 2, Jensen 1. Rebounds- Tschacher 5.

The JV had little trouble with Edgemont in three quarters in the 60-9 win. While South Dakota allows seventh and eighth graders to compete in high school games, they were overwhelmed as Wyatt Stauffer led NCHS with 17 points. Ben Eiden grabbed 18 rebounds and put in 16 points, and Aric Eaton scored 14. Damien Molzahn had seven rebounds, six assists and five steals for the Tigers. Friday in their last game of the season, NCHS struggled to keep up with PB in the 82-50 loss. Eiden had 14 points and a dozen rebounds, while Molzahn added nine points and six rebounds. The JV finished with a 12-9 record on the season.

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