HEMINGFORD, Neb. – On Monday evening, the Niobrara County High School basketball squads traveled to Hemingford, Nebraska to face the Bobcats. The home squad got off to a 17-11 first quarter lead in the girls’ game, and the veteran Hemingford team forced Lusk into a dozen first half turnovers.
The Lady Bobcats forced the tempo and moved to a 36-17 lead at halftime.
The lead went over 20 points early in the third quarter, but Evelyn DesEnfants and Melody ZumBrunnen answered with back-to-back baskets.
As the fourth period began, Hemingford held a large lead, yet the Lady Tigers never quit in the 53-28 loss.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
NCHS 11 4 6 7 – 28
HHS 17 19 7 10 – 53
In the boys’ game, Cory Bruegger and Walker Kupke each sank 3-pointers in the first quarter, but the home team held a 14-10 lead after one. The Bobcats began a steady succession of trips to the charity stripe as Lusk’s depth was challenged early with foul trouble mounting.
Jayce Cummins scored all eight of Lusk’s second period points and kept the Tigers within five points.
Despite six turnovers, Hemingford took advantage and made a 12-5 run after the break.
NCHS made a late run as Mason Wells had back-to-back baskets, and the Kupke brothers buried 3-pointers.
As time wound down, the Tigers would come up short in the 47-37 loss. Free throws were the difference as Hemingford made 12-of-26 attempts, while the Tigers would sink just 1-of-10 attempts.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
NCHS 10 8 5 14 – 37
HHS 14 9 12 12 – 47
NCHS PLAYER STATS: Scoring – W. Kupke 13, Cummins 8, Wells 6, Bruegger 5, Ridge Kupke 3, Jackson Smith 2.
The junior varsity boys played two quarters, losing a close 18-16 contest. Smith led with five points and Quinton Bieri pulled down seven rebounds.
On Saturday, Lusk hosts Rock River at Tiger Gym with varsity girls tipping off at 2 p.m. and the boys to follow. The Tiger wrestlers open 2022 with the Shane Shatto Memorial Tournament in Douglas on Friday and Saturday.