PINE BLUFFS – On a night the Pine Bluffs Hornets honored their seniors by starting a few that don’t normally, Niobrara County High School took an early 8-4 lead. As the first period wound down, the home team’s starters came in and took a 16-12 lead.
While the Tigers couldn’t buy a bucket, the Hornets went on a 23-4 run to suddenly break the game open. The score was 39-16 for the home team expecting deep tournament runs over the next two weeks.
On a night when the Tigers needed all their firepower to keep up with the Hornets, they were cold in going 0-for-16 from 3-point range.
Pine Bluffs outscored Lusk 17-10 in the third quarter, as the lid remained closed for the Tigers and the bigger home team controlled the boards. After three quarters, it was a 30-point lead for the Hornets, but apparently that wasn’t enough. The home team ran away with the 74-35 win.
Lusk will be the No. 2 seed from the 2A Southeast Quadrant at the 2A East Regional Tournament this weekend. They take on Wright in first round action at Burns High School Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. Should the Tigers win, they will play again at 8:30 p.m. Friday in Pine Bluffs against either Tongue River or Moorcroft. A loss would put NCHS into the consolation side Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. Ticket prices and tournament brackets are available at whsaa.org.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
NCHS 12 4 10 9 – 35
PBHS 16 23 17 18 – 74
NCHS: 16/34 FG; 0/16 3PT; 3/ 4 FT; 30 REB; 12 AST; 3 STL; 18 TO; 11 PF
PBHS: 21/41 FG; 8/33 3PT; 8/10 FT; 48 REB; 15 AST; 12 STL; 9 TO; 11 PF
NCHS PLAYER STATS: Scoring - Bruegger 13, Walker Kupke 8, Caleb Miller 6, Jackson Smith 2, Ridge Kupke 2, Quintin Bieri 2, Camden Rose 2. Rebounds - Bruegger 10, Smith 6, Walker Kupke 6. Assists - Bruegger 5.