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Broncos trounce South Platte, fall to Hayes Center PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Tuesday, 23 December 2008 14:57
By Tina Kitt
The Wauneta Breeze

    In their first full weekend of play, the Wauneta-Palisade boys basketball team split contests against South Platte and Hayes Center taking their record to 2-2 going into the holiday break.
    The Broncs dominated all aspects of the game in their road-trip win against the Blue Knights Friday.
    The  Broncs took an early 10-0 lead with nearly half the first quarter elapsing before South Platte made their way on the scoreboard with a pair of free throws.
    The Broncs spread their lead to 15-2 before the Blue Knights took off on a  6-0 run to bring up a 15-8 contest.
    “The game was a real confidence booster for us,” said Bronco Coach Dave Kuhlen. “I thought our press was as good as it has been the entire season.”
    Early in the second quarter Bronco sophomore Chris Bartels hit a trey, sparking a 12-2 Bronco run with Cody Steinke and TJ Ellicott joining Bartels in knocking down shots.
    Trailing 29-10, South Platte rallied on an 8-0  run for a 29-18 contest. Drew Harris stopped the Bronco drought with a deuce and a trey, with Bartels capping the second period with a 2-point shot as the Broncs carried a 36-18 lead into the half.
    Harris and Ellicott teamed up for 10 points in the third quarter, with sophomore Ricky Martin adding a bucket and junior John Kitt a free throw to own a 49-31 lead going into the final frame.
    South Platte, now 1-5, drew within 15 points at 51-36 early in the fourth quarter, but that was as close a game as they could make it before the Broncs broke loose on a 15-0 run as they held South Platte scoreless the final six minutes of the game.

Hayes Center loss
    While the win at South Platte Friday came easy for the Broncs, the loss at home Saturday to Hayes Center was a heartbreaker.
    With the two squads evenly matched, the lead changed hands early in the first quarter with the Broncs getting the upper hand as they led 15-10 at the end of the period.
    Kuhlen said he was pleased with the way his squad got off to a great start against Hayes Center. “We really attacked their press and bolted to a lead.”
    Midway through the second quarter Hayes Center’s Keifer Messersmith gave the Cardinals the go-ahead shot on a trey. A foul shot and a deuce spread Hayes Center’s lead to 19-15.
    Harris halted the Cards’ 6-0 run with a free throw. Bartels and Ellicott teamed up on a 6-0 run as the Broncs regained the upperhand with a 22-19 lead going into the half.
    Early in the third quarter, however, the Broncs found themselves in foul trouble with Harris drawing his fourth foul.
    Hayes Center, now 5-1, turned up the intensity on their game, outscoring the Broncs 12-7 in the third quarter for a 31-29 lead going into the final eight minute stretch.
    Messersmith hit a pair of treys as the Cards broke loose on a 15-3 run to lead 46-32. The Broncs hustled to try to close the gap, but the waning clock was not on their side with time running out as they trailed 48-37.
    “Once they played pretty much half court, we looked confused and timid,” noted Kuhlen. “We simply aren’t ready to make that next step up just yet.  We will take that step some time in the near future.”
Jayvees down SP, edged by Hayes Center in overtime
    Like the varsity contests the Bronco jayvees downed South Platte but fell to Hayes Center.
    At South Platte the Bronco jayvees fell to an early 6-2 deficit before junior John Kitt knocked down four of his game high 12 points to knot the score at 6-all.
    He drained a foul shot at the end of the first quarter to put the Broncs within one point at 8-7.
    In the second and final quarter Bo Fanning put in a pair of free throws and a deuce to join Kitt in the scoring column.
    In the final eight minutes of the game hit 100 percent of his free throws, going 6-for-6 to help the Bronco jayvees lock in the 16-14 win.
    Against Hayes Center it was Brendon Geier’s turn to shine, with the Bronco junior canning five treys en route to a game-high 17 points.
    With Geier firing from the perimeter and Hayes Center working the inside game the lead changed hands throughout the two-quarter contest, with the first quarter ending 11-11.
    In the second quarter Hayes Center pulled away 23-16 before a foul shot by Kitt and a pair of 3-pointers by Geier pulled evened up the score at 23-all, sending the game into overtime.
    In the final four minutes of play Hayes Center won out in the battle from the free throw line, with the Cardinals putting in four of six foul shots and a deuce as the Broncs hitting three of five free throws for a 29-26 loss.
    Geier led the Broncs with 17 points, with Kitt adding six points,  Brett Klima chipping in with two and Fanning with one.

Upcoming play
    With the NSAA moratorium in effect this coming weekend, the Broncs are idle until the Brady Tournament Dec. 29-30.
    The following week they travel to Cambridge for tournament play Jan. 5-6.
Last Updated on Thursday, 25 December 2008 02:56