|Broncos boys’ basketball team starts season with two wins|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 10 December 2015 00:00|
Greg Gaston (14) drives to the basket as Chase Rathe (24), Cash Yearous (11) and Brody Nordhausen (13) move into position. (Diane Stamm | Johnson Publications)
By Diane Stamm
The Wauneta Breeze
The Wauneta-Palisade boys’ basketball kicked off its season with wins last week over Wallace and Brady.
WP hosted Wallace Thursday to open the season.
It was a low scoring contest early on. WP scored only two points, by Chase Rathe, in the first quarter, while allowing eight to Wallace.
WP found its stride in the second quarter. By the five-minute mark, the Broncos held an 11-8 lead after baskets by Cash Yearous, Tyler Davis and Rathe.
Though Wallace tied the game at 11, WP outscored the Wildcats 7-4 down the stretch and held a 18-15 halftime lead.
Three pointers by Yearous and Greg Gaston helped WP extend its lead in the third quarter. WP helped it cause over the eight-minute stretch by hitting eight-of-11 free throws. Davis made six-of-seven from the charity stripe in the third quarter.
Leading 36-27 to start the final stanza, WP score six straight points over the first 1:30 of the fourth quarter. Gaston found Rathe for a layup, then made back-to-back baskets for the Broncos.
Wallace chipped into the WP lead, but was never able to get closer than six points in the 48-35 Bronco win.
Four players finished in double figures for WP.
Davis totaled 14 points in the contest. Yearous added 12. Rathe and Gaston each scored 10 points.
Davis and Rathe had 12 and 11 rebounds, respectively.
Gaston had four assists. Rathe had seven steals.
Brody Nordhausen had five rebounds and three assists.
WP continued its winning ways Friday at Brady with a 63-49 win.
While Brady had only two players in the scoring column at the end of the first quarter, Yearous, Davis, Gaston and Rathe had all scored for WP, helping the Broncos to a 14-10 lead.
The tables turned in the second quarter. Four players scored for Brady while Gaston and Rathe scored all 11 of WP’s points.
The Broncos trailed 25-29 at halftime.
Two baskets by Rathe, followed by two free throws by Yearous started off WP scoring in the second half. One free throw by Davis and two by Gaston continued WP scoring. Baskets by Paul Behrends and Gaston helped WP to a 41-35 lead at the end of the third quarter.
WP had its best offensive quarter to wrap up the game, hanging 22 points on the Eagles.
Rathe hit his third three-pointer in the fourth quarter and Davis converted two three-point plays.
Four Broncos finished in double figures.
Gaston scored 18 points and Rathe 17. Yearous and Davis each added 11 points.
Gaston had nine steals and six assists.
Rathe had a team-high five rebounds.
“To have four players in double figures both games is very exciting,” said WP coach Dave Kuhlen, adding that he would like to see the Broncos’ assist-to-turnover margin improve.
WP’s shooting percentage improved to 41 percent in the Brady win which Kuhlen attributed to more layups.
Kuhlen said both games were very physical, but he appreciated the different style from the Broncos practices.
The Broncos headed to McCook earlier this week for the Cattle Trail Invitational Tournament.
The Bronco boys began the tournament against Hitchcock County in the high school gym Tuesday. On Dec. 11, WP will play either Dundy County-Stratton or Maywood at 7:00 p.m. MT/8:00 p.m. CT. With a win over the Falcons, WP will play at MCC. A loss would lead to a game at the high school.
The tournament will wrap up Saturday.
Kuhlen said he has wanted WP to participate in the Cattle Trail Invite for a long time.
Despite players leaving immediately after Tuesday’s game to head to the State One-Act Play meet in Norfolk, Kuhlen said, “I think the entire school working together this week will show that we can participate in both (basketball and one-act play) and perform everything at a high level. I thank our administration and school board for letting us do this.”