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Huskies Runner-Up in NVC

The NVC tournament concluded last Saturday night with the Huskies falling in a close game to the St. Mary’s Cardinals.  The tournament started for the Huskies on Tuesday night.  We were awarded with a bye as the top seed, so we waited to see who won the EPPJ vs North Central game that was played in Niobrara on Saturday. 

 

The Wolfpack of Elgin came out on top, so we had a rematch to be hosted at West Holt.  The Huskies had won the earlier meeting at home on Jan 20th, 56-38.  This time we found baskets a bit harder to come by early in the game.  A typical case in a rematch as you are more familiar with the opponent, but the Husky defense was very good.  We allowed 10 shots in the first half that led to 1 field goal and 2 free throws to take a 20-4 lead going into the second half.  We stretched the lead to 22 then emptied the benches with a couple of minutes left.  It was a good team effort, with 7 players in the scoring column and 25 points coming from the post and 19 from the guards so, we liked the balance.

 

The win moved the Huskies into the semi-final round on Thursday.  Niobrara-Verdigre had prevailed over Summerland in round one and Stuart in round two.  This was their year to host semi’s, so they also had home-court advantage.  They have a very big starting line-up, so we faced some new defensive challenges.  They could score inside and outside and be able to drive on us effectively.  We concentrated on getting fast-breaks at every opportunity and test their speed.  We held a 36-31 advantage going into the fourth quarter, but that’s when our depth paid off.  The Huskies were able to shut the door on the win by outscoring the Cougars 14-2 in the final stanza.  Our post players combined for 27 points which were huge against the big Cougar zone.  The guards put together 5 three-pointers en route to a combined 23 points.  Again, 7 guys were in the scoring column.

 

The win put us in the championship game on Saturday, which was hosted by West Holt.  The finals are always a great atmosphere in the NVC and our Husky fans didn’t disappoint.  We drew the #2 seed, St. Mary’s team that also had a bye the first round, then had victories over Boyd County and Elkhorn Valley.  They had won their last 8 games going into Saturday and we had won our last 13.  Both teams were in the top 8 in power points in their respective classes, so needless to say, it set up to be an intense game. 

 

Both teams started the game trading baskets.  We executed well against the Cardinals defense and we were limiting their leading scorers from getting going.  We took 3 charges and were getting points off turnovers, the bigs were involved and we executed exactly as we had hoped for 3 quarters.  We just didn’t finish off the game.  We had 7 turnovers in the fourth which led to scores by St. Mary’s.  We didn’t adjust to their press as well as we should.  We didn’t have enough of us on the same page the last 5 minutes.  We ended up losing, but were given a lesson that could pay off in our next big game.  We certainly hope to be in a few more before the season is over.  Hats off and congratulations to the Cardinals and the rest of the NVC for a good tournament this year.

 

EPPJ Score by Quarter

 

Team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Total

West Holt

10

10

15

9

44

EPPJ

2

2

9

14

27

 

Niobrara-Verdigre Score by Quarter

 

Team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Total

N-V

10

8

11

2

31

West Holt

12

10

14

14

50

 

St. Mary’s Score by Quarter

 

Team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Total

OSM

11

9

11

25

56

West Holt

11

15

15

12

53

 

WH vs EPPJ

WH vs Niobrara-Verdigre

WH vs St. Mary's Stats

 

 

 

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