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Huskies 3rd in NVC

Coach Hale

February 06, 2022

    NVC tournament play started last Saturday night, Jan 29th.  The Huskies were seeded #7 which pitted us against Niobrara-Verdigre in round one.  The site was Stuart at 2:00.  After seeing a junk defense at Neligh, we anticipated seeing it again in this game, which we did.  This time we handled it better.  The starters got us off to a good start, so we captured a good lead before the Cougars went diamond and one.  I feel like we really got the idea of how to handle it in the 3rd and 4th quarters. 

    The guys really battled on the boards in this game.  We got 16 offensive rebounds that led to 10-second chance points and 26 points in the paint. Ian had another double-digit rebound night with 11 and Tyler Jelinek grabbed 10 from his point guard position.  Lincoln collected 9.  Those guys combined for 11 assists as well.  Caeden Lech came off the bench to get 4 rebounds in 16 minutes.

 

Team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Total

West Holt

15

14

10

21

60

Niobrara-Verdigre

4

10

13

15

42

 

 

    The win in the first round earned the Huskies a chance to play the #2 seeded Stuart Broncos on Tuesday.  They were the hosts since the top 2 seeds hosted the second round.  The Broncos brought a 13-4 record into the match.  They are skilled and play hard.  Their full-court pressure gave us some problems early on and turnovers led us to get in the hole early.  The guys started to handle the press better as the game went on and our defense settled in.  We were able to win the second quarter to get back into the game.  The second half continued to be a defensive battle until we broke the ice in the fourth quarter to secure the win. 

    In a low-scoring defensive battle, every score seemed huge.  When we hit 6 of 8 shots in the fourth quarter, it seemed like we scored 50.  Jakeem led all scorers with 15, Tyler dished out 3 assists, Ian led the rebounding with 6.  Those guys topped the stats, but everyone played a part in the game. 

 

Team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Total

West Holt

5

11

2

17

35

Stuart

14

3

3

9

29

 

T    he win moved the Huskies into the semifinals on Thursday at Bassett.  We faced the #3 seeded EPPJ Wolfpack who had edged the North Central Knights in the quarterfinals.  It was a challenge for the Huskies to “get up” for this game as we had upset EPPJ at home 10 days earlier.  We survived 9 turnovers in the first quarter by playing great defense and hitting 3 of 6 shots and throwing in a couple free throws.  We cut our turnovers down to 4 in the second quarter, but EPPJ out-shot us in the 2nd and 3rd quarter.  EPPJ is physically hard to guard and when they start hitting shots, they are especially tough.  They definitely showed why their record is 16-3 and deserved at shot at O’Neill St. Mary in the finals.  Our guys gave a great effort, we took good shots, they just didn’t fall. 

We had no double-digit scorers, Jakeem had 9 points and Lincoln had 6 rebounds and 5 assists.  The loss put the Huskies in the consolation game on Saturday, Feb 5 which we hosted this year.

 

Team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Total

West Holt

10

7

7

8

32

EPPJ

7

16

19

8

50

 

    It was nice to come back home for the final games.  It was kind of our mantra through the tournament to get back home.  We drew the #4 seed Elkhorn Valley Falcons (17-3).  We had lost to them at their place on Jan 8th, 34-39.  The Falcons had lost to St. Mary’s by 4 in the semi’s, so they were playing well.  We knew we could play better than the first time we played and I’d say we did.  We especially shot the ball better.  We had four players in double digits and 8 guys in the scoring column.  Ian had four 3’s for 16 points, Lincoln overcame foul trouble to score 13, and Jakeem and Zach Hooey kicked in 10 each.  We coupled good team offense with good team defense to counter a high-powered EV offense.  Guys took turns hitting back shots in the fourth quarter.  Bryce Steinkraus hit 2 big free throws for us to go up by two scores and we played solid defense the last possessions of the game to get the win and collect the 3rd place plaque.

 

Team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Total

West Holt

11

15

13

18

57

Elkhorn Valley

12

15

11

15

53

 

    I want to commend the team on overcoming a lot of adversity over the past week and coming out strong at the end of the week.  We went 3-1 on the week against teams that were very good.  On behalf of the team and coaches, I would like to give a shout-out to the student body and spectators for their outstanding support.  I’ve gotten many compliments from other coaches and teams about our crowd.

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