* I am sorry about the article that appeared in the Dec. 24 edition of the paper. Here is an edited version of the story.
The Broken Bow boys and girls basketball teams had another impressive week of performances at Ainsworth on Dec. 18 and at home vs St. Paul on Dec. 19. The Class C1 No. 3 Indian girls defeated the Bulldogs 62-48 and the Class C1 No. 9 Wildcats 44-30, while the boys defeated Ainsworth 73-49 and lost to C1 No. 5 St. Paul 50-44.
“I thought my girls were really locked in all weekend,” Broken Bow girls basketball coach Kelly Cooksley said. “They knew they were going to have some tough competition and they came out and played probably two of their better games that they played all year. We were finally able to put together multiple good quarters of play as opposed to just a quarter or a half.”
Against the Bulldogs Friday, it was Kya Scott who got things off and running for the Indians. She was able to convert a basket in transition while being fouled. After the made free throw, Broken Bow was up 3-0.
Kya Scott followed that up with a jumper, and then Callie White connected on a deep two. Later on, Kya continued her hot start with a jumper in transition.
After the first quarter of play, the Indians had built an 18-10 advantage.
A three by Kailyn Scott pushed Broken Bow’s advantage to double digits at 21-10. That was followed up with another three by Kali Staples.
More impressive than the hot start shooting for Broken Bow was the 12 turnovers the Indians forced Ainsworth into to begin the game.
Freshman Halle McCaslin came in off the bench and was able to beat everybody down the court for a layup in transition. With the score 28-13, the Indians already had 7 different players with points in the first half.
At halftime, Broken Bow had a 35-20 advantage.
Despite having their lead cut down to five thanks to one three-pointer by Libby Wilkins and two by Bria Dellamont, the Indians stayed strong.
McCaslin snuck herself into the lane and was able to grab a rebound and make a shot while being fouled. After the made free throw the score was 44-36 in favor of Broken Bow.
From there Broken Bow was able to cruise the rest of the way as they outscored the Bulldogs 18-12 the rest of the way.
Leading the Indians in scoring was Kya Scott with 24 points followed by Kailyn Scott with 12, and Kali Staples with 10. Seniors Kassidy Cyboron and Emma Schall both had 7 rebounds to lead the team.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Broken Bow boys were able to display a hotter hand shooting the ball than the girls did.
The game started with Dillion Baum getting an easy basket inside to make it 2-0. After a turnover by Ainsworth, Blake Denson was able to find Austin Harvey with a pass down the court for a layup.
The Indians were able to get Keegan Baxter going with a three-pointer after passing the ball around to find an open shot. Later on, he was able to knock down another triple, this time in transition to put Broken Bow up 12-6.
Qwentin Coble got in on the three making party with one of his own to begin the second quarter. This put the Indians up by 15 and it marked a 15-0 run.
The Bulldogs continued to struggle to find any answer for Baxter as he put in another three-pointer and then he drove to the hoop and made a layup. Frazier Kaelin’s layup right before halftime gave Broken Bow a 36-24 lead.
While Baxter was taking care of making baskets outside, Riese Kahnk was able to establish his presence inside during the third quarter. He was able to convert a layup off a miss and then he knocked down a shot from around the free-throw line.
With the game well in hand in the fourth quarter, the Indians were able to get some of their subs in off the bench. They followed right in suit with how the starters were playing and hit some big shots. One of them being a three by Carsten Fox in the closing seconds of the game.
“I think our transition offense was solid for us,” Broken Bow boys head coach Nathan Olson said. “Our players did a good job of being unselfish and finding teammates down the floor early for easy baskets. Defensively, we struggled at times to keep them out of the paint and let them get too many offensive rebounds. Ainsworth is a tough place to play though and I thought our guys responded well to adversity early. Once we settle down a bit in the half-court, we were able to penetrate the zone better, find open teammates, and knock down outside shots.”
Leading the Indians in scoring was Baxter with 22 points, followed by Kahnk with 12, and Denson with 11. On the glass, Denson pulled down seven rebounds and Baum had six.
The next day, Broken Bow faced off with St. Paul. Both Wildcat teams entered the contest rated in C1.
In the girl’s game, the Indians used a stifling defense to shut down the Wildcat’s offense. Overall in the game, St. Paul only shot 22.9% from the field. If it wasn’t for some late three’s that were banked in, Broken Bow would have held them under 30 points.
“I think it really does start on defense for us,” Cooksley said. “We were able to hold a really good Ainsworth team to under 40 until the end and almost held St. Paul under thirty. Our defense all year has been creating turnovers for us and has given us multiple easy shots in games.”
Staples finished the game with 13 points and 9 rebounds to lead the team.
Despite losing, the boy’s squad put up a very good fight against a 5-1 Wildcat squad. If it wasn’t for the second quarter where they were outscored 24-14 they might have won the game.
“St. Paul is a really good team and they are extremely athletic playing their 1-3-1 zone,” Olson said. “The second quarter was one we definitely wish we could have back. They were able to force turnovers in their zone and get some easy buckets on the other end which is why they made their run. Overall though, I thought our team competed hard and took on handling adversity well. We had Blake Denson go down with an injury which did not allow him to play most of the fourth.”
Leading the team with 13 points and 6 rebounds was Baxter.
The Broken Bow basketball teams will be back in action at their home holiday tournament on Dec. 29 and Dec. 30. They will play Alliance in their first-round match up.