BRADY — Anselmo-Merna and Wauneta-Palisade battled back and forth for 16 minutes during the first half on Saturday with the Coyotes taking a 24-23 lead into the locker room at half. But a 21-9 scoring edge in the third quarter for the Broncos led to a 60-45 Wauneta-Palisade win and a Brady Holiday Tournament title.
“The whole first half, we played hard but we just weren't playing very good fundamentally,” said Wauneta-Palisade coach Dave Kuhlen. “We were just throwing the ball at the basket.”
“The second half, after talking about those things at half, we came out and were trying to be too careful and that allowed [Anselmo-Merna] to get six straight.
“Once we started to play to win again and remembering to stay under control and take good shots, things started to click a little bit.”
The Coyotes came out on fire to begin the second half. Trent Geiser scored in the paint and then Trey Gilligan took a steal in for two.
When Geiser scored his second bucket of the half, Anselmo-Merna had grabbed a 30-23 lead.
But over the next 5 minutes, 56 seconds, the Broncos would outscore the Coyotes 21-3 to take a 44-33 lead into the final stanza. Wauneta-Palisade was successful during the second half of limiting the Coyotes to just one shot.
“Sometimes it's hard to rebound out of a zone,” Kuhlen said. “There are moments when we don't rebound real well, but I think for the most part we kept them off the boards.
“They are an aggressive team and aren't the easiest team to keep off the boards, but the kids effort in the second half rebounding was outstanding.”
Conner Kayton scored as he cut to the basket to begin the first run of 10 points for Wauneta-Palisade and then ended the run as he went coast-to-coast after a steal to give the Broncos a 33-30 lead. After Geiser hit a 3 for the Coyotes, the Broncos went on an 11-point run.
Wes Anderjaska hit a 3 from the right wing to begin the second run and then Hayden Pollman hit a deep 3 with just two seconds to go in the quarter for the 44-33 lead.
The Broncos were able to outscore the Coyotes 16-12 in the final eight minutes as Logan Bischoff hit for eight of his game-high 21 points.
“He just seems to finish each night with 20,” Kuhlen said. “You just don't know how he's going to get his 20.
“Sometimes it's in transition, sometimes he makes every jumper he takes and sometimes it's just offensive rebounds. He can score in a lot of different ways and we need him to get 20 every night.”
Geiser led the Coyotes with 13 points.
Anselmo-Merna falls to 3-5 on the season while the Broncos improve to 5-3. Wauneta-Palisade has now won five of their last six contests.
“We're still a work in progress,” said Kuhlen. “From night to night different things seem to crop up, but this team has a lot of potential.”
Anselmo-Merna (3-5)......................................17 7 9 12 — 45
Wauneta-Palisade (5-3)...........................14 9 21 16 — 60
Anselmo-Merna stats: (2 pt, 3 pt, ft, pts) Trent Geiser 4, 1, 2/3, 13; Dustin Chandler 0, 0, 2/2, 2; Ryan Halouska 2, 0, 1/2, 2; Kylen Thompson 2, 0, 2/3, 6; Troy Gilligan 2, 0, 0/0, 4; Trey Gilligan 3, 2, 0/0, 12; Tyler McGown 0, 1, 0/0, 3.
Wauneta-Palisade stats: Wes Anderjaska 1, 1, 2/2, 7; Conner Kayton 4, 0, 3/5, 11; Jacob Maris 1, 0/ 1/2, 3; Logan Bischoff 8, 0, 5/7, 21; Jack McGraw 2, 0, 2/4, 6; Hayden Pollman 4, 1, 1/2, 12.