Cheyenne Central’s extremely patient offense held the high-powered Scottsbluff Bearcats to their second-lowest scoring output of the season Saturday at Scottsbluff High School.
That’s about all the visitors could celebrate, though, as the Bearcats overcame the drastic change of pace to post a 47-36 win, their fourth victory in a row.
“You just need to find a way to win in a game like this, where they really try to slow it down,” said Scottsbluff coach Tony Siske, whose team improved to 9-4. “For the most part, I thought we handled things really well.”
Scottsbluff, which climbed to No. 5 in this week’s Omaha World-Herald Class B poll, was prepared for Cheyenne Central’s slow-downed attack. And while the Indians (3-6) stayed within striking distance most of the game, the Bearcats did what they needed to do both offensively and defensively to hold off the Wyoming Class 4A foe.
Siske said he reminded his team at halftime, when Scottsbluff held a slim 22-17 edge, to stay focused and simply takes what’s there.
“I said, ‘This is a game where you just have to do what it takes to win the game. We’re not going to hit our average points – and I know we like to play that way – but the ultimate goal is to win the game, and that’s what we need to find a way to do,” he said. “They got it done.”
Clinging to a 33-26 lead at the end of the third quarter, Scottsbluff knew the Indians wouldn’t go away easily in the final period. And they didn’t, closing the gap to just five points on a couple occasions, including 37-32 with just 5:08 to play.
To the Bearcats’ credit, though, they stayed tough down the stretch, holding Cheyenne Central to just four points in the last 5 minutes.
Scottsbluff also came up big at the free-throw line, hitting all eight of its charity tosses in the last 1:42. Scottsbluff was 16 of 18 for the game. The Bearcats also nailed some clutch free throws late in Friday’s contest to fend off 4A No. 3-rated Cheyenne East, 69-62.
“You’ve got to be able to step up to the line and knock them down at the end of the game, and we’ve done that two nights in a row,” Siske said.
Austin Clarkson, Scottsbluff’s 6-foot-6 sophomore center, gave Scottsbluff a big lift offensively, scoring 14 points. He canned 4 of his 5 shots from the field and connected on 6 of 7 free throws, and he also had four rebounds and two assists.
Dillon Hernandez added nine points for the Bearcats, and Jackson Hinze contributed eight points and two steals. Trent Harris led the team in both rebounding (7) and assists (4).
Saturday’s win capped another successful weekend for Scottsbluff, which seemed to gain even more confidence against two quality Wyoming teams.
“This was a tough weekend, playing both of those schools. To come away with two wins is what we needed to do,” Siske said.
The Bearcats now have about a week to get ready for its next contest, next Saturday at home against rival Gering. The Bulldogs handed the Bearcats a 67-44 loss in the season opener.
Siske said having a break from competition comes at a good time for his group.
“We’ve kind of got the sickness going through our basketball program right now, so some time off will be good for these guys,” he said.
Cheyenne Central (3-6) ................. 8 9 9 10–36
Scottsbluff (9-4) ............................ 13 9 11 14–47
CHEYENNE CENTRAL: Brock Anderson 2, Darius Wimbley 7, Blaine Cowley 2, Paul Sheppard 4, Bryce Francois 2, Josh Fearing 19.
SCOTTSBLUFF: Dru Kuxhausen 6, Jackson Hinze 8, Matthew Mickey 4, Trent Harris 2, Dillon Hernandez 9, Landon Walker 4, Austin Clarkson 14.
Highly-rated Cheyenne East girls topple Scottsbluff
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The Wyoming Class 4A No. 3-rated Cheyenne East girls basketball team (wyopreps.com) jumped out to a 22-3 first-quarter lead and stayed in control the rest of the way in a 68-15 win over Scottsbluff on Saturday.
“They’re very quick, they press a lot, and they shoot well from the outside,” Scottsbluff coach Rachel Larson said of East. “And they’re very physical and aggressive.”
Although East took charge early and often, Larson was pleased with the way her team battled against the talented Thunderbirds.
“I’ve said all along that we’re trying to put together four good quarters. This is by far the most physical we’ve played,” she said. “[East was] a very physical team, but I was really proud of our kids because they didn’t back down. We were much more aggressive than we’ve been in other games, so I was definitely proud of how physical they played.”
The Bearcats (1-11) will look to bounce back next Saturday when they travel to play district opponent Sidney. Tipoff is set for 3:30 p.m.
Scottsbluff .................................. 3 6 4 2–15
Cheyenne East ........................... 22 19 13 14–68
SCOTTSBLUFF: Chloey Reifschneider 1, Kelli Wentz 1, Aubree Ford 1, Zoe Holscher 3, Aly Camacho 2, Chesney Walker 5, Shaylee Roseberry 2.