SIDNEY – Kimball boys basketball coach Bruce Tjosvold knew his team would get about all it could handle from Bayard on Tuesday in the semifinal round of the Class C-2, Sub-district 12 Tournament at Sidney High School.
And while the Tigers did play well, even holding a 13-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Longhorns managed to prevail, pulling out a 53-41 victory to advance to Thursday's 7 p.m. championship game against Bridgeport at Sidney High School.
“We knew coming in that it was going to be a tough game because their size matches up well with us, and they've got some guards that can shoot it, so we didn't expect an easy game by any means,” Kimball coach Bruce Tjosvold said. “I thought Bayard played really well defensively and made us work for everything. But I thought our kids played pretty well, too, especially toward the end. Our kids persevered – they were able to make plays toward the end that we needed to make.”
After falling into a hole early, the top-seeded Longhorns (20-3) rebounded nicely in the second frame, outscoring No. 4-seeded Bayard 16-6 to enter halftime with a 25-19 lead.
Kimball managed to inch further ahead in the second half, although Bayard always seemed to stay within striking distance.
In the final stanza, the Longhorns were able to maintain a decent cushion by hitting some free throws. Although Kimball ended the game just 19 of 34 from the charity stripe, the Longhorns made enough of them down the stretch to stay in front and keep their season alive.
“I told our kids afterward that it wasn't the prettiest win by any means,” Tjosvold said. “But that first [sub-district tournament win] always helps you get some butterflies out a little bit because you know it's playoff time. It's big anytime you can get a win for confidence for the next game. I'm happy that our kids battled hard.”
Michael Daum and Jacob Reader both got into foul trouble, but they still ended up coming big throughout the game. Daum finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks, and Reader collected 11 points, seven rebounds, and five blocks. Colton Stull chipped in four points, five rebounds, and three assists.
For Bayard, David Schuler scored a team-high 11 points. Justin Baird added eight points, and CJ Trevino contributed six.
Kimball 9 16 14 14–53
Bayard 13 6 9 13–41
KIMBALL: Colton Stull 4, Jonathon Withrow 6, Michael Ferguson 4, Michael Daum 23, Trent Rutledge 2, Jacob Reader 11, Henry Heeg 3.
BAYARD: David Schuler 11, Trae Blanco 1, Zac Rice 2, Tyler Fiscus 4, Justin Baird 8, Phil Schuller 3, Bryce Hargens 4, CJ Trevino 6, Richard Kadayso 2.
Bridgeport boys prevail in semis
Kaleb DeCora scored 23 points Tuesday as the Bridgeport boys basketball team defeated Dundy County-Stratton 72-53 in the semifinal round of the Class C-2, Sub-district 12 Tournament at Sidney High School.
Quentin Baxter added 14 points for Bridgeport, and Wyatt Pankowski had 11.
Bridgeport led 25-8 at the end of the first quarter and increased its lead to 45-24 at halftime.
Bridgeport will play Kimball on Thursday in the final at Sidney. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Bridgeport 25 20 11 16—72
Dundy CS 8 16 11 18—53
BRIDGEPORT: John Pappas 4, Mitchel Dudden 4, Kaleb DeCora 23, Jason Amateis 2, Wyatt Pankowski 11, Quentin Baxter 14, Jaime Gonzalez 7, Leighton Freeze 4, Andrew Nelson 3.