By Dave Faries

Kimball Boys Win In Romp Over Mustangs


Vicki Stull

Kimball's Caleb Reuter towers over Gordon-Rushville's Trevor Standing Soldier.

Almost everything Jordon Berger tossed toward the net on Tuesday night fell through, leaving behind just a swish of nylon.

“I found my offense again,” the senior guard said with a laugh after slapping 15 on the board, including a trio of three-pointers, to pace the Longhorns on their way to a 69-26 shellacking of Gordon-Rushville in the subdistrict opener.

His timing couldn’t have been better—almost.

“I wish it was against Chadron,” he added.

Kimball expected to cruise through the first round. The Mustangs, after all, entered the tournament with a 3-14 mark. And in their first encounter, the Longhorns chalked up a 57-35 victory.

The winner of the Chadron-Mitchell game? Now that would be another matter.

“We wanted the kids to play hard and get things down,” said head coach Bruce Tjosvold, emphasizing the importance of Tuesday night’s contest.

Kimball had things down from the start. Jake Reader drained one off the glass to open the scoring.

“We were just running the offense,” the junior forward explained. “I got a good pass.”

Caleb Reuter followed up by sinking an open jumper then converting an acrobatic fast break.

Austin Pile initiated the score by firing a long pass toward Zach Rockhold-O’Brien. Momentum carried the point guard out of bounds, but before he crossed the line, Rockhold-O’Brien flipped the ball underhanded to Reuter, slicing into the lane from the opposite wing.

“We were on the run right away,” Reuter explained. “We set the pace—I just ran the floor.”

Before Gordon-Rushville finally lit their side of the scoreboard after more than six minutes had elapsed, Reader, Reuter, Pile and Mike Daum all added to the Longhorns’ advantage.

Kimball led 19-6 after one and 37-12 by halftime.

“Don’t play a sloppy game,” Daum said when asked about the team’s goal once the blowout became a foregone conclusion.

The Mustang’s Ryan Burdine sank a jumper after the break, but Kimball countered with a vengeance.

Pile drained a three, Reader hit a short one from the paint, Rockhold-O’Brien scored on a lay up and completed a three-point play on the bonus after drawing a foul in the act of shooting. By the time Nolan Adrian and Henry Heeg opened their accounts late in the third, the Longhorns had forged a 24-3 run.

“I thought we were crisp,” Tjosvold said. “We shot the ball well.”

Adrian, Heeg and Michael Ferguson took Kimball the rest of the way. Yet after the walk away win, focused turned instantly toward Chadron.

“We know them,” Daum said. “They’ve been looking forward to this one game.”

A year ago in the subdistrict final, Kimball shocked the Cardinals with two last minute blows by Trevan Hinton. Despite Chadron’s 6-13 regular season mark, they have butted heads against some tough opposition.

The consensus? Chadron is stronger than their record suggests.

“Chadron is a solid team,” Reuter observed. “But we’ve been preparing.”


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