Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Tom Southard

Kimball boys headed back to State


Vicki Stull

Seniors Jake Reader and Mike Daum accept the District Championship trophy on behalf of their team.

The Kimball High boys' basketball team is headed back to Lincoln and the Nebraska State Basketball Tournament. They enjoyed the journey so much last year that they decided to do a repeat! For coach Bruce Tjosvold, his staff, and some of his players, this is the third trip to the Big Show in the past four years. Kimball qualified in 2011, missed out in 2012, and then made back-to-back trips last year/and this year. Kimball fans have come to expect winning seasons from coach Tjosvold's teams as in his 8 seasons as head coach he has compiled a win-loss record of 152-38, and has won 8 consecutive Western Trails Conference Tournament championships!

The Longhorns head east this year with a record of 22-3 and are ranked #9 in this week's Omaha World Herald Class C-2 rankings, moving up one spot and exchanging positions with Ravenna, a team they beat by 1 point in the district championship contest. In their first round pairing today (Thursday) they will go up against Freeman, the #4 seed, with a record of 23-4 and ranked #2 by the World Herald, moving up from the #6 spot last week. Kimball is the #5 seed in the state C-2 bracket. First round games in C-2 will take place at Lincoln Southeast with #1 seed Ainsworth (23-2) facing #8 Battle Creek (12-12) in the 2 p.m. Lincoln time game, followed by the Kimball-Freeman game at 3:45, Lincoln time. Remember Kimball fans who don't make the trip to tune in your broadcasts for a 2:45 Kimball time tip off. The evening session starts at 7 p.m. with #2 Doaiphan-Trumbull (22-4) playing #7 Sutton (17-9) with the night cap at 8:45 featuring #3 Archbishop Bergan (21-3) and #6 Southern Valley (21-3).

The World Herald ranks Fremont Bergan #1, Freeman #2, Ainsworth #3, Hartingtoa CC #4, Doniphan-Trumbull #5, Hastings St. Cecilia #6, Southern VAlley #7, Wianebago #8, Kimball #9, and Ravenna #10. You will notice some of the ranked teams failed to make the state tournament, and the cause was upsets along the way and wild card points involving teams who did not win out in district play.

The Freeman Falcons were also state qualifiers last year, have made 8 state appearances, and were state runnerups in C-2 in 2009, and state champions in D-l in 2010. They are a small C-2 school with an NSAA enrollment of 87. Leading scorer for Freeman is 6'1" senior forward Cole Schuster who averages 15.4 points and has scored 417 on the season. Isaac Frerichs, a 6'1" junior guard averages 15.3 points and has scored 398 points, and these two are also the top rebounders averaging 4 plus per game. Frerichs also leads the team in assists and steals. Holden Scott, a sophomore, is the tallest player on Freeman's roster at 6'5"and has scored 93 points on the season.

Coach Tjosvold says that Freeman is a lot like Kimball. "They are a lot like us. They playa lot of zoae with a 1-3-1 or 2-3 formation. We think we match up pretty good with them. We like the game time over a late night time. We have had good practices and we are ready to go and ready to get it on. We feel that everybody is pretty even down there and like our chances."This year Coach Tjosvold has no plans to stop and practice somewhere. They will be staying at the downtown Holiday Inn, just walking distance from the site of the State championship, Pinnacle Bank Arena. As I discussed his envious record of the past 8 years, he was quick to point out that he has been blessed with some very good athletes and that coach Gene Mohr has been with him all 8 years as well.

Taking a look back at Kimball's season, their 3 losses, after starting out the pre-season ranked #1 by the World Herald, have been to Class B Sidney at their house to C-l Chase County in the SPVA tournament semi finals, and to Bridgeport at their house. Kimball won over Bridgeport 3 of the 4 meetings between the two schools this season.

Senior Mike Daum, a South Dakota State recruit, leads the Horns in almost every category and the 6'9" talent is going to see his name at the top of many school records when we finalize all the stats at the completion of the state tournament play. Daum has 625 points to date averaging 25 a game, 308 rebounds averaging 12.3, 30 assists, 53 steals, and 64 blocks. He can shoot the very long trey ball with amazing accuracy, as well as score inside.

Senior Jake Reader, 6'3" is headed to Ft. Lewis College in Durango, Colorado to play football, is the work horse of the team and has 339 points averaging 14.1 points, has 138 rebounds averaging 5.8, 49 assists, 38 steals, and 20 blocks.

Junior point guard Colton Stull at 6'1" has 125 points averaging 5 points, leads the team in assists with 73, has 57 rebounds,and 23 steals.

Junior Michael Ferguson at 6'21' has 121 points averaging 4.8 points, 84 rebounds averaging 3.4, 29 assists, 21 steals and 9 blocks.

Senior Henry Heeg at 6'2" has 87 points averaging 3.5, 68 rebounds, 23 assists, 9 steals and 2 blocks.

Junior Jonathon Withrow 5'lO" has 84 points averaging 3.4 points, 31 rebounds, 37 assist~and 50 steals.

These are the top 6 players for the Horns but others who have,and will contribute are sophomores Angel Flores, Ethan Land, and Trent Rutledge along with senior Mitchell Shields, and junior Enrique Cajero, senior Jonathon Kurth, sophomore Dakota Flores, and freshman Jadea Withrow.

Fans not making the trip should be aware that both KSID (98.7) and KNEB (94.1) will be carrying broadcasts of Kimball's games, and should the Horns make the championship game, it will be on the Nebraska Educational Channell TV for your viewing.


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