Kimball boys runner-up at SPVA tournament


Jennifer Greenwood for the Western Nebraska Observer

The Kimball High Boy's Basketball Team posed with their runner-up plaque after falling to Hershey 53-46 in the championship game of the SPVA Conference Tournament Saturday evening at the North Platte Community College Gymnasium. Kneeling left to right, Zane Anthony, Jaden Withrow (holding plaque), Brandon Barker, Jordan Greenwood, Colton Mielke. Back row, coach Bruce Tjsvold, coach Nick Kuxhausen, Edward Barnes, Corey Travis, Kyle Spicer, Izaac Reuter, Kole Bush, coach Gene Mohr.

The Kimball High boys played themselves proud in finishing second in the SPVA Conference Basketball Tournament held this past week. After a first round win over Chase County in a game played on Kimball's home court, with the Horns winning 64-56 in overtime, Kimball then won 55-49 over Perkins County in a semi final contest. With the two victories, the Horns then advanced to the championship game with Hershey and suffered their lone loss in tournament play with the Panthers winning out 55-49. The Big Red brought home the runner-up plaque to go in the Longhorn trophy case.

Kimball versus Chase County was scheduled for a Monday night meeting in Kimball but was delayed one day due to an ice storm that affected travel. Chase County came to town boasting of an earlier win over Kimball at they house by a score of 65-33. The Horns were out for a bit of revenge and they got it, although they had to go to an overtime period to secure the win. Behind some sharp outside shooting with 4 players hitting treys, Kimball got out to a 16-11 first quarter lead. Brandon Barker, Colton Mielke, Ed Barnes, and Jaden Withrow all chucked in 3 pointers in an exhibition of a long range shooting.

The Longhorns from Imperial won the second period play, out scoring the Horns 15-7 with Jordan Greenwood accounting for all of Kimball's second quarter points. At half time it was the visitors leading 26-23. Kimball won the 3rd period 17-11 over the visitors with 3 more treys by the Horns including 2 by Withrow and 1 by Greenwood. Izaac Reuter had a put-back bucket off a rebound at the buzzer to give Kimball a 40-37 lead going into the final quarter.

The Horns had some trouble at the foul line in the 4th quarter that could have avoided an overtime and Chase County outscored the Horns 15-12 in the final period to knot the score at 52-52 at the final buzzer. The Big Red took care of business in the O.T. scoring 12 to Imperial's 4 for the win. Greenwood hurt his lower back in a hard fall and was out of action for a short time but returned to hit 3 vital free throws down the stretch.

It was a night of long range marksmanship as Kimball converted 9 treys with Jaden Withrow hitting 4 and finishing with 16 points. Jordan Greenwood nailed a pair of treys and let all scorers with 19. Brandon Barker had a trey and 13 points giving Kimball three players in double figures. Colton Mielke and Ed Barnes both hit treys and both finished with 5 points. Izaac Reuter had 6 points.

Kimball shot the ball well going 24/56 from the field and were 9/24 from behind the arc, along with 7/14 at the foul line. They pulled 31 rebounds led by Reuter with 10 and Barnes with 8. They held their turnovers to just 9 and their fouls to 13.

Braden Space led Imperial with 15 points and Jack Baurle had 12. The Longhorns of Kimball got their revenge!

Kimball 16 7 17 12 12---64

Chase Co. 11 15 11 15 4---56

Kimball moved into semi-final play at North Platte Mid-Plains Community College on Thursday facing Perkins County, a winner over Bridgeport in 1st round play. It was the second meeting of the season between the two teams with Kimball winning the first time these two clubs met, 59-54 way back in early December. The second meeting was almost a duplicate as the Horns won by 6.

Unlike the win over Chase County, the shots were not falling for the Horns against Perkins County and the Horns trailed at every quarter break including 18-11 the first period, 31-20 at half time, and 41-38 at the end of the third period. Kimball's shots started to fall in the 3rd quarter as they connected on 4 treys with Mielke and Greenwood both nailing a pair, and Kimball outscored the Grant team 18-10 in that time frame to close to within 3. In the final period it was Kimball 17 and Grant 8. Greenwood tallied 13 of those 4th quarter points and led all scorers with 24 on the night including 4 treys.

Kimball had 3 players in double figures with Mielke scoring 11 with 3 treys and Withrow 10 with 3 treys. Barker had 5, Reuter 4, and Zane Anthony1. Reuter led in rebounds with 10 and Mielke had 5. Withrow was tops in assists with 4 and Greenwood in steals with 4. The Horns ended up shooting 10/21 from 3 point range, were 18/47 from the field, were 9/17 at the line, had 21 rebounds, 8 assists, 12 steals, 6 blocks, 12 turnovers, and 21 fouls. Josh Johnson with 21 and Charles Johnson with 15 led the Grants scoring.

Kimball 11 9 18 17---55

Perkins Co. 18 13 10 8---49

Hershey was the number one seed coming into the tournament and had a first round bye out of the 7 school field. In semi final play they were an easy 61-28 winner over North Platte St. Pats. The Panthers are big and talented. If the fans didn't see any chance for Kimball as they watched the warmups, they didn't know the heart of this Longhorn club.

Jaden Withrow took a long skip pass from Greenwood and sank a long 3 pointer on the first shot of the ball game. Hershey would win the battle inside in the opening period and led 17-10 at the quarter break.

It was a night where Kimball's top scorer, Jordan Greenwood, was in a bit of foul trouble from the start to finish and he spent a lot of time on the bench as the coached tried to make sure they would have him at the end. Withrow was having a special night and playing with lots of determination. At half time he had 10 points but the Horns trailed 34-25.

Withrow opened up the 3rd quarter with a drive to the basket but Greenwood pick up his 3rd foul right away and got his 4th with :50 seconds left in the period. Kimball outscored the winner 11-10 in third period play and were down 44-36 entering the final period. Once again Withrow opened the 4th quarter with a long trey, and Greenwood, playing with his 4 fouls, scored on a drive up the lane, hit a pair of free throws, and nailed a try to bring Kimball back to within 1 points at 47-46 with 2:08 remaining. A short time later he had to leave the court to take care of a blood problem from a scraped knee. After checking back in he got his 5th foul with :30 seconds left. In the final :41 seconds the winners scored 6 points from the foul line as Kimball was forced to foul to try and gain possession. The free throw shooting gave Hershey the win.

A very good night of basketball for Jaden Withrow as the senior gave spacial effort on both ends of the court and in between. He led Kimball with 15 points hitting 3 treys. Despite limited court time Greenwood finished with 11 points with 1 trey and 4 for 4 foul shooting. Solid play from Mielke and Reuter with both scoring 7 points and both hitting 1 trey. Barker had a trey and 3 points and Barnes had 3 points. Barnes was top rebounder with 7, Reuter had 5 and Mielke 4. Barnes also charted 3 blocks.

In team stats, Kimball shot 16/55 from the filed going 7/27 on 3 point attempts and were 7/10 at the line. The Horns had 23 rebounds, 4 assists, 11 steals, 4 blocks, 7 turnovers, and 17 fouls.

Hershey has four starters listed at 6'2" and taller. Their leading scorer on the night is a 6'3" and 290 pound young man by the name of Jason Davis who tallied 15 points. I understand he has sighted to play football for Wyoming. He is not only big, but is a smooth athlete. Tyler Johnson, the lone junior in the staring lineup of remaining seniors, scored 14, and Clay Frels had 14. While Kimball had 17 fouls and were 7/10 at the line, Hershey had 8 fouls and were 15/29 at the line. The difference!

Kimball is now 9-3 on the season and have a busy week ahead. They travel to Sutherland this Friday, and are at home Saturday hosting St. Pats. On Monday (January 30) they will host Bayard in a make-up game with only varsity play for both girls and boys beginning at 5:30 p.m. They will move into WTC Tournament play next week.

Hershey 17 17 10 9---53

Kimball 10 15 11 10---46


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