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

By Tom Southard
The Observer 

Kimball Boys Fourth At Western Trails Tournament


February 13, 2020

Tom Southard / The Observer

Kimball had lots of fans at the WTC tournament semifinals Friday at WNCC Cougar Palace. They streamed on the court for the introduction of the starting five.

The Kimball boys finished 4th in this year's Western Trails Conference Basketball Tournament play, losing 37-34 to Morrill in the consolation finals on Saturday.

The Longhorns got off to a good start with a 47-30 win on the road over Gordon-Rushville in first round play, which advanced them into semifinal play at WNCC Cougar palace, and gave them two more contests as first round losers were out.

In semifinal action, Kimball lost to the eventual champion Bridgeport, 61-40. In winning the championship, the Bulldogs defended the title they won a year ago and defeated the No. 1 seed Mitchell, 65-56,in the title game.

Mitchell had won 48-23 over Morrill in semi final play while Bridgeport won 81-40 over Bayard in first round play and beat Kimball 61-40.

Kimball Coach Mo Hanks said, "We got a good defense effort against Gordon-Rushville and held them to just 8 first half points. Our guys worked hard on defense". This was Kimball's second win over the Mustangs having beaten them in mid-January at home 49-37.

Brendan Walker led Kimball scoring with 15 including 1 trey and 2/2 foul shooting and also had 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists and a blocked shot. Sam Cajero hit 3 treys and had 11 points, Thomas Muldoon 9 points with 1 trey, Beau Hanks 8 with 2 blocks, Jacob Withrow and Brayden Tyan 2 points each. Tyan was top rebounder with 7, led in assists with 5 and 1 block. Withrow had 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

Kimball had a good night shooting making 19/41 from the field for 46% including 5/15 on 3 pointers for 33% and 4/7 at the foul line for 57%. They also had 27 rebounds, 16 assists, 6 steals, 4 blocked shots, 17 fouls and 13 turnovers.


6 12 17 12 – 47


4 4 13 9 – 30

Not a good showing for the Horns in their semi final matchup with a very disciplined, but smaller, Bridgeport club. The Bulldogs came out red hot and jumped out to a 19-6 lead after the first quarter of play and then held on to secure the win and answer every run the Horns had at trying to take over the game. Kimball outscored the Dogs 12-11 in the second quarter play but Bridgeport refused to fold and got the job done while the Horns struggled.

Brendan Walker was Kimball's only player in double figure scoring with 10 with 1 trey and was 3/4 at the line. Cajero and Tyan both had 7 points with Cajero nailing 1 trey. Muldoon had 6 with 2 treys and Hanks had 6 also. Austin Lulf hit a trey for his 3 points and Withrow had 1. As a team, Kimball was 13/53 from the field for 25% and 5/23 on 3 pointers for 22%. At the line they made 9/19 for 47%. The Horns also had 32 rebounds with 13 offensive, 7 assists, 7 steals, 5 blocks, 10 fouls and 16 turnovers.

Hanks and Tyan both charted 7 rebounds, Tyan led in assists with 3 and Hanks in blocks with 4 while Cajero was high in steals with 3.

Bridgeport had 7 players score with 3 in double figures led by Luis Garza with 16, Brady Newkirk and Bayler Sterkel with 10 each. Braxton Swires had 9, Cole Faessler 8, Braeden Stull and Mason Nichols 4 each. The Bulldogs had 6 treys and were 7/11 at the line with 17 fouls.


6 12 7 15 – 40


19 11 15 16 – 61

Kimball came back eager for a win on Saturday when they faced Morrill for 3rd place honors and led 13-8 after the 1st quarter, but the Lions owned the 2nd quarter of play outscoring Kimball 16-5 to lead 24-18 at halftime. That was the difference as the Horns won the second half battle 16 to 13 but could not secure the win with Morrill coming out on top 37-34 in the low scoring contest.

Brayden Tyan led Kimball scoring with 15 points and was a perfect 5/5 at the foul line. Withrow, Walker, and Cajero all had 5 points and all three had 1 trey. Lulf and Hanks had 2 points each. Kimball was 13/42 from the field for 31% going 3/21 on 3 pointers for 14% and were 5/6 at the line for 83%.

Kimball charted 30 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, 4 blocks, 17 fouls and 13 turnovers. Walker was top rebounder with 10 and Tyan had 7. Hanks had 2 blocks.

Tanner Whetham led Morrill with 17 points and 9 rebounds. Blake Lofink had 11 points, Kolton McMackin 5, Michael Johnson and Isaiah Guerue 1 each.

The Kimball boys are even on the season at this point at 9 wins and 9 losses. They were to face Pine Bluffs this past Tuesday, are at home with Hemingford tomrrow )Friday) night, and close out the regular season with Mitchell on February 21.

KIMBALL 13 5 8 8 – 34

MORRILL 8 16 5 8 – 37


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