Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

'Pretty Good Record Setting Performances'

Coach Chad Miller Reviews The Longhorns' Season Of Growth & Learning

This the second and last installment of Kimball basketball coach Chad Miller's review of his team's 2022-23 season.

In the semifinal game against Bridgeport, turnovers and missed free throws on our end kept the game close and they were able to get the lead back down to 1 with just 45 seconds to go.

However, our next possession saw us break their full court pressure as Bransyn Kiefer found Kyler Lusche on a half court pass in which Kyler was able to convert for an "and-one" layup and free throw and put us back up for good 62-58. This game showed just how far we had come as a team this season and earned our first opportunity in the WTC championship game in 9 seasons.

The championship game against Gordon-Rushville was not exactly what we had planned but it was a great experience for our young team. Unfortunately, Brandon Paxton suffered an injury that would require him to wear a face guard for the rest of the season and have him sit out a couple of games.

Right after an exciting 3 days of basketball ending on Saturday we were right back at it with defending 2A Wyoming state champions, Pine Bluffs. After falling behind by 14 in the 1st quarter we were able to settle down and play them even in the 2nd. Pine Bluffs just proved to be too much in the end but it was a good tune up for the last stretch of the season. Unfortunately, Brandon was out for our next game versus Hemingford and we seemed all out of sorts. Braxton also fouled out early in the 3rd which put us even more shorthanded. Ryker Behrend and Trevor Fuss were asked to play significantly more minutes in a tough game that saw us being pressed most of the game. Defensively we needed to get back into the game as were down 21 at half so we decided we were going to start full court man to man pressing our opponents so they could not stall. We wanted to cut to the lead to 10 by the end of the 3rd and were able to right after the 4th. However, Hemingford shot the ball extremely well and were able to extend the lead back to 20. Fortunately for us we did not have to wait long before our next contest to get that disappointment out of our systems. We played Minatare and it was a record setting afternoon. In the 1st quarter alone we ended up hitting 7 three pointers on our way to scoring 35 in the quarter. Kyler had over 20 going into the second and his teammates started thinking about trying to get him into the top scoring for a game. Once the dust settled Kyler Lusche ended the night with 42 setting the new record for most points in a game. The teams 85 points scored was the most scored since the running clock area and Landon Norberg came off the bench to have a great 4th quarter scoring 9 points for his career high. Braxton's 11 assists and 5 three points put him tied for 3rd for assists in a game and tied for 4th for three pointers in a game.

Minatare's win put us back into the right frame of mind going into to last week of the regular season. Mitchell was on the schedule that following Friday and even though we had not beaten Mitchell in 8 seasons, we played them well in the first half and were able to hold onto the 2 point victory in the end. Wyatt Cords had a good game with 10 points, Kyler was huge on the boards with 15 rebounds and 15 points, and Brandon had his first game back from injury with a 20 point game. This was our 9 victory of the season and put it in reach to get double digit wins for only the 3rd time in the last nine years.

Post season sub-districts were that following Monday and we once again matched up with Bayard. The first quarter was back and forth but we were able to outscore our opponent by 12 in the 2nd. However, Bayard shot the ball better and their leading scorer was able to knock down some three pointers to keep them in the game. Our players stayed tough though and were able to get that 10th victory winning 53-45 and moving on to the sub-district championship where Gordon-Rushville would be waiting once again. The championship game started off with us trying to match our opponent's basket for basket but eventually they were able to take advantage of our mistakes and slowly build a steady lead. We eventually lost but a thought we had played our best game against them and had a lot to build upon going into next season.

This was one of those seasons that you hated to end but we will continue to improve this off season and go at it again next winter. The improvements from one season to the next can be significant if we keep working hard and working on the little things that matter when trying to go from a good team to a great one.

This season saw us have some pretty good record setting performances on a team and individual basis. Below are some of those performances:

TEAM RECORDS

Most Points Scored since the Running Clock Era (Nov 2013) and top 10 all-time – 85

Tied for 6th all-time in points allowed in a game – 21

2nd all-time for most average rebounds per game – 34.6

3rd all-time for most three-pointers in a season – 128

2nd all-time for most blocks in a season – 128

INDIVIDUAL RECORDS

Most points scored in a game – Kyler Lusche (42)

Most points scored in a season – Kyler Lusche 8th (403), Brandon Paxton 13th (386)

Most field goals scored in a game – Kyler Lusche (19), Brandon Paxton tied for 7th (12)

Most free throws made in a game – Brandon Paxton tied for 5th (11)

Most free throws made in a season – Brandon Paxton tied for 8th (72)

Best free throw percentage in a season – Ryker Behrend 11th (73.7%)

Most three pointers in a game – Kyler Lusche and Braxton Miller tied for 4th (5)

Most three pointers in a season – Kyler Lusche 10th (33), Wyatt Cords 16th (27), Braxton Miller 17th (26)

Most rebounds in a game – Brandon Paxton tied for 4th (18), Kyler Lusche tied for 7th (15)

Most rebounds in a season – Kyler Lusche tied for 5th (230), Brandon Paxton 7th (229)

Most steals in a game – Kyler Lusche tied for 1st (10), Brandon Paxton tied for 5th (6)

Most steals in a season – Kyler Lusche 8th (58)

Most assists in a game – Braxton Miller tied for 3rd (11), Kyler Lusche tied for 6th (7)

Most assists in a season – Braxton Miller 2nd (125)

Most blocks in a game – Brandon Paxton 1st (11), Kyler Lusche tied for 7th (5)

Most blocks in a season – Brandon Paxton 2nd (75), Kyler Lusche tied for 5th (36)

Most double-doubles in a season – Kyler Lusche 2nd (14), Brandon Paxton 3rd (11) Braxton Miller 7th (1)

Most triple-doubles in a season – Brandon Paxton tied for 1st (1)

Highest VPS rating in a game – Braxton Miller 5.43 vs Bridgeport WTC, Bandon Paxton 3.33 vs. Banner Co., Wyatt Cords 2.88 vs. North Platte St. Pats

Highest VPS rating in a season – Brandon Paxton 1.37, Braxton Miller 1.36, Kyler Lusche 1.30

Longhorn 150 Challenge – Braxton Miller 24:40.79, Braylon Miller 24:51.42, Kyler Lusche 25:00.34