WACO – The final score doesn't always accurately reflect the competitiveness of a basketball game. Tuesday night's 69-37 final tally in Waco was one of those games.
The Knights of Nebraska Lutheran were within three of a very good squad of Lincoln Christian boys at the first period break and still just five back at halftime.
Early in the third the Knights cinched it up even tighter to 32-29 Christian at 6:01 of the third after a 3-point bomb from Lutheran's Schuyler Hemphill. Near the 5:20 mark the Knights had it down to a two-point game, but then the Patriots exploded in the rest of the third and capped the win with a 22-6 advantage in the fourth.
Hemphill's first trey, the one that sparked him to an 18-point outing, came late in the game's first minute and posted Lutheran to a quick 3-2 lead. Hemphill drove for two at 2:30 of the first to keep his team just two off the lead, then the Knights pulled within one, 15-14, in the final minute on a trey from Jacob Noffke.
Parkview staged a big run in the second and moved in front 25-14. The Knights fought back to 28-23 at intermission, then staged their hard-charging rally early in the third before Parkview pulled away.
“The guys played really hard tonight and the final score was definitely not indicative of how close a game it really was,” agreed Coach Matt Willems. “Parkview put a lot of pressure on us all night long and we simply didn't handle that pressure as well as we needed to tonight. They're a well coached and talented team.”
Hemphill added five rebounds to his team-high 18 points. Only Trevor Palivka's 19 for Parkview topped Hemphill on the night.
Noffke ended up with five rebounds, too, to go with eight points. Sam Green checked in with six points, nine boards and four steals for Lutheran.
Willems' stats show his Knights with 37 rebounds, 10 of them offensive, seven steals, three blocks and 35 turnovers that were a direct result of that aforementioned Parkview pressure. The Knights were 10-40, 4-16 from three and 13-28 at the line. The Patriots countered with 28 rebounds, nine on the offensive end, 24 steals, 17 turnovers and five shot blocks. Parkview shot 28-71, 5-20 from three and hit 8-18 free throws.
“I thought our game plan was great tonight, but when a team gets up nearly twice as many shots as you it's tough to win,” commented Willems. “They're the best team in our conference and our goal is to work our butts off to be able to face them in the conference championship later in the season.”
The Knights, now 2-2, visit Colorado on Saturday to take on Rocky Mountain Lutheran.
Score by quarters
Nebraska Lutheran (2-2)...................................14 9 8 6 - 37
Parkview Christian (5-1).......................17 11 19 22 – 69
Parkview Christian (69) – Ngoyi 5 (2) 2-4 14, Mertens 1 0-2 2, T. Polivka 8 (1) 2-2 19, Smith 4 0-0 8, J. Polivka 5 2-5 12, Riesenberg 1 0-0 2, Case 0 1-2 1, Rogers 4 (2) 0-0 5, Bilew 0 1-2 2. Totals – 28 (5) 8-17 69.
Nebraska Lutheran (37) – Pohlman 0 1-2 1, Rundgren 0 1-2 1, Hemphill 5 (2) 6-7 18, Green 2 2-7 6, Freese 0 1-2 1, Diede 1 0-4 2, Noffke 2 2-4 8. Totals – 10 (4) 13-28 37.