Once Omaha Skutt had a chance to apply its full-court defense Saturday, the SkyHawks were able to get their offense rolling in a 60-39 victory over Elkhorn.
The SkyHawks (6-0) missed three free throws in the first quarter. For coach Kyle Jurgens, that meant missing three opportunities to apply that pressure.
“Once we were able to play defense for 94 feet, that led to some turnovers,” Jurgens said. “Our staple on the defensive end is we have some guys who can really guard the ball. When you have those stops, they have to work harder on offense.”
After slogging through a 9-7 first quarter, the SkyHawks outscored Elkhorn 20-7 in the second to take a 29-14 halftime lead.
That faster pace isn’t the style the Antlers prefer. Elkhorn (4-1) has made its bones in the first two weeks of the season forcing opponents to play at a slower pace while still executing its offense.
“For us, it’s all about the decisions once we get past half court,” Antler coach Benji Hoegh said. “We just wanted to control the tempo because if a game gets into the 60s or 70s, that’s not going to be a successful situation for us.”
The pace stayed brisk through the third quarter and much of the final eight minutes. Skutt built its lead to 48-25 by the end of the third before the SkyHawks grabbed their biggest lead at 56-29 with 5:39 remaining on a layup and free throw by Tyson Gordon.
Gordon led Skutt with 20 points in Friday’s win over Bennington, but those three points were the only ones for the 6-foot-3 junior against the Antlers. Jake Kudron led a balanced SkyHawk attack with 10 points.
Elkhorn’s Wyatt Behlen led all scorers with 13.
Having multiple scoring options is fine with Jurgens. Whether it was sophomore center Luke Skar having a big night against the Badgers or Ryan Doble coming off the bench Saturday to score eight points with a game-high six rebounds, Jurgens will take the depth.
“Ryan really stepped up today and did a nice job just like Luke did last night,” Jurgens said. “Having kids like that who know their roles and are playing them well is a big boost to those guys who are starting.”
Omaha Skutt (6-0) 9 20 19 12—60
At Elkhorn (4-1) 7 7 11 14—39
OS: Andrew Merfeld 2-5 2-3 7, Grant Bertucci 2-6 0-0 6, Tyson Gordon 1-3 1-1 3, Jake Kudron 3-9 2-2 10, Ryan Doble 3-7 1-2 8, Mason Cushing 0-1 0-0 0, Charlie Fletcher 3-5 2-4 8, Jon Spidle 1-1 2-2 4, Luke Skar 4-5 0-1 8, TJ Skradski 3-4 0-0 6. Totals-22-46 8-12 60.
E: Mitch Kahre 3-9 0-0 7, Wyatt Behlen 4-6 2-4 13, Elliott Riley 1-3 0-0 2, Bryson Hochstein 0-2 0-0 0, Colton Uhing 0-1 0-0 0, Caden Schutte 4-6 1-2 10, Gannon Gragert 0-2 1-2 1, Kyler Beekman 2-3 0-0 4, Drew Christo 1-3 0-2 2. Totals-15-35 4-10 39.