The boys side of the SPVA Basketball Tournament got its start on Monday at McDonald-Belton Gymnasium on the campus of North Platte Community College as the No. 4-seed Perkins County Plainsmen took on the No. 5 Sutherland Sailors and the No. 3-seed Hershey Panthers played the No. 6 Maxwell Wildcats.
The tournament’s first round began with the Plainsmen downing Sutherland 72-54 followed by Hershey downing the Wildcats 58-29. Perkins County moves on to play No. 1-seed St. Pat’s on Thursday and Hershey will take on No. 2-seed Chase County.
The Sailors and Plainsmen were tied 28-28 at half, but Perkins County outscored Sutherland 13-4 in the third quarter to lead 41-31 with a quarter to go. The lead might have even been greater, but the Plainsmen were 0-for-8 from the line in the quarter.
Quinton Hite got the Plainsmen off to the good third-quarter start with a 3-pointer and then added another 3 at the
28-second mark to close out the quarter.
“They usually start playing hard and play good basketball at some point, so it was good we got it tied at halftime,” said Perkins County coach Shawn Cole.
“The defensive end is exactly where it got started. Nineteen points in a [first] quarter — that’s pretty bad defense. Once we got settled in and playing our defense I think it helped us on both ends of the floor.”
The Plainsmen were able to hold off any type of Sutherland comeback in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Sailors 13-10 to move on in tournament play.
Sutherland opened up an early 10-0 lead on the Plainsmen and eventually led 15-2 with 3 minutes, 33 seconds to go in the opening quarter.
Brett Good scored eight points in the quarter for Sutherland and Kadin Copeland added five points. Good knocked down two from behind the arc and Kadin Copeland added another 3 in the Sailors opening moments.
“The kids came out ready to play,” said Sutherland coach Can Dyer. “We were really focused and intense on both ends of the floor.
“We limited them to one shot most possessions early and executed on the other end and knocked down shots.”
Perkins County has made a habit of starting slow this season.
“We’ve done that about every game this year and I don’t know what to tell them to come out and play,” Cole said. “It’s been kind of a thorn in our side in every game. We need to figure it out.”
But the Plainsmen came back to tie the score at half with the 16-9 second-quarter scoring edge.
Perkins County trailed 25-15 when Sutherland’s Calvin Carsten put back an offensive rebound, but would score the next eight points to draw within two at 25-23. After Sutheland’s Fear nailed a 3 off an inbounds play, the Plainsmen finished the half with another run of five.
Elliot Carlson drove for two and then scored off a fast break. Hite hit one of two free throws with no time on the clock before half to tie it at 28.
“Defense turns to offense in transition,” Cole said. “We shot some layups with nobody on us. Stole the ball and got down the floor.
“We could run our offense and get a set play and get it to where we needed it. Definitely the energy feeds off our defense.”
Defense was the key in the comeback by Perkins County.
“I think defensively they picked up the intensity a little bit and their guards are very physical,” Dyer said of the Plainsmen first-half comeback. “They’ll get up and play right in your face and with the size we give up that begins to wear on our younger guys a little bit. It’s a grind as the game goes on.
“But all-in-all I thought our kids played with composure and we’re headed in the right direction.”
Perkins County (7-7) 12 16 13 13 — 54
Sutherland (0-13) 19 9 4 10 — 42
PC stats: (2 pt, 3 pt, ft, pts) Elliot Carlson 5, 0, 3/5, 13; Quinton Hite 3, 2, 1/5, 13; Chase Miyamoto 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Colton White 1, 0, 1/2, 3; Jake Sexson 3, 0, 2/2, 8; Tim Johnson 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Alex Johnston 1, 0, 0/2, 2; Caleb Breazeale 4, 0, 0/2, 8; Blake Poppe 1, 0, 1/3, 3.
Suth stats: Tyler Fear 4, 1, 0/1, 11; Brett Good 2, 3, 0/0, 13; Kadin Copeland 2, 1, 0/0, 7; Nathan Maxcy 1, 0, 0/2, 2; Calvin Carsten 4, 0, 1/3, 9.
Much like the first game of the evening, one team dominated the opening quarter of their first-round SPVA game. But different from the first contest, the Hershey Panthers just kept building on the lead for the remainder of the game.
Hershey’s Landan Maassen got the Panthers off early, knocking down a 3 from the right baseline, 7-minutes, 20-seconds into the opening frame. And when Josh Connell grabbed an offensive board and scored, the Panthers were up 5-0.
After Maxwell’s Brandon Fletcher hit two free throws, the Panthers scored eight straight for a 13-2 lead. Maassen made two free throws, Colton Marshall hit from behind the arc and then Connell scored three the old-fashioned way on a bucket down low and a free throw.
Before the quarter ended, the Panthers would hold a 20-5 lead over the Wildcats.
“Our kids came with a lot of energy and played very well together,” Hershey coach Dustin Jorgenson said. “When we get up and run and make good decisions passing the ball we’re a pretty solid team.”
The second quarter wasn’t much different for the teams as the Panthers outscored Maxwell 15-7 in the quarter. Five different Panthers would score in the second with Connell and Dustin Streeter leading the way with four each.
“When you don’t shoot the ball very well it’s tough to fight back,” said Maxwell coach Travis Klein. “You dig yourself in a hole.
“We left too many guys open — too many shooters had too much time to get good looks at the basket.”
Leading 35-12 at half, Jorgenson said defense is important to the Panthers.
“We take a lot of pride in our defense and I thought our kids stepped up and played very well,” Jorgenson said. “Very well — strong on defense and I couldn’t be any more proud of them.”
Hershey outscored Maxwell 16-12 in the third and 13-5 in the fourth to move on to play Chase County on Thursday. Jorgenson said his team will have to be ready to play their best.
“We’ve seen them once and they’re very good and very well coached,” Jorgenson said. “We’re going to have to be prepared.
“It’s going to be a dog fight and we’re going to have to bring our urgency and energy on Thursday night.”
Despite the loss, Klein will continue to look towards his youth throughout the season.
“We’ve been playing a lot of young kids all year,” Klein said. “There are still times they play like freshmen, but they are also doing some really good things. We depend on them for a lot of minutes each night.”
Hershey (6-8) 20 15 16 13 — 58
Maxwell (1-12) 5 7 12 5 — 29
Hershey stats: (2 pt, 3 pt, ft, pts) Tyson Osborne 2, 0, 0/0, 4; Colton Marshall 0, 3, 0/0, 9; Josh Connell 3, 0, 3/3, 9; Landan Maassen 1, 1, 2/2, 7; Josh Margritz 4, 1, 0/3, 11; Kalon Czarnick 3, 0, 0/2, 6; Ariel Quiroga 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Ryan Cox 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Dustin Streeter 4, 0, 0/0, 2.
Maxwell stats: Brandon Fletcher 2, 0, 5/8, 9; Marcus Miller 1, 1, 1/3, 6; Jeremiah Keith 0, 0, 1/4, 1; Kevin Hancock 1, 0, 2/2, 4; Zac Miller 4, 0, 0/0, 8; Brandon Groseth 0, 0, 1/2, 1.