The last time the Scottsbluff and Sidney boys basketball teams met just a week ago, the Bearcats squeaked out a hard-fought 54-50 win.
On Thursday night the two squads hooked up in an offensive shootout with the Bearcats prevailing again, 79-68.
Scottsbluff, who is rated No. 2 in Class B by the Omaha World-Herald, received a total of 49 points from seniors Eric Moreno and Michael Hadden in picking up its 14th win of the season.
“We both did something different than the last time we played and that was we shot the ball better,” Scottsbluff coach Tony Siske said. “In the last game we played, the shooting percentages were terrible between the two teams. But tonight they were 20 percent higher for both teams.”
Siske credited Sidney’s ability to shoot the ball so well against the Bearcats.
“You have to give them credit for a lot of what Sidney did tonight,” he said. “I thought they hit a lot of tough shots. There were some errors where our defense broke down, but more times than not I kept looking at our assistant coaches and said I don’t know if we can defend any better with the shots they were hitting.”
Sidney coach Erik Kohl echoed Siske’s thoughts as both teams not only played well on offense, but also on defense.
“The thing is I thought both teams played pretty good defense, but the offenses were better than the defense,” Kohl said. “Both teams on defense made the other team work on offense. A lot of guys made big shots, created shots where we were getting lay ups at the basket. Really it was that the offenses were so good on both sides. It was a great game for people to watch. This was 32 minutes of great high school basketball.”
Kohl said after he saw the 21-19 score in the first quarter, he knew it was going to be a high-scoring game. He was hoping to get the scoring slowed down.
“We like to push the ball, but we are not really a high-scoring team. We played pretty good defense and for the most part we hold teams to the mid 40s,” Kohl said. “I knew in the first quarter when I saw the score, I knew we had to somehow get the game turned into a slower pace. Give Scottsbluff credit. You can tell why they are number two. They played very good on offense and they did enough things well on defense to come out on top.”
Sidney held its largest lead of the game at 19-15 after a drive by Paxton Ehler with about a minute to play in the first frame. But Scottsbluff came back to score six straight points to grab a 21-19 lead after the opening eight minutes.
The second quarter saw the Bearcats push the lead to 29-23, which was their largest lead of the half on a 3-pointer by Moreno. Sidney sliced the lead to 29-28 on a 3-pointer by Casey Mabey before Scottsbluff took a 38-35 advantage into halftime.
Another Moreno 3-pointer and a bucket by Tyler Mickey pushed the Bearcats’ lead to 49-42 in the third quarter. However, Sidney roared by to tie the game at 49-49 on a 3-pointer by Lane Harvey and a bucket by Sam Arterburn.
Scottsbluff edged in front 59-56 after three quarters.
The fourth quarter proved tight as Scottsbluff held a 67-66 lead with just over three minutes to play. The Bearcats then worked their offense to score seven straight points, including five points from Hadden and a steal and bucket by Matthew Klein for a 74-66 lead with just over two minutes to play.
Sidney buried eight 3-pointers in the game. Harvey led the way with three, while Mabey and Ehler had two each.
Scottsbluff had seven 3-pointers. Moreno buried five of them.
The Bearcats shot 10 of 14 at the free-throw line, while Sidney was 4 of 5.
Sidney had four players finish in double figures led by Logan Lewis with 15 points. Mabey and Ehler each tallied 14 points, while Arterburn had 12.
In addition to Moreno and Hadden, Klein also ended in double figures with 14 points.
Both teams will be back in action today. Scottsbluff will host Alliance, while Sidney will host Gering.
Sidney (11-7) .................... 19 16 21 12—68
Scottsbluff (14-3) ..................... 21 17 21 20—79
S: Casey Mabey 14, Lane Harvey 9, Paxton Ehler 14, Tyler Winkler 4, Logan Lewis 15, Sam Arterburn 12.
S: Taylor Winkler 5, Tyler Mickey 6, Matthew Klein 14, Eric Moreno 23, Michael Hadden 26, Austin Clarkson 2, Beau Lofink 3.