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NCMS Boys Basketball Team Crowned 2017-2018 OTL Champs

By: Slade Uselton, Mo Hilbert, Kaleb Reitz

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    The Nemaha Central boys basketball team started their fight for Oregon Trail League Champions against Doniphan West on Saturday, January 27. The boys were anxious to get out onto the court and play their game. After warming up, the team’s starters rolled out and took their orders from Coach Cory Bass. The first quarter was promising for the Thunder after the team scored 15 points while holding Doniphan West to just 9 points. In the second quarter, the NC team outscored the Mustangs 9-7. At the end of the first half, the score was 24-16 with a Thunder lead.

    At halftime, the boys went to the locker room pumped and ready for a win. After halftime, the players came out focused and prepared for anything. In the third quarter, the Thunder boys put up quite a fight and wouldn’t stop, scoring 6 more points against Doniphan West, who had only scored 3 points. By the fourth quarter, there was tension between the two teams, who were fighting for their chance to move on to the next game as well as the ultimate goal, the championship game. In the fourth quarter, the Thunder boys were outscored by the Mustangs 9-3, but that was not enough for the Mustangs to move on. At the end of the game, the score was 33-28 with a Thunder win. The crowd cheered as the Thunder boys left the court to move on to their next battle.

    “We played well and had a great team effort,” said Ryan Lueger.

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    The Nemaha Central Thunder boys played the Frankfort Wildcats in the semifinals of the OTL basketball tournament. The game started with Marcus Beck tipping the ball. Marcus won the tip and NC dribbled down the court scoring the first basket of the game.

    The first quarter was a battle for the ball between the two teams. The Thunder boys took the lead in the first quarter by executing well on offense scoring 12 points while Frankfort only scored 5. The next quarter was a tough defensive quarter with the Thunder boys keeping a steady lead scoring 4 more points while holding Frankfort to a basket. The Thunder team had a 16-7 lead at half-time.

    The third quarter went smoothly with the Thunder boys keeping the lead and scoring 10 points, their quick defense held the Wildcats to 4.  The last quarter wrapped everything together with the Thunder boys having fun playing basketball. Several players off the bench finished the game for the Thunder team. Frankfort was able to score 14 points in the quarter, but the Thunder lead was strong and they added 6 points of their own to get the victory 32-25

    “At the start of the game, we came out focused and excited and with the right mindset to win,” said Slade Uselton.

 

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    After their win against Frankfort, the NC Thunder boys basketball team rolled into the championship game. They faced their toughest opponent of the year, the Centralia Panthers. It was a highly anticipated game because their match-up in the regular season was a nail-biter with NC only winning by three.

    The game started very competitively with each team getting after the ball. The first quarter was very close with NC on top 10-9. In the second quarter, NC had to fight to maintain their lead. After a low scoring second quarter, the NC boys found themselves still in the lead 13-11. The third quarter was a battle for the lead by both teams.  The Thunder boys were able to score six points, but the Panthers won the quarter scoring nine. The quarter ended with Centralia leading 19-20. The fourth quarter was intense with some amazing defense by both teams as each team fought to score. As the game was just under a minute left, NC found themselves down by one point. With 30 seconds left, NC made a mid-range jump shot taking back the lead 23-22. With little time left in the game, NC had to play tough defense. NC prevented Centralia from scoring and got the ball back. Marcus Beck was fouled with 10 seconds left in the game and sunk both of his free throws stretching the lead to 25-22. NC played amazing defense stopping Centralia from scoring and secured the win to become OTL champions!

    “This was a great way to end our season, 13-0.” said eighth grader Marcus Beck.

    The Nemaha Central boys basketball team finished their season with an undefeated record of 13-0. They had an amazing season and are very proud of what their team accomplished.

    “We had a great season. Any time you go undefeated some things have to go your way. This year’s team was very well deserving of the OTL title. It was a fun year and I had a great time coaching. Looking forward to the Big 7 next year.” stated head coach Cory Bass.

 

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