|Plainsmen settle for third place in home holiday tourney|
By Pastor Vince Carrig
Sophomore guard Quinton Hite came out shootin’ and lootin’ and his 17 points carried his Plainsmen to a 51-43 victory over Maxwell on Wednesday (Dec. 29) in the Perkins County Holiday Tournament consolation game in Grant.
Hite confidently connected on three three-pointers in the first quarter, the last of which inflated the Plainsmen lead to 16-6.
Defensively, Hite also got away with the stealing of a perimeter pass and bounced it home as well.
Boldness infected the ranks, as the Plainsmen shot an impressive 55 percent from beyond the arc (6-for-11), with four from Hite and fellow guards Jeremy Hagan and Jake Sexson reaching from downtown as well.
The Plainsmen needed points in threes any way they could get them late in the fourth quarter, as players named Sukraw and Smith did not stand in awe of the shooting display, but worked the Wildcats to a 41-40 lead with 3:39 left.
Hagan then entered from arc right, and swished a two-pointer from just inside the line. The next Plainsmen basket, however, came from Hagan’s hand and long range, giving the home team the lead they would keep at 45-43.
Plainsmen forward Austin Gaston then tamed the Wildcats with three points of his own, pounding home a layup and hitting the “and one” free throw award.
Brian Smith crunched down two left-handed layups in the third quarter as part of a six-field goal surge that posted Maxwell to a 37-35 lead at the end of the third quarter. He led the Wildcats with 15 points.
The Plainsmen felt Ben Sukraw’s wrath in the second quarter, when he canned five field goals from near and far and hit three singles from 12 feet away.
Two late free throws from Alex Johnston allowed the Plainsmen to run out the clock by keeping the ball out of Maxwell’s mitts.
Tyler Brott cleaned off four defensive rebounds for the Plainsmen, and certainly influenced a 37 percent shooting effort from the Wildcats with a block and by changing many shots.
Wildcats guard Jimmy Falcon made noise early with a couple of fall-away jumpers, but quieted completely after a pair of second quarter free throws.
PC 51, Maxwell 43
Maxwell 8 15 14 6—43
Perkins Co. 16 10 10 15—51
The 2-7 Plainsmen savor their second win against Maxwell before facing the 7-1 North Platte St. Patrick’s Irish in Grant on Friday and the Sailors, 4-3 in class D1 play this year, on Saturday in Sutherland.
Maxwell 8 15 14 6—43
Perkins Co. 16 10 10 15—51
PC vs Kimball
Kimball’s defense pressed the Plainsmen into turnovers and nimble forward Kendall Ferguson knew what to do with them in the Longhorns’ 60-33 victory Tuesday (Dec. 28) at the Perkins County Holiday Tournament in Grant.
The Longhorns forward Ferguson picked off several passes and made a statement by dunking one of them to give Kimball a 28-11 lead at the beginning of the second quarter. Ferguson finished with a game-high 14 points.
Three-point shooting enabled the Plainsmen to stay within shouting distance early in the first quarter: guard Quinton Hite helped himself to two, and Jeremy Hagan sank one from the left corner to shrink Kimball’s lead to 13-9.
But then, Kimball went on a run, a run that lasted… the rest of the game.
Like an onion, any way you slice the Plainsmen’s numbers, they still make you cry. The 38-5 run surrendered, the 10 turnovers in the first quarter, the 0-for-12 shooting performance from the field in the second quarter, the 2-for-15 shooting drought in the third quarter, (the combined 2-for-27 stat for both), another second quarter with less than a handful of points, another eight turnovers in the second quarter, all bring tears to the Plainsmen’s basketball eyes.
Good teams can make other teams’ statistics look bad, and Kimball earned a win with the pressing defense that influenced many errant passes and flushed out interceptions.
Ferguson only started the parade to an open hoop with a stolen ball: guards Jeff Greenwood (eight points) and Jake Daum (eight points) copied his point-minting method.
Forward Dalton Lockwood kicked in eight points as well, not hesitating to step into open mid-range jump shots.
Hite also finished with 14, hitting from just inside the arc and just inside the foul line and popping in two free throws in the fourth quarter to go with his two earlier “threes.”
Only one other Plainsmen struck for more than one field goal in the game.
The large-margin victory matches the 7-2 Longhorns’ 69-42 drubbing of the Plainsmen on Dec. 10 in Kimball.
The Plainsmen dropped to 1-7 and drew Maxwell for an opponent in the tournament’s consolation round.
PC 33, Kimball 60
Kimball 26 18 9 7—60
Perkins Co. 11 2 6 14—33