By Pastor Vince Carrig
Senior point guard Quinton
Hite took consecutive steals for layups and inflicted consecutive three pointers on Gothenburg in a third quarter run of 14 unanswered points, blasting his Plainsmen past the Swedes 51-41 Saturday night in Grant.
Hite led all scorers with 27 points as the Plainsmen earned their first win.
“We knew one thing—that they were big, but we had the speed advantage on them, so that was one thing in my mind, I continued to get around them,” Hite said after the game. “They were playing a little ‘off’ on me, so I stepped up and made the [three-point] shots.”
Hite found a ball straying from its owner between the Swedes’ points and gave it a ride the other way, then intercepted an entry pass and took it all the way down as well to put Perkins County ahead, 26-20, just after halftime.
Hite then doubled his fun, connecting from straight behind the arc twice to bury Gothenburg behind a 34-20 score.
Perkins County defended a Swedes attack centered around 6-foot 8 Tanner Borchardt and 6-foot-7 Logan Koehler fiercely by contesting, hurrying and altering plenty of their shots. Getting hands in the passing lanes and bodies in the paths to the goal, the Plainsmen held Gothenburg to just six points in the third quarter.
“That was the toughest team that we played this year, by far, and to get a win—it goes to show that we’re getting there,” Plainsmen Head Coach Shawn Cole said after the game. “The players bought into it tonight and did what they needed to do and just executed like they needed to.”
Koehler started strong for the 1-3 Swedes, reaching right up to the basket for four points in a first quarter that the visitors won 12-8. Swing forward Blake Ristine popped in several mid-range jumpers to ready spectators for a fight to the finish.
Hite started landing acrobatic layups after whipping through the lane, and swing forward Tim Johnson some short jumpers at full extension to distance the Plainsmen from Gothenburg.
A couple of officiating calls on unlikely suspects didn’t hurt the home team’s efforts, either: Borchardt galloped for an open layup but heard the whistle for “traveling,” and Koehler shoulder-shivered Plainsmen forward Jake Sexson’s pick; Sexson took full advantage of the double bonus opportunity.
Referees did not help, however, with Plainsmen Caleb Breazeale’s plight. With a head of steam as he rolled down the right sideline, Swedes guard Logan Sheets freight-trained Breazeale into noon on Sunday. Breazeale left the game with injuries to his thorax and leg, but without a charging call on Sheets.
Hite put seven of eight free throws shots through the net in the fourth quarter to close out the Swedes.
The 1-3 Plainsmen invade the Red Raiders gym to play 2-2 Sidney, who did fine against C1 Mitchell and Chase County, but lost to B schools Omaha Skutt Catholic and Gering.
Dundy County-Stratton heads north on Saturday, having assembled a 4-1 record with three wins over D1 schools and a loss at Kimball’s invitational tournament.
P.C. 51, Gothenburg 41
Gothenburg 12 8 5 16—41
Perkins Co. 8 14 14 15—51
Leading scorers—Perkins County: Hite 5FG (4x3) 5/6FT—27; Johnson 4 1/2—9; Johnston 2 1/2—5; Gothenburg: Koehler 7 (1)—17; Ristine 4—8; Borchardt 4—8.