Plainsmen nine-point rally at Cozad falls short in overtime
By Pastor Vince Carrig
Starting forward Jason Finnegan’s interception and drive to daylight stopped the Plainsmen from trading baskets and gave the Haymakers a 65-60 overtime win in Cozad on Saturday.
Finnegan scored only two points in the game, but his basket allowed Cozad to win after surrendering a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Shaky in regulation time, Nate Bubak, Jake Paulsen, Jacob Rush and Conor Young shot an astounding 8-for-8 combined from the foul line in overtime, with each tallying a pair.
Senior forward Caleb Breazeale’s three-point shot from the left corner gave Perkins County hope, trailing 63-60 with 16 seconds left. Rush’s free throws, however, left the Plainsmen with too big of a deficit and too little time.
Senior guard Elliot Carlson’s three-point play from a transition bomb pass tied the game 53-53 with 1:26 left in the fourth quarter, finally catching Perkins County up with the Haymakers.
Cozad missed an astounding seven free throw shots in a row in allowing the Plainsmen to force overtime. They tried to crush Perkins County’s will to win with three-point shots, but particularly Conor Young’s attempt did not score. The Plainsmen immediately turned the long rebound of his shot into Carlson’s game-tying play.
Carlson struck for seven points in the fourth quarter and led his team with 18 in the game.
Tim Johnson’s triple from the left corner and run-and-gun basket gave him five of his seven points in the fourth quarter, a quarter which the Plainsmen started by needing to borrow nine points.
Four transition baskets, with two of those going to Jake Paulsen, spotted the Haymakers a 48-39 lead heading to the final quarter. Plainsmen forward Caleb Breazeale put two shots back where they belonged, as well as a foul shot he collected in the third quarter. Breazeale reached double-digit scoring.
Blake Poppe paced the Plainsmen to a 23-21 lead early in the second quarter with a power move to the rack and a 12-foot jumper, but swing forward Young’s two three-point shots nudged Cozad ahead 29-25. Rush pumped in a couple more close shots and reserve guard Jake Paulsen drilled three of four free throws sending the Haymakers to halftime with a 34-27 lead.
Rush led all scorers with 22 points.
Each team reached from beyond the arc three times apiece in the first quarter. Swing forward Rush got one of those triples, adding it to a steal and breakaway layup along with four consecutive free throws for an 11-point quarter. Carlson and Tim Johnson also raced for breakaway layups in the fast-paced quarter that ended tied 19-19.
P.C. 60, Cozad 65 OT
Perkins Co. 19 8 12 14 7—60
Cozad 19 15 14 5 12—65
Scoring leaders–Perkins County: Carlson 7FG (1[x3]) 1/1FT–18; Breazeale 3 (1) 1/1–10; Hite 1 (2)–8; Johnson 2 (1)–7; Johnston 3–6; Poppe 2 2/4–6; Cozad: Rush 5 (2) 6/6–22; Young 3 (2) 2/6–14; Paulsen 2 5/6–9; Stallbaumer 2 2/4–6; Bubak (1) 2/2–5.