By Tim Linscott
The Perkins County Plainsmen boys basketball team went 1-1 in their first two games over the weekend.
PC defeated Wray, Colo., in the season opener at home on Dec. 6, 44-33, and then dropped a 43-24 decision at Hershey Dec. 7.
Against Wray the Plainsmen established their offense early, slashing to the basket and letting senior forward Tim Johnson use his height to hit mid-range shots and low post scores.
“It all starts with defense. We control the game if we apply pressure on defense. We had great effort from all players and we just out-hustled them,” Shawn Cole, PCS head boys basketball coach, said of the win.
Johnson had 19 points in the game to lead PCS, finishing with a double double that included 15 rebounds. He also had one assist and one steal.
The Eagles were hanging tough with PCS after one period, down three, 10-7 and each team traded baskets in the second quarter. PCS held a 23-18 lead at the half.
Neither squad could break away effectively in the third quarter as both squads scored eight points. PCS held a five point lead going into the fourth quarter, 31-26.
A 13-7 run in the fourth quarter by the Plainsmen put the Eagles away. Matt Sestak had seven points, nine rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks for PCS.
The defense of PCS did a number on Wray, holding the Eagles to 19 percent shooting on the night (12 of 63) and Wray was 0 for 6 from behind the three-point line.
PCS shot 41 percent from the floor and held a 42-33 rebound advantage. PCS had four blocks in the game and the backcourt of the Plainsmen used their court vision to dish out 12 assists while Wray had just four.
Derek Sis had 10 points, two boards against the Eagles while Zak Kurkowski had two blocks, seven boards and an assist. Christian White led the team in assists with six and had six rebounds, one steal and two points. Chase Miyamoto dropped in three points, three steals, two boards for the Plainsmen.
PCS vs. Hershey
Both Hershey and PCS had some struggles getting out of the gate on Dec. 7. Hershey led 6-3 after one period.
The game was tight in the second quarter with both squads still struggling to get the offense on track. Hershey led 13-11 at the half.
Playing the night before began to take its toll on the Plainsmen.
“Not being ready to play another game is why I think we had a sluggish start. I could tell we got tired in the Hershey game. I didn’t see that in the Wray game,” Cole said. “I hope after a couple days off and a good week of practice we can put two good games together this weekend.”
In the third quarter Hershey was able to figure out the deficiencies that prevented it from scoring and outscored the Plainsmen 12-5 to take a 25-16 lead into the fourth quarter.
PCS wasn’t able to increase their scoring output and could only muster eight points in the fourth quarter. Hershey outscored PCS 18-8 in the final quarter to solidify the win.
Sis led PCS in scoring with nine points and had three rebounds, one assist and one steal while Johnson had five points, seven rebounds. Sestak put in four points with four rebounds, two steals and one block. Sean Sando and Chase Miyamoto each had three points for the Plainsmen. Sando had one rebound and Miyamoto had three boards and one steal.
The Plainsmen will host Kimball tomorrow (Dec. 13), and the Longhorns feature two post players with experience, one standing 6’11”.
“I do think we can pressure them with our guards and maybe get some easy shots,” Cole said.
Heading on the road on Dec. 14, the Plainsmen will travel to Gothenburg.
“They will be a good team. They always play physical and are well coached,” Cole said. “I have not seen them play and they have a lot of new faces.”