By Tim Linscott
The student section was raucous, the cheerleaders had the crowd pumped up and the homecourt atmosphere was electric at Perkins County on Saturday night as the Plainsmen boys basketball team faced Sutherland in what would be a ‘must-see’ contest.
PCS started the game out a bit flat, down 12-2 after one quarter, but the Plainsmen seemed spurred on by the crowd support and outscored the Sailors 10-6 in the second quarter. PCS was down 18-12 at the half.
Showing resiliency throughout the game, PCS was outscored 15-14 after three quarters and faced a 33-26 score going into the final quarter.
PCS ramped up their defense and kept the offense on pace. Timely rebounding and setting up the offense was crucial if the Plainsmen wanted to win the contest.
With 2:00 left in the game PCS senior Matt Sestak put the offense on his back to take charge.
Sestak hit a three-pointer with just under 2:00 on the clock to tie the game at 43. Neither team was able to break the defensive gridlock enforced by the other and the game went into overtime.
In overtime Derek Sis charged the basket, hit the shot, was fouled and nailed the ‘and one’ to put the Plainsmen up 46-45 with under 2:00 left in OT.
Zak Kurkowski hit one of two free throws after an intentional foul to put his team up 47-45 with :32.7 left.
Seizing some defensive confusion on the ensuing in-bound pass, Christian White was left all alone under the basket for an easy lay-up to put PCS up 49-45 with :16.3 left in OT.
Sestak would be fouled on the next PCS possession and hit one of two free throws, putting PCS up 50-45. Sestak would get a steal on the Sutherland in-bounds and nearly lay it up for two more points, but killed time off the clock and allowed the Plainsmen to earn the 50-45 win.
“It was a huge win for us. We needed to get that winning feeling back. The kids played with effort the entire game and were rewarded with a win,” PCS head boys basketball coach Shawn Cole said. “Hopefully with some more wins. I think the kids know now what it is going to take for us to win.”
PCS out-hustled Sutherland on the offensive boards, holding a 13-2 advantage in that statistic and had a 36-24 defensive rebounding advantage.
White led the team with 16 points, one steal, two assists and six rebounds while Derek Sis had 12 points, two steals, two assists and five rebounds, including three offensive boards.
Tim Johnson scored seven points with one steal, four assists (team high) and a team high 16 rebounds. Kurkowski had 11 boards to go with his one block and five points.
Sestak had six points, two steals and six rebounds. Chase Miyamoto had four points, three steals (team high), two assists and three rebounds.
PCS vs. NP St. Patrick
On Friday, Jan. 10, the Plainsmen faced North Platte St. Patrick and lost 67-30 to the Irish.
PCS was down 16-4 after one period and a 23-7 second quarter put the Plainsmen in a large deficit. PCS was down 39-11 at the half.
The Plainsmen outscored St. Pat’s 14-13 in the third quarter but were outscored 15-5 in the fourth quarter for the final tally.
Johnson stepped up his offensive output with an 11 point game for PCS, also adding one steal and five rebounds. Miyamoto had five points, and White had five points and five rebounds.
Kurkowski picked up two blocks (team high), four rebounds while Chase Anderson had one board, and two points for the Plainsmen.
PCS will host Chase County this Thursday night and then are on the road on Friday to Wauneta-Palisade.
On Jan. 21, 24-25, the Plainsmen will be at the SPVA tournament at North Platte.
For Cole, SPVA doesn’t hold extra stigma as a coach.
“We won’t start thinking about SPVA until the WAPA (Wauneta-Palisade) game is over. We will approach the SPVA tournament like it is another game,” Cole said.