Home is the best place
By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS activities director
There is no place like home. There is no place like home. The Husker men’s basketball team doesn’t play in Kansas anymore, but the Big 10 hasn’t been too kind to them either. But this year at home they are 9-1 and should be 10-0.
The last two weekends I have been in Lincoln and watched the Huskers defeat Ohio State and Minnesota. Earlier the Huskers lost to Michigan in Lincoln 71-70, in a game they should have won. They seem to play really well at home and the home court has been good to them.
The home crowds have been super. The Huskers have drawn 15,000 plus in their games against Ohio State and Minnesota. The Ohio State players commented that Pinnacle Bank Arena was the loudest and most difficult place they have played this year.
Nebraska has played really well in those games, at times looking strong both offensively and on defense, but sandwiched between those games is the trip to Penn State where the 0-6 in Big Ten play Lions, hung around and defeated the Huskers in what was a really ugly game to watch.
Consistency is another thing coaches like in their teams, but the Huskers have not mastered that part yet. Being able to win on the road is what makes the difference in many cases in going to the NCAA tournament or instead going to the NIT.
The Huskers are a better team, I think, this year than last. They have better talent than they have had in the past few years and I think if this is any indication of what Coach Tim Miles can do, then the future is a bright one for the program.
The Minnesota game was a homecoming of sorts for Elliott Eliason. Eliason is a 6-11 junior from Chadron and has scored at a little over six points per game and averages almost nine rebounds per game. Eliason did a pretty good job against the Huskers Sunday night in the Gophers loss. I can remember him very well causing our teams problems when the Plainsmen used to play Chadron. He is probably one of those Nebraska kids that would have helped the Husker program if they could have recruited him.
Against Minnesota, Terran Petteway got 35 points which is the most points scored by a Big 10 player this season in a conference game. Nebraska was without the services of junior guard Deverell Biggs. Coach Miles would only say that it was for personal reasons. Biggs who is usually a quick sub in the rotation is averaging 9.9 points.
I remember when the Bob Devaney Sports Center opened and what an improvement it was over the coliseum where the state basketball finals used to be played. You still missed the old place. The Coliseum was special.
I think the same way about Pershing. I liked playing games at Pershing even with the dead spots in the floor and the open stage end that sometimes caused depth perception problems, but we didn’t lose very many times in Pershing.
The same thing will happen with Pinnacle Bank Arena. Every time I have been there this season you see something you didn’t see before. It is built for basketball. It has bells and whistles that make it special. I am sure that it will be a thrill for those teams that get there this season.
PCS Teams Play
in the SPVA
I don’t do a lot of talking about local sports teams. I think sometimes it is counter-productive. We have great local coverage of games in the Tribune so I think that is probably enough. But–and this is where you read and say “Didn’t you just say whatever?”–I know that the basketball teams have not won as often as the coaches or players would like but I must say that the coaches continue to coach and the teams appear to be playing hard. That is a positive.
Effort is important in life. Effort when things are not going well is even more important. I got to watch our teams play Saturday before going to Lincoln and I thought the effort again was present.
I will single out a player that I was impressed with on Saturday. Derek Sis, a freshman, played probably the best complete game in his very short high school career.
Freshmen are reluctant to take over games in any area but I was impressed with Sis in that he went to the basket on offense, he rebounded on both ends of the court and he played good defense.
The boys won the game over Maxwell and even though Sis had a very outstanding effort, it is still a team game. His teammates threw him the ball, they screened for him and all the things that go into TEAMWORK.
Now you get back to that consistency that I talked about earlier. Finish strong Plainsmen! Finish strong.