Bluejays fall in close game against Thunder

Junior David Dyke takes this jump shot during the boys’ basketball game versus Nemaha Central on Tuesday, February 6.

The Bluejays and Thunder have not seen each other since week three of the season when Nemaha Central grabbed the victory on their home court by a narrow 6-point margin. Last week, it was time for the Bluejays to defend their home court in an attempt to hand the League leading Thunder their second loss of the season. It was a hard fought contest, tied at the half and end of the third, with the Thunder edging out the Jays 46-42 in the end.

Junior Ryan Stapleton drives in toward the basket during the boys’ basketball game versus Nemaha Central on Tuesday, February 6.

Sabetha created their own brand of thunder coming out of the gate, taking the early lead in the first quarter 12-6. Jesse Burger wiggled the net with a pair of treys in the opening quarter to lead his team in scoring, drawing attention from N.C.’s zone.

Senior Brett Stallbaumer takes this jump shot during the boys’ basketball game versus Nemaha Central on Tuesday, February 6.

Brett Stallbaumer, Joseph Gruber and Braeden Cox added a bucket each in the effort, and the Jays’ defense held the Thunder to single digits.

“We did a good job of spreading them out, which created 3-point opportunities off of the penetration and then converting on the open shot,” said Head Coach Scott Burger.

The Bluejays would convert on seven of 16 3-point opportunities, which translated to 43 percent shooting from beyond the arc for the game.

David Dyke helped extend Sabetha’s lead with an early bucket in the second period, but the Thunder went on a 11-2 run through the first six minutes of the period. Stallbaumer and Cox each had a triple late in the quarter and the score would be choked at 20 at the break.

Stallbaumer shook the nylons with a triple to start the second half and poured in 8 points in the quarter, with a pair of treys and two free throws. But N.C. matched shot for shot in the frame to keep the game knotted up.

“Our half-court defense was very good, except for the third quarter,” Coach Burger said. “We allowed some penetration in the quarter which allowed for some easy (N.C.) buckets.”

The game was tied at 36 headed into the final quarter.

Ryan Stapleton hit one of two free throws to start the final period, which gave the Jays a 1 point advantage. But the Thunder outscored their hosts 8-3 through the first seven minutes of the quarter. Stallbaumer’s fourth trey of the night brought the Jays within a possession to tie it up, but that was as close as it would get. Sabetha suffers the loss 46-42.

“We played hard and I thought we did a lot of things well,” Coach Burger said. “We got beat on the boards, 25-20, and they also scored more points from the free throw line, which are two critical stats.”

With the loss, the Bluejays drop to 8-4 in the Big Seven and 10-6 overall.

They faced Jeff West on Tuesday, Feb. 13. These results were not available at The Herald’s press time.

Junior Jesse Burger protects the ball as he dribble around this Nemaha Central defender on Tuesday, February 6.
Junior Braeden Cox shoots for three during the second quarter of the varsity boys’ basketball game against Nemaha Central on Tuesday, February 6.

 

2.6.2018 vs. Nemaha Central ISSUE

Player

TP

2PM-A

3PM-A

FTM-A

R

A

S

TO

PF

Brett Stallbaumer

16

1-2

4-8

2-2

0

1

0

4

2

Ryan Stapleton

3

0-2

0-2

3-4

0

2

1

1

1

Braeden Cox

5

1-1

1-3

0-0

2

3

1

0

3

Jesse Burger

7

0-2

2-2

1-2

6

3

0

2

1

Gabe Garber

2

0-1

0-0

2-2

0

0

0

3

0

Joseph Gruber

3

1-5

0-1

1-2

2

3

1

4

1

David Dyke

4

2-4

0-0

0-0

4

1

1

1

2

Kyle Grimm

2

1-1

0-0

0-0

6

1

0

1

5

Sabetha Totals

6-18 | 7-16 | 9-12 | 20 | 14 | 4 | 16 | 15 | 42

Opponent Totals

11-30 | 3-9 | 15-21 | 25 | 0 | 2 | 8 | 11 | 46

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