Bluejays fall in close game to Thunder, finish season 13-8

It has been two years since the Bluejays and the Nemaha Central Thunder met in Sub-State action, with Sabetha earning a State tournament berth with a 47-44 win over their rivals at the last meeting.

On Thursday night, March 1, these two teams met in the semis playing for a chance to advance to the championship game. It was a game that quickly became a street fight with the biggest lead of the game only being 7 points, but it was the Thunder that came away with the win this time 47-44.

The score was tied at 10 apiece at the end of the first quarter, with Brett Stallbaumer leading all Sabetha scorers with 6 points on a pair of triples. Jesse Burger and Kyle Grimm each had a bucket in the effort, and the Jays took care of the basketball turning it over only once.

Nemaha Central would be held to just 5 points in the second period as Sabetha’s man defense cut off the lane.

“Our kids executed our game plan to perfection,” said Head Coach Scott Burger. “Our defense was excellent, and we limited their penetration most of the night.”

The Jays put up 9 points in the second frame to best the Thunder 9-5 in the period. Braeden Cox gave 5 bench points in the quarter with Burger adding a bucket and Gabe Garber chipping in two free throws. Sabetha led 19-15 at halftime.

The Bluejays struggled to get their shots to fall against N.C.’s man defense in the third quarter, making just four of their 14 attempts for 8 points. The Thunder hit a pair of triples, outscored Sabetha 15-8 and the Jays trailed 30-27 headed into the closer.

Stallbaumer connected on two more triples in the final eight minutes and had 8 points, and Joseph Gruber buried a three-ball and had 4 points in the frame. Sabetha converted six buckets to N.C.’s five, but the Thunder was seven for 10 from the stripe with the Bluejays making just two of four. Nemaha Central would hold on to the lead and take the victory in this one 47-44.

“We played very well,” Coach Burger said. “We out-rebounded them for the first time this year, thus giving us 12 more shots than them from the field. Our effort was the best it’s been all year and we only had three turnovers. We just had three less points and that’s the stat that matters most.”

The Bluejay boys finished the season 13-8 overall and 10-5 in the Big Seven to give them a third place finish in the league.

Sub State 2 ISSUE – Nemaha Central

Player

TP

2PM-A

3PM-A

FTM-A

R

A

S

TO

PF

Brett Stallbaumer

14

1-5

4-6

0-0

2

1

1

1

2

Ryan Stapleton

0

0-1

0-0

0-1

0

1

1

1

1

Braeden Cox

9

3-5

1-2

0-1

1

1

0

1

2

Jesse Burger

8

4-9

0-0

0-0

12

0

0

0

3

Gabe Garber

3

0-2

0-1

3-4

1

0

2

0

3

Joseph Gruber

4

0-2

1-3

1-2

0

7

2

0

3

David Dyke

2

1-5

0-0

0-0

4

0

0

0

1

Kyle Grimm

4

2-8

0-0

0-2

10

0

2

3

4

Sabetha Totals

11-37 | 6-12 | 4-10 | 30 | 10 | 8 | 6 | 19 | 44

Opponent Totals

15-30 | 2-7 | 11-20 | 27 | 0 | 0 | 2 | 14 | 47

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