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Skutt fends off Norris' upset bid

Skutt fends off Norris' upset bid

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FIRTH — Thursday’s game at Norris was definitely a trap game for the Class B No. 1 Omaha Skutt boys basketball team.

Thanks to their full-court trapping defense in the second half, the SkyHawks escaped with their undefeated record intact.

Skutt scored 15 unanswered points in span of over 8 minutes in the third and fourth quarters to erase a six-point deficit and claim a 41-31 win over the No. 8 Titans before a crowd of 1,500 at the Norris Middle School.

“On nights like this, we have to have our defense come through,” said Skutt coach Kyle Jurgens, whose team improved to 18-0. “Norris played great defense and really made it tough for Tyson (Gordon) and Charlie (Fletcher). But we had other guys step up.”

Gordon, a 6-foot-3 Skutt senior all-state guard, was held to nine points and Fletcher, a 6-1 junior, managed five.

But Luke Skar and Andrew Merfeld answered the call when the SkyHawks needed them. Skar, a 6-4 junior post, finished with 12 points, six in the fourth quarter. Merfeld finished with nine points, a total that included an 8-foot jumper late in the third period that tied the game at 27 heading into the fourth quarter.

After Skar broke the tie with a reverse layup at the 6:40 mark, Merfeld nailed a three-pointer from right of the key to make it 32-27 with 5:51 left in the game. Fletcher scored on a driving layup and Skar finished the 15-0 spree with a basket inside off an assist from Merfeld to build an insurmountable 36-27 edge with 3 minutes to go.

Norris (16-4) led 20-12 in the second quarter after opening the period with a 10-0 run. Gordon, who sat out part of the second quarter because of foul trouble, hit a three-pointer and netted a follow shot in the final 1:35 of the half to cut the Titans’ margin to 20-17 at intermission.

“We only had nine possessions in the second quarter, so we knew we had to do something defensively to speed them up,” Jurgens said. “We tried to in the first half, but we couldn’t hit a shot to set up the press. Once we started making a few (shots), that made it easier to execute what we wanted defensively.”

A three-point play by Trey Deveaux gave Norris a 27-21 lead with 3:19 left in the third quarter. The Titans, who had just 11 points in the second half, didn’t score again Deveaux banked in a 6-footer from the right side with 2:35 remaining in the game to cut Skutt’s lead to seven.

The 6-4 junior finished with a game-high 14 points and eight rebounds.

“lf you would’ve told me (before the game) that we would hold Skutt to 41 points, I would’ve taken that,” Norris coach Matt Shelsta said. “Skutt is one of the best defensive teams in the state, and their pressure got to us late in the third quarter and early in the fourth.

“I thought our defensive effort was outstanding,” Shelsta added. “We just needed to hit a few more buckets.”

Norris girls 61, Omaha Skutt 20

Eleven Titans scored, led by Brianna Stai’s 20 points as Class B No. 5 Norris improved to 11-8 going into Saturday’s road showdown with C-1 No. 1 Lincoln Christian.

Other Sunland scores

Boys

YUTAN 73, JOHNSON COUNTY CENTRAL 61

Yutan 16 15 18 24 -- 73

Johnson County Central 13 9 14 25 -- 61

Yutan--Knudson 21, Hays 19, Plestac 9, Timn 14, Tichota 10

Johnson County Central-- Antholz 10, Holthus 6, Duncan 2, Waring 20, Cabrales 13, Schuster 7, Ortiz 3.

PALMYRA 80, PAWNEE CITY 54

Pawnee City 18 14 9 13 -- 54

Palmyra 24 21 25 10 -- 80

Pawnee City-- Koester 8, Mawhiney 30, Robinson 2, Horst 6, Gyhra 2, Osborne 6.

Palmyra-- Darrah 16, Hammond 5, Waltke 6, Hall 7, David 8, Fitzpatrick 12, Dillon 3, Junker 21.

FRIEND 61, MERIDIAN 51

Friend 20 12 12 17 -- 61

Meridian 12 12 7 20 -- 51

Friend--Drake 14, Newsome 7, Weber 5, Girmus 3, Chesnut 21, Svehla 11.

Meridian--Paul 14, Herrera 20, Rut 8, Williams 9.

JOHNSON-BROCK 52, FREEMAN 42

Freeman 19 2 4 17 -- 42

Johnson-Brock 3 17 12 20 -- 52

Freeman--Ruse 8, N. Robinson 2, Vetrovsky 6, B. Robinson 12, Yates 13, Mertens 1.

Johnson-Brock--Ko. Davis 3, Fossenbarger 5, Seay 8, Ka. Davis 5, Hahn 31.

Girls

PARKVIEW CHRISTIAN 35, LEWISTON 18

Parkview Christian 0 13 2 3 -- 18

Lewiston 6 11 11 7 -- 35

Parkview Christian--Anderson 13, Barbato 2, Truong 2, McReady 1.

Lewiston--Christen 1, Arena 6, K. Sander 15, M. Sanders 4, Weyers 9.

MERIDIAN 47, FRIEND 8

Friend 3 2 3 0 -- 8

Meridian 12 12 15 8 -- 47

Friend--Lawver 3, Yu 3, Vyhnalek 2.

Meridian--N. Moody 1, Kujath 3, Sobotka 14, Pribyl 7, Kort 12, Most 2, Schropfer 2, M. Moody 2, Ward 4.

FREEMAN 34, JOHNSON-BROCK 32

Freeman 9 8 7 10 -- 34

Johnson-Brock 9 2 8 13 -- 32

Freeman--Anderson 1, Hartwig 14, Dorn 16, Bures 3.

Johnson--H. Sandfort 4, A. Sandfort 10, Edwards 6, Buchmeier 2, Koehler 10.

PAWNEE CITY 41, PALMYRA 36

Pawnee City 12 13 12 4 -- 41

Palmyra 5 11 14 6 -- 36

Pawnee City--deKoning 2, Tegtmeier 6, Wilcox 2, Branch 2, Menninga 17, Branek 12.

Palmyra--stats not provided.

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