Two Thayer County high school basketball teams met in a showdown Thursday night, Feb. 23, as the D1-2 subdistrict final got underway.
Meeting for the second time this season, Bruning-Davenport/Shickley and Deshler pounded out a tension-packed contest where the Dragons came out on top for the second time. On Dec. 13, in regular season play, Deshler defeated BDS in another close match, 50-48. Thursday night in the subdistrict game, the Dragons once again clipped the Eagles 46-38.
The victory advances Deshler to face D-1 No. 3 Pawnee City in the district final Tuesday night, Feb. 28, at Norris High School in Firth. The game begins at 7 p.m.
Dragons vs Eagles
Although the Eagles started the contest on a positive note, Ryan Tegtmeier chunked in three back-to-back treys at the outset to gain a 9-0 lead, the game quickly went south for them as the Dragons turned up the defense to shut the Eagles down.
Using a 1-3-1 strategy, Deshler forced the Eagles to an outside game, a task Tegtmeier was comfortable with, but left little leeway for the rest of the offense. BDS managed to fire in a few buckets ending the first period 17-8, but as though someone had thrown a switch, Tegtmeier’s long shots turned cold and Deshler moved in for the kill.
While the BDS offense came apart, Deshler continued its stifling defense keeping the Eagles from scoring at all in the second period. In the meantime, the Dragons managed a 12-point run that was finally broken by BDS’s Wyatt Schoenholz to make the score Eagles 19, Deshler 22, two minutes into the third period.
Deshler’s Clay Jones answered with a trey from the sidelines pulling the Dragons to 25-19. In the ensuing play, Tegtmeier was fouled, went to the line for two free throws and quickly sank his fourth three-pointer of the night pulling the Eagles to within one point of a catch-up, 24-25.
The third period ended after Clay Jones and Josiah Burger added a couple more buckets for Deshler and Kendrick Holeman lifted one in for BDS. The period ended with Deshler ahead 29-26.
Although the Eagles would get within one point of the catch three more times in the fourth period, Deshler maintained its edge closing out the game when Deshler’s Josiah Burger landed a couple of free throws to end the game with Deshler as victors.
Luke Dlouhy for Deshler, and Ryan Tegtmeier for BDS turned in 17 points each to lead their respective teams. Josiah Burger added 11 points for the Dragons while Luke Christensen added ten for BDS.
Dragons vs Mustangs
In the first round of the subdistrict tourney, Deshler defeated McCool Junction 49-35. Deshler jumped to a 19-10 lead in the first period, but the Mustangs quickly shut down Dragon shooter Luke Dlouhy in an attempt to make up the nine point deficit. Deshler lost some of its leverage going into the break, 24-20, but made up for lost time in the second half outscoring the Mustangs 25-15.
Luke Dlouhy led the squad with 25 points while Lane Baker added 17.
BDS vs Heartland
In the first round of the subdistrict contest, BDS defeated Heartland 49-40. Although Heartland held the lead after the first period, 12-7, BDS continued to feed shooter Ryan Tegtmeier who scored an outstanding 41 of the Eagles’ total 49 points.
Only two other Eagles collected points in the contest including Michael Houchin and Kendrick Holeman with four points each.
The Eagles end their season on a 18-6 record and will lose only two seniors to graduation including Kendrick Holeman and Michael Houchin.
Thayer Central found the task daunting Thursday night as they faced C2 No. 4 Sutton in the C2-3 boys’ subdistrict final at Sandy Creek. Sutton, who had just trounced Superior 81-15 two nights before, threatened to repeat the performance against Thayer Central by jumping to a 22-4 lead in the first period and ending the half 38-12.
Thayer Central was able to outscore the Mustangs 9-8 in the third period, but the comeback was short lived as Sutton went 11-5 in the fourth period.
Macaulay Mumm led the Titans with seven points.
Titans vs Blue Hill
The Titans advanced to the final after defeating Blue Hill, 62-37, in the first round Feb. 21.
In that contest, Thayer Central held Blue Hill to just 15-of-41 shooting behind a 1-3-1 defense. That defense also forced 28 Bobcat turnovers in the win. “I thought the guys anticipated Blue Hill’s offense well,” said Thayer Central Coach Dennis Johnson, “which caused some of their turnovers.”
Thayer Central closed the first period on a 14-11 edge, and although Blue Hill threatened to catch the Titans in the second period, Thayer Central went into the break 27-19.
The Titans didn’t look back as they outscored Blue Hill 35-18 in the second half.
Three Titans scored in double-digits; almost all of them at close range. The squad attempted only five treys in the game scoring once when Jay Cottam hit the bucket late in the second period.
Russell Heitmann led the way on 6-for-10 field goals and 2-for-3 free throws for 14 total points. Trenton Tietjen had 5-for-9 field goals and scored one free throw for 11 points, and Brayden Hergott hit 4-for-13 field goals and two free throws for a total 10 points.
Thayer Central ends its season on a 10-12 record and will lose only one senior, Brayden Hergott, to graduation this year.