By BUCK MAHONEY
Hub Sports Editor
KEARNEY — Kearney Catholic boys opened the second half on a 9-0 run and held Ogallala to four points in the third quarter en route to a 63-42 victory Tuesday at Kearney Catholic’s Cope Coliseum.
The Stars (6-1) maintained their pace and composure despite a hectic, confusing and disruptive second half — something they didn’t do in last year’s holiday tournament loss to the Indians. And coach Bob Langan was happy to see it.
“That was kind of a thing we had last year. Our eyes were kind of like deer-in-the-headlights look: holy moly, they’re getting after us, clapping in our face,” Langan said. “We grew up and I think it’s helped ... having success against them in football, and bringing the toughness here in that as well.
“We talked about that we need to stay together as a team and make sure that we’re helping each other out and encouraging each other and being there when that kind of stuff happens and pulling each other off as you need to ... not just physical toughness but mental toughness to keep our head and be smart.”
The Stars were on the ropes early. Ogallala guard Carter Brown came out red hot, hitting his first three 3-point shots. He had 10 points by the end of the first quarter, but he ended with 14 and the Indians went 3 for 21 from beyond the arc the rest of the way. And Ogallala didn’t have the inside game to keep pace with the Stars, whose balanced attack produced three double-digit scorers and another with nine.
The Stars also used their height advantage to finish with 42 rebounds to Ogallala’s 22.
Kegan Bosshamer led the Stars with 16 points, scoring half of those in the fourth quarter. Brett Mahony added 15, penetrating from the wing to make short jump shots. Logan O’Brien chipped in 11 points.
But the Stars didn’t take command until the third quarter when KCHS frustrated Ogallala’s offense.
Langan said the key to the defensive performance came from the scouting report and practice.
“Locking down a little bit on Brown and trying to keep Murphy out of the lane and closing out with a high hand and just keep attacking — attack and attack. I think that was the difference tonight, compared to last year, is just being the more attacking team, and then just being the tougher team when it came down to the end,” he said.
Two second-half technical fouls hindered Ogallala’s second-half efforts as did some foul trouble. KCHS made 11 of 20 free throws while Ogallala was 4 for 5.
“I think this is big for our confidence. We’ve played some OK teams and we got tested against Hastings High, and they’re a really good team, ... so I just think this is going to be a big deal; believing in ourselves so we can compete with anybody on our schedule.”
KCHS 53, Ogallala 42
Score by Quarters
Ogallala (5-2)14 7 4 17 — 42
KCHS (6-1)13 10 13 17 — 53
OGALLALA — Carter Brown 14, Kadyn Marhenke 10, Adam Kroeger 10, Corbin Murphy 3, Clayton Murphy 3, Jeron Gager 2.
KEARNEY CATHOLIC — Kegan Bosshamer 16, Brett Mahony 15, Logan O’Brien 11, Blake Thiele 9, Samson David 2.
Ogallala edges KCHS girls on buzzer-beater
KEARNEY — Kaylee Wach hit a baseline jump shot at the buzzer to give Ogallala a 51-50 victory over the Kearney Catholic girls Tuesday afternoon at Kearney Catholic’s Cope Coliseum.
It was the first loss of the season for the Stars, who held a double-digit lead at halftime.
But Ogallala went on a 10-0 run in the third quarter to close the gap and set up a see-saw battle down the stretch.
Gabby Caskey led the Indians with 12 points and Taeryn Trumper netted 11. Wach finished with 10.
For the Stars, Ashlyn Wischmeier set the pace with 18 points.
Ogallala 51, KCHS 50
Score by Quarters
Ogallala (8-0)8 10 18 15 — 51
KCHS (6-1)17 13 11 14 — 50
OGALLALA — Gabby Caskey 12, Taeryn Trumper 11, Kaylee Wach 10, Milan Coggins 6, Makayla Kirchner 5, Taylor Rumper 4, Jaedy Commins 2, Elyce Talavera 1.
KEARNEY CATHOLIC — Ashlyn Wischmeier 18, Liv Nore 7, Ainsley Aden 7, Kyla Reifenrath 7, Ashley Keck 6, Liza Trettel 3, Christina Arram 2..