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Norfolk teams take two from Discoverers

December 15, 2018

COLUMBUS -- The Norfolk High boys and girls basketball teams both experienced their first wins of the season, and they liked it.

The boys took advantage of an abundance of turnovers and a lack of scoring by a young Columbus squad to win 56-33, while the girls won a low-scoring contest 33-18.

Both coaches agreed that the wins were a welcome change after their respective squads had each begun the season with three straight losses, and both were eager to return to the court on Saturday afternoon in pursuit of another pair of wins against North Platte at Norfolk High School.

Boys coach Tony Siske described the feeling as “a lot better than the ones that go in the other column,” and Jared Oswald said he told his girls team after the game that the victory “wasn’t as pretty as we wanted it to be, but we’re not giving it back.”

The Columbus boys team, a young group with two freshmen in the starting lineup and three others on the varsity roster, had a difficult time scoring against the Panthers’ defense and experienced a scoring lapse during each quarter--all adding up to well over 12 scoreless minutes in the game.

The Discoverers’ offensive struggles began during the last three-and-a-half minutes of the first quarter while Norfolk, behind the 12 point output of Luke Kluver, stretched a 10-7 lead into a 20-7 first-period advantage, then added a 9-0 run in the middle of the second as Cameron Eisenhauer contributed 11 points as the Panthers doubled the score on Columbus to lead 35-17 at the half.

After an intermission apparently spent discussing defensive effort, the Discoverers opened the third quarter aggressively, utilizing full-court pressure to force three consecutive Norfolk turnovers and outscored Norfolk 9-3.

“We expected them to put the press on, and we just didn’t handle it very well; we’ve got to be a little stronger and more composed than we were tonight,” Siske said.

However, the Panthers settled in and spent the final four minutes of the period re-establishing control of the game with a 14-0 run that continued into the fourth quarter and established a 55-28 lead before reserves finished out the 56-33 Norfolk win.

“It was a good press to see; we’re going to see another scrappy team (North Platte) right away,” Siske said. “We’re going to have to play well again tomorrow.”

Eisenhauer and Kluver produced most of the Panthers’ scoring with 19- and 18-points, respectively. No Columbus player reached double-figures for the 2-4 Discoverers, with Blake Edzards and Landon Thompson scoring eight points each.

“They (Columbus) are a young team, but they do a lot of really good things,” Siske said. “They’re going to be fun to watch the rest of the year to see how they continue to grow and what kind of season they put together.”

Earlier, the Norfolk High girls held the Discoverers scoreless during the first quarter, then turned a 6-0 lead into a 17-9 halftime advantage as Columbus made just three of its 20 field goal attempts. Unfortunately, the Panthers didn’t fare much better, making only four of their 29 field goal attempts.

“I was really proud of our defensive effort right from the get-go; I thought we really did a good job--they do some baseline screening which is really tough, but I thought our girls communicated well and worked hard to get over those screens to contest shots,” Oswald said.

Neither team shot much better in the second half--Columbus made a single shot in each of the final two quarters to finish a 5 of 38 production in the game, while Norfolk totaled just three made shots in the second half to end the night with nine made field goals on 46 tries.

Gabby Ruth led the Panthers with 12 points, while Aspen Luebbe finished the game with eight points for 0-6 Columbus.

Boys game

Norfolk 20 15 15 6 -- 56

Columbus 7 10 11 5 -- 33

Norfolk (1-3): Tate Brudigan 2-4 0-0 6, Connor Clayton 3-3 1-3 8, Terron Nelson 0-3 0-0 0, Tyson Stelling 0-1 2-2 2, Cameron Eisenhauer 7-14 4-5 19, Luke Kluver 7-11 3-4 18, Cooper Caskey 0-3 0-0 0, Nolan Strand 0-2 0-1 0, Cale Strong 0-4 0-0 0, Isaac Heimes 1-1 1-3 3. Totals: 20-46 11-18 56.

Columbus (2-4): Sam Kwapnioski 1-1 0-0 2, Garrett Esch 2-4 0-0 5, Jordan Theilen 0-3 0-0 0, Porter Discoe 0-1 0-0 0, Blake Edzards 1-4 6-6 8, Curtis Briggs 0-1 2-2 2, Landon Thompson 4-9 0-2 8, Cole Wilcox 0-1 1-2 1, Ernest Hausmann 1-9 1-2 3, Kade Nelson 2-2 0-3 4, Ean Luebbe 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 11-36 10-17 33.

Girls game

Norfolk 6 8 8 8 -- 33

Columbus 0 9 5 4 -- 18

Norfolk (1-3): Gabby Ruth 2-4 7-10 12, Anden Baumann 2-7 1-4 5, Karly Kalin 1-4 1-3 3, Chelsea Strom 0-3 3-4 3, Jalen Hoffman 2-9 0-0 5, Jordyn Schommer 0-3 1-2 1, Alex Ruth 2-10 0-0 4, Nealy Brummond 0-3 0-0 0. Totals: 9-46 13-25 33.

Columbus (0-6): Taylor Braun 1-1 0-0 2, Lauren Benck 0-4 0-0 0, Gracie Luebbe 0-6 2-4 2, Macee Trotta 0-7 0-0 0, Aspen Luebbe 2-10 2-2 8, Jaleigh Adams-Tuls 2-6 1-2 5, Logan Kapels 0-3 1-2 1, Claire Renner 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 5-38 6-10 18.

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