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Seward sinks Discoverer upset bids

December 20, 2018

Columbus High basketball came up short in two losses Tuesday evening against ranked Seward squads.

The Discoverer boys lost their second straight game by a 23-point margin in a 59-33 final to the No. 7 Bluejay Boys. The Discoverer girls remained winless at 0-7, as they continued to struggle offensively in a 55-19 defeat.

For the boys, it was a combination of Seward size, and more struggles with ball control, that led to a fourth game this season also with less than 40.

“Their length, their athleticism, their size, that’s probably one of the biggest teams in the state,” boys coach Jimmy Motz said of a Seward roster that features six players 6′2″ or better and two seniors at 6′6″ and 6′7″.

“They gave us some fits with their 1-3-1. I thought at times we handled it well, but at other times, we got sped up and panicked. The Achilles heel all year has been our turnovers. Just way too many turnovers - not taking care of the ball.”

Columbus trailed 18-6 after the first quarter and 33-15 at halftime.

The Discoverers are now off until hosting the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference tournament Dec. 27-29.

Between now and then, Motz and his bunch have three days to “return to the basics.”

“Whether we’ve got to break out tennis balls and throw them to one another, or lineup across from one another and make a simple chest pass, we’ve got to do it,” Motz said. “Our guys have to understand this is getting us in situations where we’re losing games right now because of those things.”

The Columbus girls had a much better start, but went scoreless in the second quarter and fell in too deep of a hole to climb out.

The Discoverers trailed 10-9 through the first eight minutes before falling behind 28-9 at the half. They then managed just three in the third and seven in the fourth.

All things considered, coach Dave Licari was pleased with the start. Against a ranked opponent though, it was difficult to put a complete game together.

“We played our best first quarter of the season,” Licari said in comments sent to The Telegram. “The girls showed good patience and knocked down the shot when it was there.”

Start to finish, however, CHS was just 6 of 35 shooting, going 0 for 16 from inside the arc and hitting six shots from distance.

Lauren Benck led Columbus with seven points.

Although 0-7, the Discoverers’ early-season schedule has included Class B No. 10 Beatrice, No. 1 South Sioux City, No. 9 Grand Island Northwest and Tuesday’s road game against top-10 Seward.

Nate Tenopir is the sports editor for the Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sports@columbustelegram.com

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