The Cheyenne Central girls basketball team walked away from Scottsbluff with a hard-fought 47-46 win on Saturday, Jan. 18.
In a contest that neither team wanted to lose, it went down to the final seconds with Scottsbluff missing a potential game-winning basket.
The game went back and forth all night. It was a defensive slugfest in the first half and then an offensive show in the second half.
Scottsbluff girls coach Dave Bollish said both teams fought hard and Central just happened to come out on top.
“I thought we were competitive throughout,” Bollish said. “We just have to get comfortable of setting our own expectations, playing our own intensity level and making things match our capacity. But our kids will just compete. We will bring anybody in and we will give them a heck of a game.”
Neither team held more than a 5-point lead. Cheyenne Central opened the game leading 5-0 only to watch Scottsbluff come back to grab a 6-5 lead. Central led 8-6 after the opening eight minutes.
Scottsbluff played offense and defense in the second quarter, outscoring Central 11-4 to hold a 17-12 lead at halftime. Aubry Krentz helped push the lead to five points on back-to-back 3-pointers.
The Bearcats opened the second half on a Yara Garcia bucket, but Central came back to tie the game at 19-19. Payton Burda and Krantz put the Bearcats back on top with back-to-back treys only to watch Central come back to tie the game at 26-26 and led 28-27 after three periods.
The fourth quarter was hard fought. Scottsbluff took a 29-27 as Mariyah Avila made a bucket only to watch Central go back in front 32-29. The Bearcats came back to lead 36-34 on a Garcia bucket.
The lead see-sawed with Central’s Jordan Jones hitting back-to-back buckets for a 42-40 lead. Krentz came back and made an unusually 4-point play. After hitting a 3-pointer, she converted the 4-point play with a free throw to give Scottsbluff a 44-42 lead.
Central’s Kenna Sailee hit a 3-pointer to go up 45-44 with about two minutes to play.
Scottsbluff Burda, a freshman, nailed two free throws with 1:10 to play to put the Bearcats back on top 46-45. Central’s Baylee Delbridge put the Indians up 47-46 with a bucket with under a minute to play. Central had a chance to expand the lead with 37.8 seconds, but missed the front end of a one-and-one. Scottsbluff got the rebound and went for the go-ahead or winning bucket. After several chances, the Bearcats couldn’t get the ball to go through the hoop as time expired.
“I thought we had some really good opportunities and chances there at the end,” Bollish said. “We believed and we didn’t put our heads down. The ball bounces funny ways and it didn’t bounce our way. We have to figure out how not to make it not come down to one shot.”
The Bearcats fought hard in the contest. Scottsbluff buried seven treys compared to two for Central. Scottsbluff was 11 of 16 from the free throw line while Central was 7 of 10.
Three Bearcats finished in double figures. Krentz led the way with 13 points followed by 12 from Garcia and 10 from Burda.
Bollish said that his team is still growing and they are still improving.
“I think we are growing right now and it is nice,” he said. “You don’t want to get comfortable and complacent and flat-toed. We are not in any danger of that because we are going to keep growing.”
After a busy past week where The Bearcats played Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, Scottsbluff will have just one contest this week when they host Gering on Saturday, Jan. 25.
C. Central 8 4 16 19 – 47
Scottsbluff 6 11 10 19 – 46
Jordan Jones 15, Kenna Sailee 5, Ellie Fearneyhough 16, Kelsey Basart 4, Baylee Delbridge 5, Jayla Jones 2.
Mariyah Avila 7, Yara Garcia 12, Aubry Krentz 13, Jamisyn Howard 2, Payton Burda 10, Brady Laucomer 2.