Colton Olson

Chadron’s Colton Olson goes up and over Hot Springs’ Logan Gooder. Olson had nine points on the night, including a pivotal late-game three-pointer.

Photo Brandon Davenport

Despite losses to both Gordon-Rushville and Torrington last week, the Cards have shown improvement with each game since returning from the Western Conference Tourney, culminating in Monday night’s thrilling 65-60 win over Hot Springs.

The Bison certainly weren’t going to make it easy, scoring from the tip-off and sinking the ‘and one’ after the shooter was also fouled.

“It’s been a tough season early on so I was kind of worried we might get that ‘here we go again’ mentality, but the kids battled back,” said Coach Eric Calkins.

Chadron got key performances from senior Coy Bila, junior Colton Olsen and sophomore Cooper Heusman.

Bila played a good game all-around, joining Heusman as one of the only two Chadron players who scored in double digits, though he’d probably like to forget his second penalty of the night, an overtime foul that could have cost the team.

Heusman once again led Chadron in scoring, reaching the 20-point mark. The sophomore hit four treys including one to tie the game at 30 on the final shot of the first-half, and one to take 57-56 lead in overtime with 3:20 remaining.

“We struggle to score the basketball as a team,” says Coach Calkins, “and that’s one thing Cooper can do…we like him shooting the ball.”

Heusman also sank two free-throws with twenty-seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to tie the score at 54-54 and send the game to overtime.

Not to be out shadowed, Olson helped spark the Cardinal victory when he came off the bench to sink a three-pointer of his own that put Chadron ahead 59-58 with 1:20 remaining in overtime. The junior also hit two free throws with less than a minute left to give his team a three-point lead.

The Cardinals were forced to play good defense by a Bison offense that had two players, Logan Brandt and Logan Gooder, hit the 19-point mark. Both Hot Springs players were hot at the line as well, with Gooder going a perfect four-for-four. Brandt was nearly-perfect adding eight points on nine free-throw attempts.

Three-pointers were a key in the Cardinal victory with the team sinking 10 treys from six players and limiting the Bison to just four. Hot Springs had a chance to stay alive in overtime but a late Bison three-pointer missed the mark with about twenty seconds remaining.

Last week Chadron was defeated by Torrington 64-42 in a game where no Cardinal scored in double-digits and three, including twins Bryan and Jared Lemmon. The Trailblazer brothers scored 16 and 15 respectively.

Last Friday, despite trailing Gordon-Rushville only 17-14 after the first half, Chadron couldn’t overcome a third quarter in which the Mustangs score 12 points to the Cardinals six. The team would go on to lose the game 42-33.

The Cardinals are back in action on Friday against the Bearcats in Scottsbluff, and then Gering on Saturday.

“Scottsbluff is a buzzsaw again this year,” says Coach Calkins, “they’re really scoring the ball and [have had] a great start to the season. We’ll have to do a lot better job than we did tonight taking care of the basketball…you can’t turn the ball over 12 times and expect to be in a basketball game.”

Gordon-Rushville 42, Chadron 33

Gordon-Rushville—Jared Nelson 13, Dylan Schwarting 10, Korby Campbell 7, Brody Bohlender 6, Trace Beguin 4, Logan Deite 2. Total: 13 (4) 12-22 42 points.

Chadron—Brayden Richardson 10, Jeff Cerny 6, Joe Matt 4, Pat Rust 4, Colton Olson 4, Cooper Heusman 3, Logan Tiensvold 2. Totals: 14 (2) 3-8 33 points.

Gord-Rush 9 8 12 13 ----42

Chadron 4 10 6 13 ----33

3-pointers: G-R—Nelson 2, Schwarting 1, Beguin 1. Chad—Richardson 2.

Torrington 64, Chadron 42

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Torrington—Bryan Lemmon 16, Jared Lemmon 15, Jordan Malm 14, Nathan Stitt 6, Bo Moorehouse 5, Devin Flores 4, Ryan Johnson 4. Totals: 22 (5) 15-19 64 points.

Chadron—Cooper Heusman 9, Jeff Cerny 8, Joe Matt 8, Coy Bila 8, Brayden Richardson 4, Logan Tiensvold 4, Colton Olson 1. Totals: 17 (3) 5-8 42 points.

Torrington 15 21 15 13 ----64

Chadron 11 13 11 7 ----42

3-pointers: B. Lemmon 2, J. Lemmon, Malm, Moorehouse, all 1. Chad—Bila, Heusman, Richardson, all 1.

Chadron 65, Hot Springs 60 (OT)

Hot Springs—Logan Gooder 19, Logan Barndt 19, Matt Norton 12, Morgan Harkless 6, Thane Lockhart 4. Totals: 22 (4) 12-16 65.

Chadron—Cooper Heusman 20, Coy Bila 13, Colton Olson 9, Jeff Cerny 9, Pat Rust 6, Joe Matt 5, Brayden Richardson 3. Totals: 21 (10) 13-23 65 points.

Hot Springs 15 15 12 12 6 ----60

Chadron 17 13 14 10 11 ---65

3-pointers: HS—Norton 2, Gooder 1, Barndt 1. Chad—Heusman 4, Bila 2, Olson 1, Cerny 1, Matt 1.

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