After losing to Sidney just 54-52 Friday night, in Sidney, the Chadron Cardinals’ boys’ basketball team added one last tally in the win column Saturday, ending their regular season on a high note after a 65-53 win over Newcastle, at the Bird Cage in Chadron.
“We let one slip away (Friday) night,” Chadron Head Coach Mitch Barry said of the Cardinals’ game with Sidney which saw the Red Raiders go ahead by two after a steal on an inbound pass netted them an opportunity with just seconds remaining in the game. “We needed one just to get some confidence on our side,” Barry said of the win over Newcastle.
The win broke a four game losing streak that dropped the Cardinals from 9-9 late in January to 9-12 prior to Saturday’s game. Although the team ends their season 10-12 overall, they were 4-1 against district opponents this season, which bodes well for their chances as they enter the Sub-District tournament beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19, at the Chicoine Center in Chadron.
At time of print Chadron’s seed and first opponent for Sub-Districts had not been determined. According to the Nebraska School Activities Association website as of Monday, Chadron was second in power points among Class C1-12 opponents.
Mitchell, who is 12-9 this season with two games remaining, is the only C1-12 team with a winning record. Chadron won both contests with the Tigers this season, defeating them 70-42 at the Western Conference Tournament and 62-48 on Jan. 5, in Chadron.
The Cardinals’ lone district loss was to Valentine earlier this month.
Heading into the sub-district tournament, Barry says the team is confident, but knows it could be an uphill battle: “Mitchell played Ogallala tough (Friday) night, and Mitchell’s at full strength now. They got (Blake) Thyne back, probably their best basketball player who’s been out all year. (Gordon-Rushville) always gives us fits and we just lost to Valentine, so it’s just a matter of who wants to win two games in a row. At least this win gives us confidence going into (Sub-Districts.)”
Barry also said it was good to send the Cardinals’ seniors off with a win in their last game in the Bird Cage.
The Cardinals’ offense succeeded on multiple fronts, Saturday, scoring both down low, and from a distance, as well as converting on plenty of opportunities from the free throw line. From within the arc the team sank 15-of-30 attempts and scored 26 points from inside the paint. The team also added six 3-pointers and was 17-of-27 from the line.
Chadron built an 18-12 lead after the first quarter and maintained the six-point gap until the fourth quarter when they again outscored Newcastle 18-12.
Chadron senior Keelynd Clinton scored a season-high 20 points to lead the Cardinals in the win. Clinton hit 7-of-12 from the field and 6-of-8 from the free throw line. Seven of his points came in the fourth quarter to help Chadron maintain their lead.
Two other players, Patrick Rust and Kristian Bartlett hit double digits. Rust scored 14 and added 15 rebounds to get the double-double. Bartlett had thirteen points, including three 3-pointers.
“When we run our offense, that’s when we’re at our best,” Barry said. Sometimes we get in panic mode and think we have to get all our points at once. I thought we did a better job running the offense and we got good looks.”
Newcastle, now 9-6, was led by Cade Ostenson and Dylon Tidyman. Ostenson had 19 points, Tidyman had 16.
Sidney 10 15 13 16 --54
Chadron 13 11 8 16 --52
Sidney— Skyler Heineman 16, Alex Jallen 12, Arik Doty 10, Alec Maddox 7, Carlos Lucero 7, Elijah Ahrens 2. Totals: 18 (5) 13-21 54.
Cha—Trevor Berry 17, Patrick Rust 15, Colton Olson 13, Keelynd Clinton 3, Kristian Bartlett 2, Dan Dunbar 2.Totals: 17 (4) 14-22 52.
3-pointers: Sidney— Doty 2, Heineman 2, Lucero 1. Chad— Berry 3, Clinton 1.
Newcastle 12 15 14 12 --53
Chadron 18 15 14 18 --65
NC— Cade Ostenson 19, Dylon Tidyman 16, Dylan Talley 6, Isaiah Brooks 5, Sawyer Roberson 4, Kyle Haslam 2, Petyon Tystad 1. Totals: 20 (3) 10-15 53.
Cha— Keelynd Clinton 20, Patrick Rust 14, Kristian Bartlett 13, Trevor Berry 9, Colton Olson 8, Dawson Dunbar 1. Totals: 21 (6) 17-27 65.
3-pointers: NC— Ostenson 3. Chad— Berry 3, Bartlett 3.