West Holt edges Boyd County in double overtime
Huskies hang on
No. 6 West Holt wins in double overtime marathon
By NICK BENES
ATKINSON — Defense ruled Thursday night between sixth-ranked West Holt and seventh-ranked Boyd County, so much so that neither team scored in their first overtime period.
The Huskies needed just 20 seconds to take care of that drought in the second overtime. After that, sophomore Aaron Kraus made 4 of 4 free throws in 8.7 seconds, and senior Kooper Jelinek provided the exclamation point with his layup with five seconds left as the Huskies held off Boyd County 47-42 in double overtime Thursday night.
“It was fun,” Jelinek said. “The crowd came into it tonight, they were really loud and cheered for us, and that all just sends shivers down your back when you have something like that. It was a great win.”
More importantly, the win may have given West Holt the top seed in a deep Niobrara Valley Conference going into the league tournament to begin near the end of the month.
“We’re pretty proud of that,” Jelinek said. “That’s something we take a lot of pride in.”
But that was the last thing on the minds of West Holt most of the night as both teams struggled offensively.
The Spartans stayed in a 2-3 zone defense to concentrate on the 6-foot-4 post players Jelinek and junior Logan Wieneke, but that gave perimeter shooters more opportunities for the Huskies.
“We were anticipating them on shooting the 3s,” Boyd County coach Matt Korkow said. “They’re more of a threat inside, especially with 42 (Jelinek) and 32 (Logan Wieneke).”
West Holt hit 7 of 22 (31.8 percent) 3-pointers as part of 15 of 43 (34.8 percent) total from the field. Joe Seger, a 6-foot junior, hit 3 of 6 from beyond the arc, including the 3-pointer that put the Huskies within one with 6:37 left in regulation. Kraus added two more from deep. Kraus, Jelinek and Seger all finished with a team-best 10 points, and Jelinek had a double-double with 13 rebounds. Senior point guard Jordan Tasler had seven points and seven assists.
“To play with Boyd County, you need to go inside-outside,” West Holt coach Todd Hale said. “In order to play against their 2-3 zone, when you got a 3-point shot, you’ve got to let it go.”
On the night, Boyd County connected on 18 of 44 (40.9 percent) from the field, but made 3 of 11 from deep. Colby Hansen, a 6-1 junior, had a game-high 17 points, including 8 of 12 from the field, and 6-1 senior Evan Reiman added 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
West Holt turned a seven-point third-quarter deficit into a four-point fourth-quarter lead, but Boyd County rallied to force overtime with a Hansen basket, and then a Cory Lechtenberg steal led to a Jaeten Ellwanger putback with 1:22 remaining to tie it back up.
Boyd County had a chance near the end of regulation, but couldn’t get a good look off an inbound play with three seconds left. In the first overtime, the teams were a combined 0 for 6 from the field to force the second extra session.
Seger found Wieneke down low 20 seconds into the second overtime, and West Holt never trailed again. Lechtenberg drove the lane, and was called for a charge as the ball went through for what would have been the tying basket. Moments later, he fouled out, and Tasler hit two free throws with 1:33 on the clock. Hansen answered with a conventional 3-point play to put the Spartans within one.
That set up Kraus drawing a foul and hitting both free throws in a one-and-one situation with 34.3 seconds left. He rebounded a missed Boyd County shot on the next possession, was fouled, and hit both again with 25.6 remaining. Hansen broke free for a layup, but Tasler found Jelinek with five seconds left for a layup to cap the scoring.
“It hasn’t worked for us lately, hitting free throws to finish ball games,” Jelinek said. “We’ve been practicing them a lot, and he (Kraus) went out there and calmly shot the ball like we do in practice, and it went in for him.”
The Huskies led just 7-6 after a quarter — not scoring in the final 5:55 — and Boyd County got a 3-pointer with 1:20 left in the second quarter for a 17-15 lead at halftime.
“It wasn’t a spectator’s favorite,” Hale said. “But if you like defense, tonight was a good example of good defense.”
Boyd County had the momentum early in the second half after Hansen hit a driving layup that pushed the Spartans to a 22-15 lead, but the Huskies came back with 3-pointers from Kraus and Garrison Hansen to cut the gap to 27-24. From there, neither team led by more than four until the final score.
“What an opportunity. That’s what I’ve got to say,” Korkow said. “What an opportunity for all of the athletes out there giving it their all. I’m proud of both sides. I know I’ll remember this one for a long time.”
Boyd County 6 11 14 6 0 5 — 42
West Holt 7 8 11 11 0 10 — 47
BOYD COUNTY (9-4): Jaeten Ellwanger 2-5 0-0 4; Jared Koenig 1-1 0-0 2; Cory Lechtenberg 1-10 0-0 3; Colby Hansen 8-12 1-2 17; Evan Reiman 4-8 0-2 10; Kody Roth 2-8 2-2 6. Totals: 18-44 3-6 42.
WEST HOLT (11-4): Aaron Kraus 2-10 4-4 10; Garrison Hansen 1-5 1-2 4; Jordan Tasler 2-6 2-2 7; Logan Wieneke 2-3 0-0 4; Kooper Jelinek 4-10 2-3 10; Joe Seger 3-7 1-3 10; Austin Wenner 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 15-43 10-14 47.
3-point field goals: BC 3-11 (Reiman 2-2, Hansen 1-2); WH 7-22 (Seger 3-6, Kraus 2-8, Hansen 1-3, Tasler 1-5). Rebounds: BC 19 (Roth 6, Hansen 5, Reiman 4); WH 28 (Jelinek 13, Hansen 5). Assists: BC 4; WH 13 (Tasler 7). Steals: BC 14 (Lechtenberg 7); WH 8 (Hansen 3). Blocked shots: BC 1 (Reiman); WH 3 (Wieneke 2, Tasler).