CHADRON — The Chadron girls and boys basketball teams opened the season in strong fashion by registering wins over visiting Alliance in the first round of the Western Conference Invitational Tournament on Thursday night in Chadron.
Rated No. 4 in Class C-1 by the Omaha World-Herald, the Chadron girls got off to a fast start to cruise to an 80-25 win over the Bulldogs. Chadron enjoyed a 28-8 lead after the first quarter and held a 46-11 advantage at halftime.
"We started out hot and stayed hot," Chadron coach Curt Holmquist said of his team’s shooting performance. "Everybody but one scored for us. The total team play was something that was fun to watch."
Three Cardinals scored in double figures. Chandler Hageman led the way with a game-high 18 points. Peyton Hinn and Ashlea Kerr followed closely behind as both tallied 17 points each. Both Hinn and Kerr knocked down a pair of 3-pointers.
Bailea Kerr led Chadron on the glass with 13 rebounds and Hageman added eight. Hinn collected five steals defensively and Maaryn Davis handed out three assists.
Chadron converted 20 of its 26 free throws.
Emily Jensen led Alliance in scoring with eight points.
The Bulldogs shot 5 of 14 at the foul line.
The win sends Chadron into a marquee matchup with Omaha Skutt Catholic today in the semifinal round of the tournament. Skutt picked up a 51-41 win over Sidney. Tip off between the Cardinals and SkyHawks is set for 3:30 p.m. at Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff.
"We know it’s going to be a tough one," Holmquist said. "The girls are excited to see someone different. I just hope we can recover and be ready to go in less than 24 hours."
Alliance will play Sidney in a consolation game today at 3:30 p.m. at Scottsbluff High School.
In Thursday’s Chadron-Alliance boys game, Spencer Eliason’s double-double of 25 points and 19 rebounds powered the Cardinals to a 60-51 win. Eliason shot 12 of 13 from the field. Vonsinh Sayaloune poured in 23 points for Chadron with a pair of 3-pointers. He also shot 9 of 11 at the free-throw line.
The win advances Chadron into today’s semifinals against Omaha Skutt, which posted a convincing 67-38 win over Sidney in the first round. The Skyhawks are rated No. 8 in Class B. That contest will tip at 6:30 p.m. at WNCC’s Cougar Palace.
"It’s been a while since we got one from Alliance, so we are very happy," Chadron coach Eric Calkins said. "Both Vonsinh and Spencer played very well. Our guards did a good job of getting the ball inside and they finished really well at the basket. Jackson Dickerson did a fantastic job at the point handling the ball."
Dickerson dished out six assists and led Chadron defensively with five steals.
Jordan Mills led Alliance in scoring with 18 points. Trevor Kamerzell added 13 points for the Bulldogs, who will play Sidney today at 6:30 p.m. at Scottsbluff High School.
Alliance boys (0-1)........................13 12 16 10 — 51
Chadron boys (1-0).......................12 22 10 16 — 60
ALLIANCE: Nick Maser 1, Josh Matulka 2, Ryan Romick 7, Gaige Lehl 4, Parker Cyza 4, Jeff Heckman 2, Trevor Kamerzell 13, Jordan Mills 18.
CHADRON: Jackson Dickerson 6, Vonsinh Sayaloune 23, Keenan Johnson 6, Spencer Eliason 25.
Alliance girls (0-1)........................8 3 6 8 — 25
Chadron girls (1-0)....................28 18 19 15 — 80
ALLIANCE: Mickenzie Brennan 3, Emily Jensen 8, Rylee Trout 6, Kennedy Cyza 6, Cayla Tritle 1, Tabitha Unzicker 1.
CHADRON: Tatum Westemeier 4, Peyton Hinn 17, Chandler Hageman 18, Maaryn Davis 5, Jadyn McCartney 6, Ashlea Kerr 17, Bailea Kerr 6, Ashley Hills 5, Haleigh Shuck 2.
* * *
Omaha Skutt girls 51, Sidney 41
SIDNEY — Omaha Skutt Catholic’s size proved too much for Sidney to handle as the SkyHawks pulled away for a 51-41 win during a Western Conference Invitational Tournament game on Thursday in Sidney.
Skutt features seven players 5-foot-10 or taller, but it was 5-7 senior guard Brooke Denton who scored a game-high 15 points to lead the SkyHawks offensively. Miranda Kaster, a 6-1 senior, added 12 points.
Despite the setback, Sidney coach Tyler Shaw was pleased with what he saw from his squad in the season opener.
"We come into the season with a new team and we got to see a lot of new players in some new situations," Shaw said. "For the most part, I feel like they handled themselves well. It’s just going to be a learning curve for some of them to catch up to the speed of the game at the varsity level. All in all, I’m pleased with where we’re at. I like the direction we’re headed."
Shaw said Skutt’s size posed problems for the Raiders throughout the contest.
"Skutt is very tough and very well coached," he said. "They have a lot of size and that really gave us fits."
Senior Katelin Cole led Sidney in scoring with 11 points. Sarah Mahr added nine and Emily Mahr finished with seven.
Skutt shot well at the free-throw line, converting 12 of 16 chances. Benton finished 7 of 8.
Sidney struggled at the foul line, shooting just 15 of 30.
The Raiders will take on Alliance in a consolation game today at 3:30 p.m. at Scottsbluff High School.
Omaha Skutt (1-0).................................11 18 15 7 — 51
Sidney (0-1)......................................8 13 5 15 — 41
OMAHA SKUTT: Alex Banker 5, Tara Cannon 2, Jayden Theis 2, Brooke Denton 15, Savannah Adams 2, Miranda Kaster 12, Jessica Hotovy 4, Anna Bellinghiere 5, MacKenzie Harry 4.
SIDNEY: Sarah Mahr 9, Madisen Stafford 6, Katelin Cole 11, Cody Rowley 6, Emily Mahr 7, Savanna Rosenbaum 2.
* * *
Torrington girls 73, Mitchell 51
MITCHELL — A big fourth quarter propelled Torrington to a 73-51 win over Mitchell in a Western Conference Invitational Tournament first-round game on Thursday in Mitchell.
Leading 45-39 after three quarters of play, the Trailblazers outscored the Tigers 28-12 in the final eight minutes to pull away for the win.
Torrington advances into today’s semifinals against Gering. That game will tip at 5 p.m. at WNCC’s Cougar Palace in Scottsbluff.
Three Blazers scored in double figures. Allison Marsh led the way with 19 points, Avery Madden had 14, and Sara Kostur finished with 11.
Aspen Reifschneider led Mitchell offensively with 17 points. Kady Lower added 11.
Mitchell will take on Scottsbluff in a consolation game today at 5 p.m. at Scottsbluff High School.
Torrington (1-0)..............................14 10 21 28 — 73
Mitchell (0-1)..................................13 7 19 12 — 51
TORRINGTON: Allison Marsh 19, Avery Madden 14, Sara Kostur 11, Kailee Adams 7, Maddie Werner 7, Madi Haun 6, Murphy Haun 5, Kayla Frazier 4.
MITCHELL: Aspen Reifschneider 17, Kady Lower 11, Taylor Peters 7, Barbara Pieper 6, Celeste Cardona 4, McKenna Zulkoski 4, Felina Blanco 2.