By Clint Andersen
The Gordon-Rushville boys’ basketball season ended in heartbreaking fashion Monday night in Alliance at the hands of the Ogallala Indians in the first round of the C1-12 subdistrict. After trailing by 8 points in the second half, they battled back in the final minute to take the lead only to have Ogallala make a shot with less than a second to go to win the game.
Scoring was scarce in the first quarter as both teams worked to figure out the opposing team’s defensive scheme. The Mustangs led 8-7 as they went to the second quarter. It was a back and forth game with many lead changes throughout the first half. Ogallala began to take control of the game in the last three minutes of the second quarter as they went on a 9-0 run to take a 29-21 lead with 2:08 left in the second quarter. The half ended with Ogallala holding a 31-25 lead.
The game continued to be close throughout the third quarter with Ogallala’s lead ranging from three to seven points throughout. The Mustangs closed the gap to 43-40 at the end of the third.
The Mustangs battled back and finally closed the gap when they tied the game at 46-46 with 5:58 to go. The lead grew to 4 points, but the Mustangs again tied it at 53-53 with 1:56 to go. The Ogallala lead grew to 58-53 with :40.1 left, but a Ryan Schwarting step-back 3 pointer pulled the Mustangs back within 2 at 58-56 at the :29 mark. After stealing the inbounds pass, the Mustangs went ahead on a huge 3 pointer by Jared Nelson with just 10.3 seconds to go. Ogallala got the ball down the floor and into the lane where it came loose and a jump ball was called. The alternating possession gave Ogallala the ball with 2.5 seconds left. Dillon Higgins took the inbounds pass under the basket, bobbled it, and put the game winning shot in with .3 seconds left. The clock expired and Ogallala came away with the 60-59 win.
The Mustangs’ season came to an end with a final record of 4-16. They look ahead to next year as they developed tremendous young depth this season and will be very optimistic as they head into next season’s action.