By Clint Andersen
The Gordon-Rushville Mustang basketball team had a rough first outing as they lost to the Hemingford Bobcats at home 64-30 Friday night. The Bobcats’ smothering half-court defense prevented dribble penetration, shut down passing lanes and forced the Mustangs to take tough shots all night. At the other end of the floor, Hemingford used a balanced attack and excellent passing to find easy looks at the basket.
In the first quarter, Hemingford bolted to a 10-0 lead before the Mustangs scored their first points of the game with 3:08 left in the opening frame. Kyle Anderson scored all four of the Mustangs’ first quarter points as they headed to the second quarter trailing 10-4.
The second quarter saw the Mustangs hold Hemingford to only two field goals, but the Bobcats shot ten free throws, making nine of them. On the offensive end, baskets by Trevor Standing Soldier and Gary Kaplan along with a free throw from Ryan Burdine kept the Mustangs within ten points until a three-pointer at the buzzer by the Bobcats’ Brady Turek gave Hemingford a 24-11 halftime lead.
Hemingford started the second half with momentum and never looked back as they outscored the Mustangs 22-4 in the third quarter. Baskets by Anderson and Standing Soldier were the only offense the Mustangs could muster as Hemingford dominated both ends of the floor as they extended their lead to 46-15.
Despite the huge deficit, the Mustangs refused to give up. They scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to equal their scoring in the first three quarters combined. Gary Kaplan scored four points and Chaz Piper and freshman Ryan Schwarting each hit three-pointers to pace the Mustang offense in the final quarter.
Gary Kaplan led the Mustang scoring on the night with 7 points and Kyle Anderson scored 6. Trevor Standing Soldier scored 5, Chaz Piper, Lex Haller and Ryan Schwarting each had three, Brandon Bailey scored two and Ryan Burdine added one.
The Mustangs will travel to Chadron on Friday night, then entertain Ainsworth on Saturday. Because of a wrestling meet in Gordon, Saturday’s games will be played at the middle school in Rushville. The girls JV game starts at noon, followed by the boys JV, girls varsity and boys varsity. To see photos of this game and others, go to www.sheridancountyjournalstar.net and click on “sports”.