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Serena 59, Plano 48 Will Brown scored 14 points to lead the Reapers, while Alex Jensen had 10 points and seven rebounds.

 

BOYS BASKETBALL: Huskers rally to top Reapers

JEFF GLADE, jeffg@mywebtimes.com, (815) 431-4043 Ottawa Daily Times

Photo: Doug Larson
Serena's Kyle Mason goes to the opposite side

of the basket away from Plano defender Jake Goldsmith

to convert a second-half steal in Serena on Tuesday

night. The Huskers won, 59-48.

SERENA - The Serena Huskers have been a tough team to beat this season with hard work, hustle and defense.

Tuesday night, in the second half, they showed all of those assets in rallying for a 59-48 non-conference boys basketball victory over the Plano Reapers.

"In the second quarter we turned the ball over, didn't take care of the ball and didn't play good defense," Serena coach Randy Goodbred said. "But in the third quarter we established our defense and made it a different game. Then we were able to pick apart their zone, we got good shots and we played the way we're capable of."

Both teams had their ups and downs in the early going, as Plano led by five in the early going, only to have the Huskers lead by five (18-13) at the end of the first quarter - keyed by a 10-point quarter from Connor Finley.

But in the third quarter, the Huskers started to struggle - turning the ball over six times, shooting just 33 percent from the floor and letting Plano start to run the floor. The result was a 17-9 Reaper run and Plano leading 30-27 at the half.

"The second quarter we were able to push the tempo a little bit and started to get into a little bit of a flow on offense," Plano coach Nate Spriggs said. "But we need to find a way to put four solid quarters together and we didn't do that.

"Give Serena credit, because there is a reason why they are 15-1. They are a good team and they find a way to win. And more than anything else, they beat us on the boards. Our bench numbers had them with 18 offensive rebounds and four of those off missed free throws. You can't give a good team that many second and third chances and expect to beat them."

The Huskers definitely made the most of their extra chances, turning 10 offensive rebounds in the second half into 15 points. But it was their defense that was the real tide turner - holding Plano to just 18 points over the second half and keeping offensive spark plug Alex Jensen to just five points after the break and 10 points on the night.

"The first half we just weren't moving our feet and weren't doing any number of little things that we need to do to be successful," Goodbred said. "But we didn't let that fluster us and just came out and played the good defense we know we are capable of to get the job done."

And there were plenty of Huskers getting it done, as Kyle Mason finished with 16 points, Finley 13, Jeremy Foreman 12 and Cooper Westvig nine.

"Early on, Cooper and Conner kind of carried us and then Jeremy Foreman and Zach Terry stepped up inside and hit some nice shots, James DeBolt grabbed some key rebounds and Dallas Kempiak just played great defense. It was pretty much an all around team effort à but that's been our M.O. all season long."

For Plano (7-12) it was Will Brown with 14 points, while Jensen added 10

.

Both teams are back in action on Friday night, as Serena goes to Indian Creek for a Little Ten Conference contest, while Plano goes to Wilmington for an Interstate Eight Conference game.

PLANO (48) - Jensen 3-11 2-2 10, Nelson 2-4 3-5 8, Brown 7-11 0-1 14, Bott 1-5 2-3 5, Priesman 1-11 4-6 6, Agomo 0-3 0-2 0, Green 0-0 0-0 0, Goldsmith 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 1-1 0-0 2, Diaz 0-0 0-0 0, Kebheh 0-0 1-2 1, Haws 0-1 0-0 0, Loux 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 16-48 12-21 48.

SERENA (59) - Foreman 6-9 0-0 12, Finley 5-10 1-2 13, Mason 8-13 0-2 16, Westvig 3-7 3-5 9, Kempiak 1-8 0-0 2, DeBolt 0-3 1-4 1, Terry 1-5 2-4 4, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Hunt 0-0 0-0 0, Kueteman 1-1 0-2 2. Totals 25-56 7-19 59.

Plano (7-12)  13 17  8 10 - 48

Serena (15-1) 18  9 17 15 - 59

3-point baskets - PHS 4-19 (Jensen 2-7, Nelson 1-2, Bott 1-5, Haws 0-1, Priesman 0-4); SHS 2-11 (Finley 2-5, Westvig 0-3, Kempiak 0-3). Rebounds - PHS 28 (Jensen 8, Priesman 6); SHS 36 (Foreman 8, Mason 8, Westvig 7). Turnovers - PHS 10; SHS 8. Total fouls (none fouled out) - PHS 18; SHS 18. Field-goal percentage - PHS 33.3; SHS 44.6. 3-point percentage - PHS 21.1; SHS 18.2. Free-throw percentage - PHS 57.1; SHS 36.8.