Boys win in two overtimes
Swedes take 60-58 victory over Dusters.
HOLDREGE—Every scouting report Kent Koehn got on the Holdrege boys basketball team indicated defenders should give the Dusters some space, they like to penetrate.
Koehn held his Swedes off Holdrege in the first period and the Dusters sank three-pointers in their first three shots of the game. They hit nine overall.
Good thing Gothenburg packed plenty of stamina on the road. It took two overtimes for the Swedes to finally put away the Dusters 60-58.
“It was one of those games that looked like neither team wanted to win,” Koehn said. “I’m proud of the way our kids kept fighting back.”
Holdrege gained an early lead using speed and athleticism.
“They were quick and they were aggressive,” Koehn said. “We were on our heels.”
The Dusters led 13-12 after the first period and Gothenburg came back to take a 21-18 advantage at halftime.
“I kept telling the boys the harder Holdrege played on defense, the slower and more deliberate we needed to be on offense,” Koehn said.
It worked. Holdrege got frustrated, making only one three-point field goal over the course of the second and third periods.
The rest of the Dusters’ 10 points in the two quarters came at the free throw line.
Tied 26-26 heading into the final period, Gothenburg mounted a small rally to take a six-point lead late in the quarter.
“Then they hit some timely threes and we were tied again,” Koehn said.
At the buzzer, Holdrege threw up a three-pointer that swished to send the game into overtime.
“We missed 11 free throws in the fourth quarter,” Koehn said. “There’s really no reason we needed to be in overtime.”
Up by two points late in the first overtime period, Gothenburg let Holdrege squeak into the lane and get a layup to tie again at 46-46 sending the game into a second overtime.
Holdrege tossed up three three-pointers that went in during the second overtime.
“Good thing we were successful at the line when we needed to be,” Koehn said.
What saved the Swedes was going 9-of-15 from the charity stripe in the second extra quarter.
“When we needed them, we got them,” he said. “The kids showed a lot of character by just clawing back every time they needed to.”
Landen Haake led Gothenburg with 28 points. Derek Franzen and Patrick Reeves added eight each. Reeves also pulled down 12 rebounds.
“I was exhausted after that game,” Koehn said. “I can’t imagine how the kids felt. To come away from Holdrege with a win is always good.”
The Swedes improve to 3-3 on the season heading into the holiday break.
Gothenburg will host a holiday tournament beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 29.
The Swedes play 3-2 Ord while Boone Central (1-6) meets St. Paul (5-0). The consolation will be 11:30 a.m. Dec. 30 with the championship at 2:30 p.m.