Broncos deliver test, but Tigers triumph

Friday, January 12, 2018
Wauneta-Palisade defenders Faith Simpson (31), Reagan Skow (23) and Michaela Dukes (right) and other Broncos put up more resistance for Dundy County -Stratton Thursday night than at the Cattle Trail title game last month. Senior Allie Behlke (11) and the Tigers still earned their 11th victory in 12 games this season.
R.B. Headley/McCook Gazette

BENKELMAN, Neb. — After breaking through for a huge volleyball win last fall, the Wauneta-Palisade girls were close to repeating that achievement on a basketball court Thursday night.

Senior Faith Simpson’s 29 points featured a near “triple double” with nine rebounds and eight steals.

Yet much closer was all the mighty Tigers would allow while stretching their home winning streak to 32.

Juniors Grace Frederick and Adeline Krutsinger teamed for 23 points of their own in a 43-39 Tiger victory.

“We had our chances in the fourth quarter to take control of the game,” Broncos coach Matt Cox said. “We just couldn’t get over the hump.”

The Tigers (11-1 record) led virtually from start to finish just like their 65-35 Cattle Trail tournament win last month.

Unlike that first meeting of 2017-18, the Broncos (8-4 record) showed they can challenge what has been this area’s best basketball team during recent seasons.

They even cut an eight-point deficit in half through a feisty fourth quarter.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our girls’ effort tonight,” Cox observed. “We had a specific gameplan in place and despite an early injury to one of our key players in that gameplan, they executed it perfectly.”

The Tigers also didn’t back down as 6’ Frederick and 5’11” Krutsinger delivered their typically strong inside games.

“We gave up too many second and third (shot) opportunities,” the Broncos’ coach confirmed. “Not being physical enough on our own blocking out.”

Junior Michaela Dukes pulled down seven rebounds besides nine from Simpson and Destany Beacham’s four.

Dukes and Monique Gooden added four points apiece to the Broncos’ offensive attack.

Tiger senior guard Allie Behlke and sophomore Sable Lambley equally divided another 10 big points for DC-S.

Both the Tigers and Broncos were coming off recent victories over a good Hitchcock County team.

“The thing that really cost us was our free throws,” Cox concluded.

Official game stats were not obtained before today’s Gazette press deadline.

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