Saturday, November 19, 2016

NEN Junior High Boys Cruise to Consolation

Northeast Nodaway’s junior high boys have had an up and down season, but have been playing much better basketball since their mid-season shake-up by their new coach, James Mattson. Earlier in the year, Northeast had played a non-competitive loss to Platte Valley. In the first round of the NEN Junior High Tournament, they played much better even though they fell short as they lost 39-30. They were rewarded as they were able to cruise to a consolation trophy to finish out their season.

Pitted against East Atchison, who had been shut out 51-0 by Maryville, the Bluejays were almost as stingy on defense, beating them 41-16 to knock them out. The other side of the consolation saw St. Gregory’s and Avenue City pitted against each other. After a hard-fought game, Avenue City emerged on top 22-16 after they had dropped another close one, 24-19 to North Nodaway. The Aces had fought hard to get to the consolation round, but with only six players, they had nothing left in the tank against Northeast as the Bluejays won 42-12 in a running clock victory.

Levi Boulting carried Northeast to an insurmountable lead in their consolation victory. He started off with six in the first period, grabbing a pair of free throws, going coast to coast in transition, and jumping a pass as Northeast raced out to a 14-2 lead. Avenue City had nobody to match up with the tall, lanky eighth grader. Zach Pride hit a shot from the right wing, Drew Wiederholt got a putback, and Chase Atkins scored from inside in the period.

With Northeast jumping passes at will, they continued to pull away in the second. Ben Boswell scored off a steal and added another shot from the right wing early; Zach Pride added a baseline jumper from Boswell. Alex Smith came off the bench in the last 2:30 and played some of his best basketball of the year, scoring one from inside, and tipping a couple of passes to Levi Boulting that resulted in tallies for Boulting on the other end. Boulting scored eight straight points with Smith on the floor; he also added a driving layup set up by a pass from Auston Pride and jumped a pass for another. For good measure, Boulting hit Drew Wiederholt in the high post at the buzzer to make it 32-6 at the break.

Four different players scored in the third period as Northeast continued to pull away. Craig Burns came off the bench and got a putback, Ben Boswell scored from the high post off a pass from Lane Dack; Lane hit one from the right wing, and Zach Pride scored from the left wing. Colton Swalley got a tip and steal for Northeast’s final tally in the fourth.

No comments: