Published Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 12:01 am / Updated at 3:15 pm
Doniphan-Trumbull boys hold off Stars; KCHS girls win

KEARNEY — It was a knock-down, drag-‘em-out, last-one-standing battle at Doniphan-Trumbull.

Fittingly, then, Tuesday’s contest with the Cardinals and Kearney Catholic came down to the final seconds.

In those final seconds, the Stars’ Tyler Mestl missed a 3-pointer and then Doniphan-Trumbull’s Creighton Buhr redeemed his team’s free-throw shooting woes by knocking down a pair of them to seal the host Cardinals’ 43-39 victory.

To get there, though, it was two teams providing punch-for-punch — figurative and maybe sometimes literal — plays for much of Tuesday evening. The undersized Kearney Catholic squad picked and wittled and battled against a D-T front line that featured the 6-foot-5 Buhr and a handful of other bigs.

Both coaches knew the stakes coming in to this LouPlatte Conference clash.

“I was pretty sure we were going to be in for a donnybrook,” Doniphan-Trumbull coach Steve Hartman said.

KCHS’ coach Scott Carlin said it’s something his team is getting used to.

“They were bumping and banging,” Carlin said. “Our guys know it and when they’re a little smaller, they’re going to come after us like that.”

The game may have hinged, then, on the key cog of Kearney Catholic’s defensive effort — their lone big man, senior Blake Holtmeier.

While held to just three points, Holtmeier snagged 13 rebounds and served as anchor for KCHS’ 2-3 zone. Despite a size advantage, D-T (11-2) struggled to establish a dominant interior presense, often with Holtmeier’s arduous effort holding serve down low. That was, until Holtmeier got in foul trouble. He picked up his second, third and fourth fouls in a three-minute stretch in the third quarter and sat out until late in the fourth quarter.

It was then, Doniphan-Trumbull got to work. The Cardinals, who led for all but 52 seconds in the game, chewed up clock in the fourth quarter and worked the ball to Buhr, who scored eight of his game-high 18 points in the final quarter.

Hartman said the Stars (7-8) matched his team well.

“They are very athletic, and they defended the heck out of us, they got us sped up just enough,” Hartman said. “We finally got our inside game going a little bit late and slowed down.”

It all set the stage for some final theatrics. KCHS’ Derek Jackson connected on two-straight baskets and added a free throw to draw the score to 41-39 with 1:17 left. Doniphan-Trumbull then missed the front end of three consecutive one-and-one situations to give Kearney Catholic plenty of chances to tie or take the lead in those final 75 seconds.

But in the first attempt, Jackson missed a jumper, Matt Moore’s look following an offensive rebound was blocked by Buhr and then Brady Holtmeier got another look following a steal, which also missed. And on that rebound, Blake Holtmeier fouled out. Buhr, though, missed the final of the team’s three one-and-one looks, and KCHS took a timeout with 5.6 seconds left to set up a final shot.

Carlin drew up a play for inbounder Brady Holtmeier to get a 3-point look, but Mestl received the inbounds and fired a 3-pointer that came up empty. Carlin said he wasn’t displeased with the attempt.

“Tyler thought there was a little less time, and maybe rushed it a little bit, but it comes with experience,” Carlin said. “You’re not drawing up a play for LeBron James, you’re drawing up a play for a high school sophomore, so you just have to learn from it.”

On the other end, Buhr hit the game-sealing two free throws, and Doniphan-Trumbull escaped with the win.

Brady Holtmeier led Kearney Catholic with 12 points.

It was a slugfest that for the Stars came up one possession short.

“It’s going to be a dogfight every night out, but our guys compete and that’s all you can ask for,” Carlin said.

D-T............................15 6 12 10 — 43
KCHS.........................11 9 11 8 — 39

Doniphan-Trumbull (11-2): Creighton Buhr 7-13 4-9 18, Riley Wiltfong 4-7 0-0 12, Grady Koch 3-4 1-3 7, Lorenzo Williams 2-10 0-2 4, Jordan Slough 1-6 0-2 2, Noah Keller 0-5 0-0 0, Mitch Sawyers 0-1 0-0 0, TOTALS 17-46 5-16 4.

Kearney Catholic (7-8): Brady Holtmeier 4-11 4-4 12, Tyler Mestl 2-6 2-2 7, Zach Jackson 2-5 2-2 7, Matt Moore 2-8 1-2 5, Derek Jackson 2-7 1-1 5, Blake Holtmeier 1-7 1-3 3, Bryce James 0-2 0-0 0, Nathan Howe 0-2 0-0 0, Harrison Pearse 0-3 0-2 0, TOTALS 13-51 11-16 39.

3-point goals — KCHS 2-15 (Z. Jackson 1-3, Mestl 1-4, Br. Holtmeier 0-2, Pearse 0-2, Moore 0-1, James 0-1, Howe 0-1, D. Jackson 0-1), D-T 4-13 (Wiltfong 4-5, Slough 0-1, Buhr 0-1, Sawyers 0-1, Williams 0-5). Rebounds — KCHS 39 (Bl. Holtmeier 13), D-T 40 (Buhr 15). Assists — KCHS 4 (Bl. Holtmeier 2), D-T 9 (Buhr 3). Turnovers — KCHS 5, D-T 12. Steals — KCHS 5 (Br. Holtmeier 3), D-T 4 (four with 1). Fouls — KCHS 18, D-T 16. Fouled out — KCHS (Bl. Holtmeier).

* * *

KCHS girls overwhelm D-T

DONIPHAN — It’s a simple formula. Defensive pressure plus pressure plus some more pressure and throw a little extra pressure in for good measure.

The Kearney Catholic girls’ team is making a habit of it. It was more of the same Tuesday.

KCHS forced the host Cardinals in to 23 turnovers and hounded the offensive glass en route to an easy 67-28 win.

The spark on Tuesday was the Stars’ second group. They entered the game midway through the first quarter and immediately reeled off a 21-0 run to put away Doniphan-Trumbull.

“The second group came in and gave us energy, knocked down some shots and got us going,” KCHS coach Rick Petri said. “Once we got going, we just kept rolling.”

Junior guard Morgan Stute, part of that second five, contributed two 3-pointers in that stretch, along with one of the team’s many steals.

“It’s just relentless pressure,” said Stute, who finished with nine points. “We’re just always pressuring the ball.”

Allie Prososki led KCHS with 14 points, and Whitney Colling added 10. Kaylee Glover led D-T with 10 points.

The team owned the offensive glass, grabbing 53.8 percent of available boards on the offensive side.

Despite the many big wins, Stute said the team has a simple reason to stay motivated.

“We’re looking toward the end goal,” Stute said. “That helps us always practice hard and always play hard.”

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D-T.....................................6 12 5 5 — 67
KCHS.................................6 12 5 5 — 28

Doniphan-Trumbull (4-10): Kaylee Glover 4-9 2-2 10, Emma Groshans 2-8 2-7 7, Jordyn Brummond 2-8 2-3 7, Lauren Hinrichs 1-4 0-0 2, Ashton Mazour 1-5 0-0 2, Sidney Rash 0-2 0-0 0, TOTALS 10-36 6-12 28.

Kearney Catholic (16-0): Allie Prososki 5-10 1-2 14, Whitney Colling 4-4 0-0 10, Morgan Stute 2-3 3-4 9, Shayla Conner 2-3 2-2 6, Kylie Thiele 2-10 1-2 6, Katelyn Long 3-4 0-2 6, Anna Squiers 3-5 0-1 6, Morgan Thiele 1-4 0-1 3, Maddie Squiers 1-4 0-2 3, Jordan Streit 1-4 0-2 2, Kayla Shundoff 1-2 0-0 2, Alana Baack 0-1 0-0 0, McKenzie Smith 0-2 0-0 0, TOTALS 25-56 7-17 67.

3-point goals — KCHS 10-29 (Allie Prososki 3-6, Colling 2-2, Stute 2-3, M. Squiers 1-2, M. Thiele 1-4, K. Thiele 1-7, Conner 0-1, Smith 0-1, Streit 0-3), D-T 2-9 (Brummond 1-3, Groshans 1-5, Hinrichs 0-1). Rebounds — KCHS 45 (Long 8), D-T 22 (Glover 5). Assists — KCHS 10 (K. Thiele 3), D-T 5 (Groshans 3). Turnovers — KCHS 14, D-T 23. Steals — KCHS 17 (K. Thiele 4), D-T 7 (Brummond 4). Fouls — KCHS 15, D-T 13. Fouled out — none.

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