Brady boys improve to 4-1 with tight win over Loomis
Eagles look for tourney championship
With five seconds left in the game and a mere one-point lead over Loomis Saturday night, Eagle boys basketball coach Dave Jacobs held his breath.
The Wolves were at the free throw line with a chance to tie or win while three Eagle starters watched from the bench after fouling out.
When the first shot bounced off the rim, Brady junior Austin Widick snatched up the rebound.
Widick was knocked over under the Loomis basket and called for a travel.
Now with three ticks left on the clock, the Wolves had the ball out of bounds under their own basket with yet another chance to win.
But when the Loomis player threw the ball inbounds, it landed in Widick’s hands and Brady sealed the deal.
“We were just hanging on for dear life,” Jacobs said. “We had built up about a 12- or 13-point lead early in the fourth quarter and then kids started fouling out.”
Loomis made a run while Brady struggled to break the Wolves’ press with regular players Zach Mann, Michael Neiman and Cole Viter on the bench.
Luckily the Eagles had built a 43-30 lead at the start of the fourth quarter.
“Loomis never got ahead of us,” the coach said. “It’s a good thing. If they would have, I think we might have been in trouble.”
Roper led the Eagles in scoring with 16 points followed by sophomore Troy Lusk with 12 and Mann adding 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Brady got the tight win on the heels of an easier victory Friday night against Hitchcock County.
Mann had 17 points Friday and Roper added 11 as the Eagles defeated the Falcons 44-33.
Jacobs said his team played steady throughout the game with solid defense that held Hitchcock County’s scoring leader Austin Blume to only 12 points.
“I think Blume has been averaging around 20 so I felt good about that,” the coach said. “We’re going to need to play good defense all the time because we’re not going to be scoring huge points this year.”
The Eagles improve to 4-1 on the year as they head to the Maxwell Booster Tournament Thursday and Friday this week.
Brady will face South Loup (1-4) in the first round of the tournament at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
The other teams in the tournament are Maxwell (0-6) and Stapleton/McPherson County (2-3).
“We should go on to win this tournament again,” Jacobs said. “Beating us would make the whole season for any of those other teams.”
Brady will then host a holiday tournament on Dec. 28-29 facing Wauneta-Palisade (3-3) in the first round at 6:15 p.m. Dec. 28.
Other teams attending are Anselmo-Merna (1-4) and Crawford (2-3).
The boys championship is set for 6:15 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29.