Saturday, June 23, 2018
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Turnovers, Cozad treys bury Swedes

There was no love lost in the Gothenburg and Cozad rivalry last Thursday.

Both teams played with speed and toughness. Both student sections stood for the majority of the game. But, it was the Haymakers who outlasted the Swedes 52-49.

Turnovers by Gothenburg and timely three-point baskets by Cozad gave the Haymakers the edge in the end.

A close game between these teams has come to be expected, head coach Roger Koehler said. He assumed both teams would raise their level of play, and that proved true.

“Playing with high intensity is what you get when these two play one another,” Koehler said. “I’m disappointed in the loss but we didn’t play badly. It was a heck of a game.”

Highlights in the game came early and often starting with a one-handed dunk by Conor Young on the Haymakers’ second possession.

Koehler said Cozad used their athleticism and quickness to speed up the Swedes a little in the opening quarter.

“They put a lot of defensive pressure on us early but we calmed down and responded,” he said.

A three-point basket by Dawson Graham brought the Swedes within one point before the teams traded baskets and the quarter ended in Cozad’s favor, 12-11.

Gothenburg kept the Haymakers from scoring for more than six minutes, including the end of the first period, when turnovers limited the visitors’ chances.

Cozad guard Colin Wetovick made a three-pointer before Tanner Borchardt scored consecutive layins to end the quarter and give the Swedes a 23-17 advantage going into halftime.

Koehler said he was pleased with Gothenburg’s defensive effort in the first half but he and the players knew it would be a 32-minute contest.

Cozad’s Young opened the second half with back-to-back-to-back baskets before the Haymakers faced a three-minute drought in scoring.

The Swedes, however, used four made shots by Borchardt and Blake Ristine to gain a two-point lead, 31-29. Cozad kept pace with four made baskets, all by different players, and trailed 33-31 at the break.

There were four lead changes in the fourth quarter with the last one occurring at the 2:29 mark after a trey ball by Young gave the Haymakers a 45-44 lead.

In the final minute, Gothenburg’s Nate Graham again reduced the deficit to two with 24.6 seconds left but it was followed by a Wetovick free throw.

After a Koehler timeout with just over five seconds remaining in regulation, the inbound pass went to Dawson Graham.

He drove right before dishing out to an open Collin Hahn whose shot missed left as time expired. Cozad escaped with a three-point win.

In possessions leading up to the final shot, Cozad’s pressure impacted the Swedes lineup as Koehler said at times the Swedes couldn’t run offensive sets.

“We committed a couple costly turnovers toward the end,” Koehler said. “We will learn from those and get better at handling late game situations.”

Borchardt carried the Swedes offensively with 20 points while Graham added three three-pointers for nine points.

The Haymakers had three players in double figures led by Jake Paulsen. He scored 12 of his team high 14 points in the second half.

Defensively, Koehler said he thought the Swedes played well the entire game, mixing up man and zone looks. He added Paulsen hit some shots that he wasn’t making this season.

“Give the credit to him and the rest of the team. They played well,” Koehler said.

Reserves knock off Cozad

A 21-point second quarter made up for a two point third period by the Swedes reserves in their 48-40 win over the junior varsity Haymakers.

Dawson Graham was Gothenburg’s high scorer posting 15 points while Ty Clement complemented him with 13 points of his own.

Scoring by quarters:

Cozad. 812614—40

Gothenburg 1221213—48

SWEDE SCORING: Dawson Graham 15, Ty Clement 13, Bryce Kowalewski 8, Collin Hahn 8, Marcus Fritton 2, Matt Bruntz 2.

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