Swede girls lose their composure down stretch
Cozad captures 41-35 victory.
Gothenburg’s girls gave up 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter allowing Cozad to walk away with a 41-35 comeback victory Thursday night.
“We didn’t have enough grit to finish the game,” said Swede coach Tim Peterson. “We didn’t play very smart at all down the stretch.”
Both teams struggled to score in the first quarter.
Cozad led 6-4 in the closing seconds of the period when Swede senior Emily Max dropped in an up-and-under shot to tie 6-6 at the break.It was a back-and-forth battle between the rival schools throughout the second period as both the Swedes and the Haymakers found key players watching from the bench in foul trouble.
Cozad carried a 17-15 advantage into halftime.
When senior Ali Abramson knocked down a couple of three-pointers in the third quarter, it gave Gothenburg a boost of momentum but the Swedes couldn’t put the Haymakers away.
Midway through the third period, the score was knotted at 23-23 and by the end of the period, Gothenburg pushed ahead 30-26.
In the first two minutes of the final period, Gothenburg surged ahead 35-28.
Then foul trouble landed both Max and Kira Peterson on the Swede bench for an extended time with four each.
Cozad went on a 13-0 run.
With two minutes to go, Abramson got a steal and a break-away layup that rimmed out. Cozad pulled down the rebound, traveled the length of the floor and used offensive rebounds to get three chances at the bucket.
That’s when the Haymakers took the lead and held it for good, hitting five free throws to finish out the game.
“We did not take good shots, we turned the ball over and we did not box out,” Peterson said. “When you’ve got key people on the bench you really have to play smart and we didn’t do that.”
Abramson finished with 12 points, all from three-pointers. Max added eight points and seven rebounds.
Gothenburg lost the reserve game to Cozad 51-29. Ali Clark had eight points to lead the Swedes.
Gothenburg will get a rematch with the Haymakers in the first round of the Southwest Conference tournament that begins Tuesday.
“I look forward to playing them again in the tournament,” Peterson said of Cozad. “We really wanted to be at home and we managed to get that done.”
Gothenburg hosts Cozad in the opening round at 7 p.m. The winner will play at Minden on Friday, Jan. 29, in the semi-finals.
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