Boys split weekend games
Team responds after tough loss at Hayes Center.
Nobody likes to lose.
When a team has pushed to the mid-point of the season with only one loss, it makes another defeat that much more difficult to take.
“We’re all getting a little spoiled here,” said Brady boys basketball coach David Jacobs, “especially me.”
That’s why a 52-46 loss at Hayes Center Friday night has been so hard to swallow for the Eagles who dropped to No. 8 in the Omaha World-Herald Class D-2 ratings.
Brady battled Hayes Center point for point throughout much of the game with the lead switching back and forth several times, especially early.
Brady had a 14-12 advantage after one quarter and the Cardinals took a 27-26 lead into halftime.
Hayes Center never pulled away from the Eagles until late in the fourth quarter when fouling to stop the clock was Brady’s only option.
Tyler Egenberger led Brady’s effort against the Cardinals with 20 points and eight rebounds. Sawyer Burke added 14 points
The Cardinals moved to 8-3 on the season with the win.
“The kids have taken it pretty rough,” Jacobs said of the loss, “but they really showed a lot of character in the way they responded on Saturday.”
Despite a letdown from the night before, the Eagles pushed to an early 6-2 lead over the Bobcats to start the game and finished the first period up 17-5.
South Loup bounced back in the second quarter, out-scoring Brady 16-7 to close within three at 24-21 at halftime.
“These kids expected to come out and win,” Jacobs said of his Eagles. “There was really never any question.”
The coach said he knew his team was tired midway through the third quarter when they were visibly puffing for air.
“They all found a way to gut out a tough win over a solid team,” Jacobs said. “I’m really proud of them.”
After a 34-34 tie to end the third quarter, Brady remained steady and hit key free throws down the stretch to beat the Bobcats 48-42.
Egenberger again led the charge with 15 points and six rebounds.
Burke added 12 points and Zach Mann pitched in 10.
The Eagles move to 10-2 on the year as they host 8-5 Mullen on Thursday and travel to 3-8 Stapleton-McPherson County on Friday.
“Both those teams are going to be ready to play us,” Jacobs said. “When you’re doing as well as we are, everybody wants to knock you off.”
The Sandhills Conference tournament begins Tuesday for the boys in Stapleton but Brady will sit the first round out as the top seed. Brackets have not yet been finalized.
Jacobs said the Eagles plan to add an SHC tournament championship to the list of new accomplishments for the team.
“These kids have worked hard to get where they are,” the coach said. “It didn’t just happen this year. They’ve been working on it for a long time. They’re finally just getting to reap the benefits.”