LINCOLN – An apocalyptic offensive drought lasting nearly 10 minutes proved catastrophic for the fourth-seeded Wahoo Warriors in their opening round state tournament match up against the fifth-seeded Elkhorn Mount Michael on March 12.
“We were battling, tied at 17 and then we got stuck on 17 for a really long time. It’s really hard to win a basketball game when you go scoreless for an entire quarter,” said Wahoo Coach Kevin Scheef.
The result was a 76-50 victory for the Knights in a game which was played in front of a handful of family members at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Nebraska’s State Capital.
The state tournament started Thursday and was held without fans, cheerleaders, bands and all of the fanfare that typically goes along with the biggest basketball tournament in the state.
“It was definitely a different atmosphere. But, I don’t think it played any part in the outcome. I think as a coach and as a player you kind of tune all of that out anyway,” Scheef added.
After the game Scheef was asked what he thought about the NSAA’s decision to move forward with the tournament without fans as opposed to cancelling the tournament all together.
“All this stuff is above my paygrade. I am glad someone else has to make those really hard decisions. I’m not the one who has to make those decisions…and those are really hard decisions,” Scheef stated.
The game got off to cracking start for both teams offensively in the opening eight minutes.
The game was tied at 17 late in the first quarter, before the Knights were able to outscore the Warriors 16-0 spanning the second and going into the third quarter.
“The Wahoo offense is hard to guard,” said Mount Michael Coach Derrik Spooner. “But our guys bought into our scouting reports.”
Wahoo missed all 10 of their shots in the second quarter and turned the ball over seven times all leading to a 30-17 halftime lead for the Knights.
Wahoo was finally able to end the drought on a free throw from senior Thomas Waido with 6:45 remaining in the third quarter, but Mount Michael scored 23 points in the third quarter, extending their lead to 21 after the third quarter.
Mount Michael led by as many as 28 points in the fourth quarter.
“They were better in all phases of the game today. Give them credit, they deserved to win,” Scheef added.
Junior Trevor Kasischke led Wahoo in scoring with 15 points and four rebounds.
Senior Trey Scheef scored 11 points and added four rebounds, three steals and three assists.
Waido finished with eight points and two steals.
Wahoo shot 40 percent from the field and converted on just 11-of-20 from the line.
Mount Michael shot 62 percent from the field, 14-of-16 from the line and outrebounded Wahoo 30-20.