The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Mike Motz
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Peetz Advances to State Tourney

 


Peetz’s Bulldogs (22-1) punched their ticket to the State Tournament by defeating the Otis Bulldogs (14-9) 62-50 Saturday night at the 1A Boys Basketball Regional Tournament held at Brush High School.

This is the first trip to the state tournament for Peetz since 2015, and the enter as the number five seed in Class 1A with play starting Thursday March 8 in Greeley, CO at the University of Northern Colorado.

Otis was the fifth seed in the regional tournament, and earned the right to face the No. 1 seeded Peetz by defeating the eighth-seeded Deer Trail Eagles on Friday night by a score of 64-48. Otis had faced Peetz earlier in the season and lost by 12, the lowest margin of victory Peetz had all year, so there was an element of familiarity between the squads as they started the game Saturday night.

The game started close as the teams traded scores while Peetz utilized a press defense that Otis had trouble dealing with, at least in the early going of the game. Peetz used its passing to create openings in Otis’ defense and score with high percentage shots. But by the end of the first quarter, both teams had settled in and Otis had found ways to deal with the Peetz pressure, and the score was 15-13 in favor of Peetz as the first period ended.

Peetz started the second period well, with four unanswered points to open a six-point lead, but Otis was able to stay with Peetz by putting scores up of their own, and drawing fouls that put them into the bonus early in the second quarter.

Peetz went through a period of sloppy ball handling and errant passes, coupled with fouls that continued to stop their momentum and keep Otis in the game. The second period ended 29-28 in favor of Peetz, but the third quarter would change the game and send Peetz on their way to state.

Coming out of the intermission, Peetz started with a quick two points, followed by a bad shot by Otis, then a missed lay up by Otis. Peetz then scored again, and after a steal and layup by Peetz senior Jake Curlee, Peetz had opened a nine point lead, prompting a timeout by Otis. The break in the action did not help Otis, as they continued to play impatiently and take low percentage shots, putting themselves further behind.

After three sequences involving two Peetz missed shots and a Peetz turnover, Otis was unable to take advantage of any of these opportunities to close the gap.

Peetz continued to pass the ball smartly and take high percentage shots under the basket, while Otis was unable to stop their momentum. With 37 seconds left in the quarter Peetz senior Logan Sircy, who led the scoring for the Bulldogs with 19, nailed a three pointer to cap the 21-4 third quarter outburst and put Peetz ahead 50-32 starting the fourth period.

Otis was able to outscore Peetz 18-12 in the fourth period, but the 18-point lead Peetz had built at the end of the third quarter was too much to overcome, and Peetz emerged victorious by a final score of 62-50. With the win, Peetz goes on to face the Sangre de Cristo Thunderbirds out of Mosca, CO in the quarterfinals of the CHSAA Class 1A State Tournament.

Peetz has history with Sangre de Cristo, facing them back in the 2015 State Tournament, where the Bulldogs lost to the Thunderbirds 63-27 to end their run. But the 2015 Bulldogs team was 15-11, and wasn’t expected to go very far in post-season play.

This year’s Bulldog squad has run through its’ opponents all year with relative ease, and is expected to go deep into the tournament. Thursday’s matchup will be the toughest challenge they have faced this year, and will have to be Peetz’s best game of the year if they expect to continue in the tournament.

 

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