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

By Mike Motz
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Storm Settles for Third

 

January 23, 2019

Mike Motz

Creek Valley senior Garrett Sawyer passes the ball during the Storm's semi-final loss against the Garden County Eagles on Thursday.

Creek Valley's Storm basketball team went into the MAC Tournament with high hopes, feeling that their team could finally get over the hump and make it to the championship game.

After surviving the first game of the tournament on January 15 against a Minatare team that wouldn't quit, the Storm focused on a Garden County team that was tough, but beatable if the Storm could play their best game.

The game started off as a defensive battle, with both teams struggling to get any offense going. Creek Valley got the best of the quarter, with an 8-to-4 lead at the end of the first, but the Cougars regrouped and found their offensive rhythm in the second quarter. Niether team had any easy shots in the second quarter, but Garden County had better luck getting their shots to fall, while Creek Valley turnovers and missed opportunities kept them struggling. The Storm was up 15-to-14 in the final seconds of the half, but a three point buzzer beater by Garden County junior Austin Dormann sent the Eagles into the locker room up 17-to-15 against Creek Valley.

The Storm started the second half hot, going on a 9-to-0 run to retake the lead, but as the period progressed the Eagles started to chip away at the deficit. The teams kept battling, with sophomore Justin Ningen draining a three pointer with under a minute left to increase the lead to 31-to-26, only to have Dormann respond with a three of his own to make the score 31-to-29 going into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Eagles dominated the boards and quickly caught up to the Storm. Creek Valley's outside shooting went cold, and they started to force the three point shot while Garden County picked up points on the inside, and converted their free throws when fouled. With about three minutes left, Garden County had opened a 41-to-36 lead, and the Storm were forced to foul to try to catch up. Not scoring on four possessions in a row in the final minutes put the game out of reach for the Storm, and they fell to Garden County by a final score of 47-to-38. Senior Garrett Sawyer led the scoring for the Storm with 10 points, while senior Sam Grabowski had seven points, 11 rebounds, and five assists in the loss.

On Saturday, the Storm faced Leyton in the consolation game, and after a slow start, opened up a 34-to-16 lead at halftime. The Creek Valley size and speed were too much for Leyton to handle, and after building a big lead, the Storm had their substitutes play most of the second half. Leyton was able to catch up in the fourth quarter, but the Storm had built too big of a lead to overcome, and the Storm took the game 59-to-51 to earn third place in the MAC Tournament.

Creek Valley was scheduled to face Sutherland on Tuesday at home.

 

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