The Schuyler Central High School boys basketball team tried to duplicate the come-from-behind effort that the girls team had against Ralston Thursday night but they couldn’t quite make it all the way back as they dropped a 63-55 home decision to the Rams.
The Warriors had several players step up and play inspired ball against the visitors. Auston Hall led Schuyler Central with 20 points. Jakub Langemeier scored the first eight points of the game for the Warriors and finished with 12 points while Noah Beebe was a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line, finishing with 11 points.
The pace of the contest was fast and furious throughout. Ralston jumped out to the early 5-0 lead but Schuyler’s Jakub Langemeier scored the next five points to knot the score at 5-5 with 3:21 left in the opening frame.
Ralston regained the momentum and the lead as they outscored Schuyler Central 7-0 over the next three minutes to build a 12-5 lead.
Schuyler head coach Lyndon Beebe knew that Ralston would be physical team and he didn’t want to get into a track meet with them. “We knew that they would be quick and that they would want to play up and down the floor so we wanted to keep the ball out of their hands and execute on offense. We wanted to have long possessions and score at the end of them but we broke out of what we wanted to do and we didn’t run it very well early on.”
For the first four minutes of the second quarter the Warriors inched their way back into the contest. After finding itself trailing 17-9 with 6:06 left in the quarter Schuyler went on a 6-0 run to cut the Ralston lead to 17-15. Ralston ended the half with a 15-4 run of their own giving the Rams a 36-21 halftime advantage. That run proved to be critical to the outcome of the game.
“We got buried doing the one thing that we said that we didn’t want to do and that was make only one pass then shoot the ball. We didn’t have very many good possessions in the first half but then we started playing much better in the second half. We got some shots to fall and we began hitting some free throws.”
Both teams traveled to the free throw line often during the game. Ralston made 19 of their 27 charity tosses while Schuyler connected on 24 of 34 attempts from the line.
Schuyler scratched and clawed back in the third quarter. When Hall completed a traditional three point play with ten seconds left in the period the Warriors trailed by only 44-37 outscoring Ralston 16-8 in the quarter.
Hall’s jumper 20 seconds into the fourth quarter cut the Ralston lead to 44-39 but Ralston always seemed to have an answer for a Schuyler bucket as they went back up by nine at 48-39.
The Warriors cut the lead back to five points at 58-53 with 1:17 to go on a jumper in the lane by Hall but that is as close as they would get.
“They made some shots near the end and we probably fouled the wrong guy,” said Beebe. “If we had done those things we might have been able to get them.”