2016 Last Season for Cougar Basketball, Last Game vs. Rival OC Knights


By Clare Wiltse, Sports Contributor

2016 is the last season for Cougar Basketball.  For Lyons-Decatur Northeast this will be the last meeting against their rivals from seven mile to the south, Oakland-Craig.  The final games against the Knights were classics as both the boys and girls did not decide  the winner until the final buzzer went off.  The Lady Cougars finished off a comeback with a 57-55 win. The boys had the ball and three seconds to score, but their attempt rimmed off in a 58-57 loss.

The Lady Cougars had a two game losing streak which brought their record to 10-5.  The Lady Knights, having one of their best years, had a 13-3 mark.  Both are two of the better teams in the EHC.

The Lady Cougar drew first blood with a trey by Kelly Wakeley.  Baskets in the paint established  a  five point lead for Northeast.   Abby Peterson  and Mariah Jessen each had a pair of goals as LDNE led 11-6.  Two free throws by Brianne Haskell brought the quarter to an end with L-D on top  13-6.  O-C had hit only 2 of their 15 shots while Northeast put up 13 shots and converted  5.

The Cougars continued to control the game in the second period.  They stretched their lead to ten points, 26-16 with 2:30 left in the half. After Tessie Collins’s basket the Knights went on a 9-1 to make a 27-25 half time score.  O-C got four points in the closing seconds when Dacey Nelson was fouled on a made shot, retrieved her missed foul shot and scored as the buzzer sounded.

The Lady Knights bolted to the lead in the third period with two quick scores.  A bucket  by Peterson and a free shot by Jessen gave Northeast a 30-29 lead at the 5:55 mark.  O-C got some timely scoring from the Charling twins to regain the lead and move out to a 42-37 advantage.  A late basket by  Jessen made it a three point game going into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter got started with Brianne Haskell and Lexie Bacon scoring to put LDNE on top 43-42.  The last 6:45 of game saw eight lead changes and three ties.
Brianne Haskell scored a basket and followed with a pair of free shots to maintain a Cougar lead.  Abby Peterson stepped it up to a two point difference with a three point play. Kelly Wakeley countered a Bailey Charling score to give LDNE a 52-50 lead with 2:27 to play.  Free throws by Bacon at the 1:16 mark  and Peterson with 30 seconds left kept the Cougars on top until Shannon Pille tied the score at 55 with 18 seconds to play.  Northeast went for the final shot.  Kelly Wakeley was able to drive the left baseline and put up a floater for the winning score as the buzzer sounded.

It was a balanced scoring attack for the Cougars.  Four were in double figures for Northeast with Brianne Haskell and Abby Peterson finishing with 11  points.  Mariah Jessen added 12  and Lexie Bacon topped he team with 13 points,.

The Lady Cougars controlled the boards with eleven more rebounds that Oakland-Craig.  They tallied 35 with Jessen and Haskell each getting 9.  Jessen was a defensive force in the lane as she had 7 blocked shots in the game.
O-C 6 19 17 13 -55
LDNE 13 14 12 16 -57

2pt 3pt FT Rb F TP
Wakeley 2 1 0/2 3 1 7
Haskell 2 1 4/4 9 2 11
Collins 1 0 1/2 0 3 3
Bacon 4 1 2/2 8 0 13
Jessen 5 0 2/5 9 4 12
Peterson 4 0 3/5 6 1 11
LDNE 18/40 3/11 12/20 35 11 57
O-C 19-51 2/6 11/14 24 17 55

One things is certain when the Oakland (or O-C) and Lyons or (LDNE)boys square off you had better’ bring your A-Game.  The underdog can really bite hard when it comes to a rivalry type game.  Jon Heideman’s  midcourt heave sank Vikings in 1967 and Adam Anderson drained a three to topple the 1999 Knights.  The Lions took it on the chin when James Schrock lit up the scoreboard and the Northeast State Qualifiers of 1994 could not overcome the upstarts from O-C led by Danny Landholm and Gus Ray.

The final O-C/LDNE clash looked like a sure win for the Cougars.  Riding high on an 11-3 record the (6-11) Knights did not appear to have a chance.

The Cougars scored  first, but the Knights dominated the first period.   After Marcus Hegy scored O-C  had a 10-2 run.  A diamond-and-one held Alec Anderson in check until 2:00 as the Cougars were down 12-8.  A basket by Christoffersen and a three point play by Hegy made it 13-16 at the quarter.

With Anderson held in check the Cougars turned to their other big man for points in the second quarter .  Cole Christoffersen  scored thee times along with a free throw.  ;His score with 18 seconds left send the Cougars to the lockers with a 27-26 lead.

Christoffersen opened the second half with a basket and Northeast enjoyed a short-lived three point lead.  The Knights came storming back with eight straight points before Christoffersen made two free shots with 4:00 to play.  Alec Anderson denied the ball in the paint so he moved to the point and sank a trey to pull LDNE back into a tie,34-34.  The Knights put on another spurt and ran off  nine points in three possessions.  Free throws by Riecken and another trey by Anderson made 43-39.  Christoffersen closed out the third period scoring.  Northeast trailed 43-41.

After two scored by O-C, the Cougars went to Anderson to start the fourth quarter.  The 6′ 4″ senior drew a foul on his three-point attempt and sank three from the stripe for a 47-44 score.  He followed up with a goal and two makes from the stripe and the Cougars retook the lead with 5:12 to play.

The teams traded baskets.  O-C got a three by Reinert and a deuce by Seagren while Hegy and Christoffersen scored a pair buckets for a 52-52 score.  Cole got the lead for Northeast on a free shot with 4:38 left.  Seagren put the Knights back on top and a basket by Mitchell made it 56-53 with 1:10 to play.

The Cougars went to Hunter Ferguson and pulled to within one point, 56-55.  A foul with 35 seconds left put Seagren on the line.  He missed the one the one-and-one and Cougars got the lead again, 57-56 with 13 seconds to play.  Marcus Hegy dribbled through Knight defense for a lay-in.

O-C went to Seagren one more time and the sophomore was able to dribble the length of the court and score the go ahead basket with 3 seconds left. The Cougars came out of a timeout with a plan which almost worked.  Alec Anderson came off a screen at midcourt and took a full length court inbounds pass from O’Connor.  After out leaping Seagren for the ball, he spun to put up a five shot which caught the rim and spun out.

Cole Christoffersen had a career-high 20 points to lead Northeast .  Oakland-Craig was led by Garret Seagren with 24.  Alec Anderson scored a double-double   with 15 points and 13 rebounds.  Marcus Hegy added 11 points.

O-C 16 10 17 15 -58
LDNE 13 14 14 16 -57

2pt 3pt FT Rb F TP
Riecken 0 0 2/2 3 2 2
O’Connor 0 0 0 1 1 0
Christiansen 1 0 0 1 2 2
Hegy 4 0 3/3 2 4 11
Ferguson 1 3 0 2 2 5
Anderson 2 2 5/6 13 1 15
Hardeman 1 0 0 2 0 2
Christoffersen 8 0 4/9 7 1 20
LDNE 16/24 3/11 14/20 30 13 57
O-C 13/22 9/31 5/13 20 18 58

About katcountryhub
I am a graduate of Northeast Community College with a degree in journalism. I am married to Jeff Gilliland. We have two grown children, Justin and Whitney and four grandchildren, Grayce, Grayhm, Charli and Penelope. I will be covering Lyons, Decatur, Bancroft and Rosalie and am hoping to expand my horizons as time progresses!

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