Cougars Win Two and Lose Two at EHC Tournament

By Clare Wiltse, Sports Contributor

The Cougar boys went 2-2 in the EHC Basketball Tournament. After a first round   66-53 win over Madison they moved on with a 65-61 conquest of Clarkson/Leigh.  In the semi-finals North Bend Central overpowered Northeast 58-29.  The third place consolation game went Stanton 58-47.

The Northeast Cougars had to tell the 2016 Cinderella of the EHC tournament, Clarkson /Leigh, that it was midnight and she did not want to leave the dance. It took a comeback in the fourth quarter comeback for the Cougar to eliminate the Patriots 65-61.

Clarkson/Leigh was a thirteenth seed with a 3-15 record when they played fourth seed Loganview/Scribner-Snyder. They hung close the Raiders  and made their shots in the fourth quarter to force over time.  In OT they dominated  and won 64-58.

The Cougars had played the Patriots in December and had won 51-47.  C/L took advantage of free throw misses to stay in the game.  This time free throw makes would  provide points for the Cougar win.

The game opened with the two teams trading points.  Alec Anderson’s three point play gave the a 5-4 lead.  His three-point shot made it 8-7.  After a three-pointer by Montana Riecken the Patriots pulled away for a 16-13 first quarter lead.

Northeast had a strong start to the second period.  Anderson’s goal and a conversion by Riecken tied the score. Riecken’s three point play put them in the lead 19-18 and Christiansen’s score kept LDNE on top.  The Patriot went on an eleven point spurt as they made three trifectas to move to a 31-23 lead.  After two baskets by Anderson and a trey and free shot by Hegy C/L had a 36-31 lead.

In the third quarter the Patriots kept their lead   A Tyler Hardeman basket cut the lead to just two points, but Clarkson led 45-41 at quarter’s end.

Alec Anderson set the tone in the fourth quarter.  The senior forward opened with a three point play.  He followed with three makes from the line on shooting foul outside the arc.    Northeast now had the lead, 47-46,  with 6:47 to play.

Marcus Hegy  added to the lead with a basket,  The Cougars went man-to-man defense  for the first time which took away their main shooters.  Their post man stepped outside the arc and put up a pair of treys before Coach Lahm corrected a mismatch by inserting Jon Christiansen to guard him.

On the offensive side,  Cole Christoffersen scored a goal and followed a Hegy trey with by hitting both sides of a one-and-one for a 56-53 lead.  A Patriot three point play tied the score with 2:37 to play.

Marcus Hegy took over he game at this point.  He scored a basket with 1:21 left and converted two pressure free throws  nine seconds later.  With 48 seconds left his free throw lifted Northeast to a 61-56 lead.

Clarkson /Leigh continued to foul.  Northeast ‘maintained their lead as Christoffersen and Christiansen made one shot and Hegy closed out scoring with a pair of makes.  During he fourth quarter Northeast made 13 of 16 free shots.

Alec Anderson led the team with  24 points.  Marcus Hegy was close behind with 19 points, twelve coming in the fourth period.

Clarkson/Leigh 16 20 9 16 -61
LDNE 13 18 10 24 -65

2pt 3pt FT Rb F TP
Riecken 1 1 1/2 8 1 6
O’Connor 0 0 0 1 0 0
Christiansen 2 0 1/2 4 2 5
Ferguson 0 0 0 0 2 0
Anderson 6 2 6/8 8 2 24
Hardeman 2 0 0 3 2 4
Christoffersen 2 0 3/4 10 3 7
LDNE 16/26 5/12 18/26 37 12 65
C/L 13/23 10/30 5/6 25 20 61

The Semi-final game against (19-1)North Bend Central started poorly and snowballed from there.  The Cougars opened the game with 1 for 11 shooting from the field and 1 for 3 at the line.  They trailed 14 to 3 at the quarter.

The up-tempo Tigers blew the game open in the second quarter.  They had a 33-12 lead at the half.  A discouraged group of Cougars had no answer after intermission and were out scored  25-17

Constant pressure took its toll on the Cougars as they could never get their game going in half court game while the Tigers ran their trapping defense.  The one bright spot for Northeast was Cole Christoffersen who attacked their pressure and  scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

LDNE 3 9 6 11 -29
NBC 14 19 13 12 -58

Riecken 0 0 0 2 2 0
O’Connor 0 0 0 0 2 0
Christiansen 1 0 0 1 2 2
Whitaker 1 0 0 0 0 2
Ferguson 0 0 2/2 0 1 2
Ronnfeldt 1 0 0 0 0 2
Anderson 1 0 0/1 5 0 2
Hardeman 1 0 0/1 4 0 2
Christoffersen 3 0 6/14 11 4 12
LDNE 10/30 0/4 9/18 26 11 29
NBC 24/48 4/16 6/11 42 19 58

The Cougars had a big question when they faced (17-6) Stanton in the consolation third place game. Which team would show up?  They got their answer in the first quarter.  The offense scored points and the man-to-man defense held the Mustangs in check.

Joey  O’Connor had an offensive burst as he scored the first two baskets of the game on drives to the lane.  Alec Anderson got two baskets and Cole Christoffersen and Marcus closed out the scoring on a 13-6 quarter.

The action continued to favor the Cougars in the second quarter as they built a 28-18 half time lead.  Alec Anderson scored the first eight points for the Cougars.  Marcus Hegy had a trey and basket while Cole Christoffersen added goal.

Hegy continued his offensive thrust with eight straight points in the third quarter.  Northeast held a 36-26 lead before Stanton went on a  9-2 run to close out the period.

The Mustangs knotted up the score with a three bomb by Nickolite with 7:15 to play.  A
Cougar turnover against their press gave them their go-ahead points..  Alec Anderson had a chance to tie the score at the 6:03  mark, but made only one of two free shots leaving LDNE trailing 40-39.

A charging call cost the Northeast a basket, but the Cougar defense held he Mustangs a second error against the press resulted in a three point play for Stanton.  That proved to be a momentum changer as Cougars did not get a defensive stop for the rest of the game.  Stanton scored seven straight times they had the ball.

“Stanton stared to figure out our defense in the third period,” said Coach Lahm.  “They started to drive the lane and we couldn’t stop them.”

Northeast would score only one basket in the fourth quarter. One for six shooting and two more turnover slowed the offensive output  Alec Anderson got a score in the later minutes Free throws by Christoffersen, Hardeman, and Riecken accounted for the other points.

Anderson and Hegy continued to lead the Cougar scoring.  Anderson scored 17 and Hegy had 16 points.

The Cougars have a 13-6 record with three games remaining on the schedule

LDNE 13 15 10 9 -47
Stanton 6 12 17 23 -58

Riecken 0 0 1/2 1 2 1
O’Connor 2 0 0 3 3 4
Christiansen 0 0 0 0 2 0
Hegy 5 1 3/5 3 1 16
Ferguson 0 0 0 0 0 0
Anderson 6 0 5/10 11 1 17
Hardeman 0 0 2/2 3 2 2
Christoffersen 2 0 3/5 5 3 7
LDNE 15/28 1/4 14/23 26 14 47
Stanton 16/26 6/16 8/13 25 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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