Plainsmen explode in fourth to beat Hershey again
By Pastor Vince Carrig
Guards Jake Sexson and Tim Johnson struck from the left corner for three-pointers and Johnson and center Blake Poppe shot a combined 7-of-9 from the free throw line in the final frame as the Plainsmen pulled away from the Panthers for a 56-43 win Friday night in Hershey.
Sexson (11 points) had snapped off a late three pointer to allow Perkins County to escape the third quarter with a 36-33 lead.
A 7-0 Perkins County explosion at the beginning of the fourth quarter consisting of Sexson from the corner, Johnson’s putback and breakaway plus two Poppe free throws made the Panthers’ uphill climb too steep.
Four Plainsmen topped double figures in scoring, with Poppe leading Perkins County with 12 points.
Guard Quinton Hite’s early three pointer and following steal, spin move and breakaway basket had built a 10-point lead just after halftime for the visiting Plainsmen.
The Panthers, however, roared back with a Landan Maassen long three pointer and three-point play to tie the score again at 33-33.
Hite took advantage of a wide open look from far beyond the arc and dribbled Colton Marshall’s missed layup the other way for five Plainsmen points in the second quarter.
Hershey tied the score three times in the second quarter, but never took the lead. Dylan Johnson hung and flicked a floater for a 16-16 score, but Colton White’s six-foot jumper ensured a Perkins County lead at halftime.
Johnson led all scorers with 13 points.
The Plainsmen played tenacious interior defense, rising up and contesting shots close to the basket. Both Poppe and Caleb Breazeale snuffed shots in Perkins County’s final regular-season game.
Sexson splashed down a “three” along with a mid-lane jumper and Breazeale planted in the lane for easy points and a pair of free throws to jump Perkins County out to a 14-9 first quarter lead.
Hershey guard Landan Maassen answered Sexson’s three immediately as Josh Margritz’s turnaround jumper tied the game 7-7, but the Plainsmen pulled away at the end of the quarter with a 7-2 run.
Sexson and Johnson led their team with seven rebounds apiece. Hite shot 50 percent from the field, arc and line.
The Plainsmen avenged a 38-37 loss to 8-15 Hershey with two wins: 44-38 at the SPVA tournament on Jan. 19 and Friday night.
After starting 1-5, the Plainsmen finished their season 14-9 and faced the 15-7 Dundy County-Stratton Tigers Tuesday in the NSAA C2 sub-district playoffs at McCook Community College Events Center (see coverage in next issue).
P.C. 56, Hershey 43
Perkins Co. 14 10 12 20—56
Hershey 9 10 14 10—43
Scoring leaders–Perkins County: Poppe 3FG 6/9FT–12; Sexson 1 (3[x3]) 0/4–11; Hite 2 (2) 1/2–11; Johnson 2 (1 1) 3/5–10; Carlson 3–6; Hershey: Johnson 3 7/8–13; Maassen 2 (2) 1/3–11; Czarnick 4 0/1–8; McConnell 3–6.