Opportunities have been available for the Stuart boy’s basketball team lately. They just haven’t been able to capitalize off of them. There is a learning curve you have to adjust to when you are trying to replace 5 quality seniors from a 15-8 District Runner-Up team.
The Broncos traveled to Greeley, Nebraska to take on the Central Valley Cougars in a Saturday afternoon matchup. It was a big game for the Cougars as they looked to open up their brand new gym in winning fashion. A slow first quarter marred by fouls helped Central Valley hop out to a 13 to 12 advantage, but the Broncos gained momentum in the second quarter.
A quick run by the Broncos put them ahead 29-20, but a couple turnovers let the Cougars cut the lead to 5 before half at 32 to 27. The Cougars chipped away in the third quarter as a stalemate of 44-44 would make for an exciting ending. Big baskets by senior Conner Paxton and Micah Dexter helped the Broncos leap out to a 48 to 44 advantage, but two big three-pointers by Central Valley guard Nate Nekoliczak fired up the Cougar faithful. Stuart missed a couple easy shots and the Cougars piled up some free throws to down the Broncos 54 to 50.
Stuart falls to 0-2 and will look to avenge last season’s loss to the Spalding Academy Shamrocks on Tuesday, November 8th. Turnovers continue to be a problem for the Broncos as they look to bounce back at home and end the early season losing streak.