Cats win double overtime thriller in McCook

The battle between the state's second and third rated Class B boys basketball teams Friday night in McCook lived up to expectations. In fact, it probably exceeded expectations as the second rated Scottsbluff Bearcats edged the third ranked Bison 60-to-57 in double overtime.

The Bison, who whipped Scottsbluff 59-to-45 in the fifth place game at the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference Holiday Tournament in Columbus in late December appeared to be out of the game in the second quarter.

Scottsbluff built a nine point lead only to see it evaporate as the Bison scored five points in the final five seconds of the first half to take a 30-to-27 lead into the break.

It was a seesaw battle throughout the third quarter, but McCook maintained a three point lead at 42-to-39 heading into the fourth quarter.

Senior Eric Moreno carried the Cats down the stretch. He gave the 17-3 Cats a 48-to-46 lead with 2:48 to go on a three point field goal. McCook came back to score four points in a row to regain the lead, but Moreno answered with 1:30 to go in the contest when he sank two free throws to knot the score at 50-to-50.

McCook missed a game winning shot with :04 to go and a tip try at the buzzer to send the game into its first overtime.

Cody Wudtke of McCook scored the first two points of the overtime period, but it was Moreno that came with another three point field goal that gave the Cats a 53-to-52 lead with just under two minutes to go in OT.

McCook regained the lead at 54-to-53 on a Mac Allspaugh field goal. Then he was involved in maybe the most unusual play of the game. He and the Bearcats Michael Hadden were called for a double foul with :55 seconds to go. Hadden fouled out, but the Bearcats maintained possession of the basketball and Moreno put the Bats back out in front with two more free throws with :45 to go.

After McCook's Luke Post missed on the front end of a bonus free throw situation Scottsbluff extended its lead to three at 57-to-54 when Matt Klein hit two free throws with :16 to go.

However, McCook had the answer to send the game to a second extra period as Sean Backer nailed a three point field goal with just three seconds to go.

Scottsbluff outscored McCook 3-to-0 in the second overtime to pull out the win. Senior Taylor Winkler scored the go ahead basket on a big offensive rebound and put back. Moreno added one of two free throws with just :27 to go. Backer tried another three point field goal with three seconds to go to force another overtime but it came up short.

Moreno was named the KNEB Taco John's Player of the Game.

Scottsbluff now travels to North Platte for action tomorrow. Game time has been moved up to 12:30 CT. McCook will host Gering with the same start time scheduled for that contest. It can be heard tomorrow morning on KNEB-AM and with girls action to follow from Gering.

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