Scottsbluff splits with Chadron

A big second half by the Scottsbluff boys allowed the Bearcats to earn a split with Chadron on the opening night of the Western Conference Basketball Invitational Thursday at Scottsbluff High School.

After second ranked Chadron whipped the Scottsbluff girls in the opening game of the nite, 85-25, it looked like the Cardinals might make it a clean sweep against the Bearcats.

Chadron took a 30-21 lead into the halftime lockerroom against the defending Class B state champions, but the second half was all Bearcats. They outscored Chadron 18-2 in the third quarter and 36-9 in the second half to win going away 57-39.

"I told the guys at halftime we needed to play better defense," Scottsbluff coach Tony Siske said. "The guys responded and that led to a much better offensive performance in the second half as well."

Senior Michael Hadden scored 17 of his game high 25 points in the second half to pace the Bearcats. He was the only double figure scorer for Scottsbluff, and he earned the KNEB Taco John's Player of the Game.

Senior Tyler Mickey came off the bench to score nine points, seven in the second half, for the Bearcats.

"Tyler played well," Siske said. "Our entire bench did some nice things for us."

Chadron was paced by Ed Westlake with 11 points, all in the first half, and Spencer Eliason with 10. He scored Chadron's only third quarter points on a field goal with just 1:28 to go. He missed much of the third quarter on the bench, picking up his third foul early in the frame.

Scottsbluff's Eric Moreno missed the end of the third quarter and all of the fourth with a turned ankle. The leading scorer returning from last years Class B state championship team scored five points for the Bearcats Thursday.

"We'll see how it goes for Eric tomorrow," Siske said. "He is walking on it right now, but there is always a chance it could swell up tomorrow."

The preseason No. 1 team by the metro papers is already playing without returning starter Matt Klein. He broke a hand the first day of practice and probably won't return until after the new year.

Scottsbluff will tangle with Gering Friday night at 8:00 p.m. at Cougar Palace. Gering, who was also a state tournament team last season, won at Torrington Thursday. The Blazers are Wyoming's defending 3A state champ.

It will also be a Scottsbluff-Gering match-up in girls play Friday. The two teams will meet at 5:00 p.m. at Scottsbluff High School. The Bulldogs are coming off a tough one point loss at Torrington Thursday.

Junior Kiley Guerue scored eight points for the Bearcats Thursday night and was the KNEB Taco John's Player of the Game for Scottsbluff.

Both games can be heard on KNEB-AM and Friday.

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