Scottsbluff and McCook advance to championship

Scottsbluff and McCook registered easy wins Monday night in the semifinals of the Boys B6 District Basketball Tournamnt at Cougar Palace.

Defending state champ and top seeded Scottsbluff started the evening with a 74-to-55 win against number five Alliance. McCook followed with an even more lopsided win. The second seeded Bison cruised past number three Sidney 75-to-36.

It sets up what could be a winner take all scenario Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. District's B2, and B6 have the top four teams in the power points. Out of the eastern district Elkhorn South is number one and Ralston is number three. Scottsbluff is second and McCook fourth.

Monday night Elkhorn South grabbed one of the two Class B wild cards after losing in the semifinals to Gretna. Ralston won its semifinal game against Omaha Skutt. The Rams, Scottsbluff coach Tony Siske's alma mater, now have to top Gretna in the B2 title game to assure Scottsbluff has a spot at state in case they lose to McCook. The Bison also need a Ralston win to have a chance at a wild card.

The match-up between Scottsbluff and McCook will be the third meeting of the season between the two. McCook won 59-to-45 at the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference Holiday Tournament in Columbus December 29, while the Cats returned the favor at the East-West Shootout in McCook three weeks ago, 60-to-57 in double overtime.

Monday night the Cats got off to a fast start against Alliance, putting up 30 first quarter points and 53 in the first half, in storming to a 25-point halftime lead.

Alliance outscored Scottsbluff 27-to-21 in the second half, but the game was never in doubt thanks to 64-percent Bearcat shooting in the first half.

Eric Moreno had five three-point field goals and 17 first half points, while Micheal Hadden added 16.

Hadden finished with 26 points and nine rebound to lead the Cats. He was named the KNEB Taco John's Player of the game. Moreno was scoreless in the second half and was joined in double figures by Taylor Winkler with 12 points.

Coach Siske was pleased with his team's first half. "We shot the ball extremely well," he said afterwards. "We also played some good defense. "

Isaac Burnham, who scorched Gering for 32 points Saturday, led the Bulldogs with 14 points Monday. Jordan Mills, who had 26 against Gering, was held to 10 by Scottsbluff. Josh Matulka added 12 for Alliance, which finished 9-14 on the year. Trevor Kamerzell, who was suspended for the Gering game, was held to just one basket and two points.

"I thought Taylor and Tyler Mickey did a great job on defense," Siske said. "Not allowing their players to square up and get good looks at the basket."

McCook handled Sidney easily in the second game of the night. The Bison jumped out to a 17-to-10 lead after one quarter then put the game away in the second, outscoring Sidney 16-to-3.

McCook used a balanced scoring attack and 12-three point field goals to run away from the Red Raiders, who depend on good perimeter shooting, but were held without a three point field goal Monday.

Mack Alspaugh and Austin Cherry, off the bench, led McCook with 15 points each. Zane Gillen added 13, Sean Backer had 12, and Cody Wudtke contributed 10 points.

Championship game action will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday. You can hear the game on KNEB-AM and kneb.com.

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