DE WITT, NE – Fairbury and Tri County opened the 2019 half of the basketball schedule with an out-of-conference meeting at Tri County High School on Thursday evening.
The Fairbury girls (6-6) were victorious, beating Tri County (3-7) 44-15. The Trojan boys (7-3), meanwhile outlasted the Jeffs (4-7) 64-59 in a tight battle that featured 17 total three-pointers made.
It was a tight battle early, with Fairbury leading 9-5 after the first quarter. The Jeffs really got going in the second quarter, outscoring the Trojans 15-3 to open up a 24-8 lead at halftime.
Fairbury was led in scoring by junior forward Sara Huss, who ended with a game-high 16 points. Huss has scored in double figures in all but one game this season – she had five points and 10 rebounds in the 41-26 win at Lincoln Lutheran last Saturday.
Junior guard/forward Jaelle Johnson contributed eight points – all in the first half. Sophomore guard Ellie Ohlde scored 10 points, knocking down a pair of three-pointers on six attempts.
The Jeffs were without senior center Jessa Eden on Thursday, who was home ill with the flu. Freshman Karly McCord started in her place, and scored seven points.
Tri County, who only scored 10 points in the game’s final three quarters combined, was led in scoring by senior guard Shaylee Niemeyer, who finished with five points. Sophomore forward Hannah Holtmeier had four.
Thursday’s loss marked the fourth time that Tri County has scored fewer than 20 points in a game this season.
Fairbury, who won its fourth straight game, scored more than 40 points for the seventh time this season. The Jeffs are 6-1 this season when surpassing 40 on the scoreboard.
Interview with Lyle Thompson
Both teams came out firing on all cylinders, with Tri County holding a slim 28-26 lead at halftime. Each team hit five threes by the time the second quarter ended.
By game’s end, Fairbury made nine threes and Tri County made eight. This back-and-forth affair had seven lead changes, but the Trojans ended the game on a 12-6 run in the final four minutes. Tri County’s success from the free throw line was just as critical as their success from the three-point line.
The Trojans went 7-of-10 on free throws in the fourth quarter and 9-of-16 in the entire game.
Senior forward Evan Larson led Tri County to its third straight victory with a game-high and season-high 21 points. He knocked down five three-pointers, which was also a season-high.
Senior guard Creighton Niemeyer finished with 11 points. Sophomore guard Cole Siems had eight.
Fairbury, who’s now 1-5 in its last six games, had three players finish with double digits in the scoring column. Senior guard Isaac Robertson, who was fresh off of a career-high 25-point performance in a 75-52 win Raymond Central on Dec. 29, scored 16 points to lead the Jeffs on Thursday.
Robertson made four three-pointers in the first half against Tri County, but none in the second.
Junior Chance Admundson finished with 14 points, including three 3-pointers. Junior Bret Cole scored 11 points, including one three-pointer in the second half.
Cory Jensen interview
Evan Larson interview
Fairbury has the weekend off before hosting Wilber-Clatonia on Tuesday. The girls will tip off at 6, with the boys to follow at 8.
Tri County, like 15 other local schools, will take part in the annual MUDECAS tournament in Beatrice Jan. 7-12. The Trojan boys open tournament play on Jan. 8 against Exeter-Milligan at the Beatrice Auditorium at 6:30.
The Trojan girls will open against Parkview Christian on Jan. 7 at 5 p.m. at Southeast Community College.
You can follow Tommy on Twitter @Tommy_NCN.