WYMORE, NE – A pair of Pioneer Conference foes met for an early season test on Friday evening at Southern High School.
The Southern Lady Raiders (3-0) overcame a slow start to dominate Tri County (2-1), 34-13, giving Southern its best start to a season since 2015-16.
Southern has also won all three of its games this season by 20 or more points.
It wasn’t a pretty start for either team, with Southern leading 6-2 after the first quarter. The Raiders built a 10-point lead by halftime, and led by double figures for practically the rest of the night.
Junior Kambree Singleton came off the bench, and delivered a game-high 11 points. Senior Jayme Ullmam was close behind with 10.
The Raiders were also aggressive on defense, forcing 22 turnovers. Tri County made only five field goals in the entire game.
No player on the Trojans’ team scored more than three points. Cassidy Kawalski, Shaylee Niemeyer, and Madison Freese each scored three. Brianna Connelly and Hannah Strein each had two.
Southern (1-2) got off to a quick 5-2 start, but a 9-0 run by Tri County (2-1) gave the Trojans a 14-5 lead halfway through the first quarter, and they never looked back.
Tri County, who led by as many as 13 points in the second half, held off a late charge from Southern, defeating the Raiders, 46-41, earning their second straight victory and handing Southern its second straight defeat.
This was the second straight season that the Tri County boys defeated Southern, though this year was a lot closer. Last year, Tri County thrashed the Raiders, 78-40 in De Witt.
Sophomore Cole Siems, who has scored in double figures every game so far in 2018-19 dropped a game-high 18 points on Friday, including three 3-pointers.
Senior Creighton Niemeyer, who’s also put up double digits in the score column every game this year, finished with 14 points. Fellow senior Chad Niemeier was also big with eight points off the bench.
While Southern weathered Tri County’s early 9-0 run, the Trojans strung together a 12-0 run to lead 34-21 by the 4:00 minute mark of the third quarter, and 41-31 at the start of the fourth.
The Raiders got very close, trailing 42-41 in the final 90 seconds, but Tri County was able to run enough time off the clock, force intentional fouls and hit enough free throws in the waning seconds to survive.
The Trojans were quite successful from the charity stripe, making 9/12 shots. Southern was just 3/8.
Senior Drake Adams led the Raiders with 14 points. He was the only player on his team to finish in double figures. Adams had a good week, dropping 15 points and 10 rebounds in a 52-44 loss at Johnson County Central on Tuesday.
What ‘s Next
Southern is home to Deshler on Saturday. The girls game will be at 4:30, with the boys to follow at 6. Tri County goes back home to host Centennial for 4:30 and 6 games as well.
Area Scoreboard from Friday
Thayer Central 59, Red Cloud 26
Johnson Brock 40, Falls City 35
Fairbury 52, Milford 46
- This was the Jeffs’ first win of the season. Fairbury has already played three road games in the young season.
Fillmore Central 57, St. Paul 46
Meridian 37, Cross County 35
GI Northwest 45, Crete 42
Freeman 37, Yutan 25
BDS 42, Dorchester 32
Beatrice 55, Auburn 48
Sterling 40, Diller-Odell 37
- First loss of the season for the Lady Griffins, who fall to 3-1.
Exeter-Milligan 40, Heartland 27
BDS 60, Dorchester 20
Sterling 51, Diller-Odell 48
Thayer Central 68, Red Cloud 12
Cross County 50, Meridian 35
Johnson-Brock 48, Falls City 43
Milford 77, Fairbury 41
Freeman 41, Yutan 39
Exeter-Milligan 49, Heartland 46
On Air Saturday
Fairbury plays host to Thayer Central. The girls play at 6 with the boys to follow at 7:30. Both games will be carried on Ol’ Red 99.5 with coverage beginning at 5:40.
You can follow Tommy on Twitter @Tommy_NCN.