Four Warrior players scored in double figures to dominate Cedar Valley in the consolation final of the annual Holiday Basketball Tournament in Elgin on Friday night.
Tyson Belitz led the way with 15 points. Alex Kerkman and Grant White each knocked in 14 points and Broderick Tyrrell finished with 10 as the Warriors improved to 3-5 on the season.
Neligh-Oakdale held a narrow 17-12 lead at the end of the first quarter, but turned up the defense and allowed their opponent just eight points in the second. The Warriors played a strong second half and cruised to a 64-46 victory.
"The Cedar Valley game was a great way for us to rebound from the night before," Coach Frank Gade said. "Defensively, we were better, which was good to see. Our defense will always be the key to the game. If we play well defensively, we will be successful."
EPPJ 58, N-O 56
On Thursday night, Elgin Public/Pope John avenged an early-season loss to the Warriors as they defeated Neligh-Oakdale 58-56 in the first round of the tourney.
The Warriors came out firing in the first quarter, outscoring the Wolfpack 22-20. EPPJ was able to keep the same pace in the second, and held Neligh-Oakdale to nine points for a 40-31 advantage at the half. The Warriors picked up speed and trailed by just three at the end of the third quarter. The teams battled it out in the final quarter, but Neligh-Oakdale fell short by two.
"The EPPJ game was a tough loss to take, but one that we will definitely benefit from in the future," Gade said. "We made some crucial mistakes down the stretch, but I truly believe that we lost this game in the first half. You can't give up 40 points in the first half and expect to win a ballgame. The last possession, defensively, we played almost perfect they just made a shot."
The balanced scoring attack for the Warriors was led by Belitz, White and Ben Lingenfelter with 12 points each. Tyrrell and Chris Bentley each added seven.
By: Neligh-Oakdale Schools