The almost entirely green-clad crowd got a few hours break from the outside world on Tuesday thanks to some extremely entertaining basketball between Neligh-Oakdale and Elgin Public/Pope John.
The Warriors and Wolfpack played two highly physical games on Tuesday in Neligh. The girls started things off with Neligh-Oakdale jumping out to a 4-0 lead before a Paige Meis three got the Wolfpack on the board. That sparked a 12-4 run for EPPJ to close out the quarter. The second frame was all Wolfpack, as they locked down to outscore the Warriors 20-2 to make it 35-10 at the half. The second half proved to be a low-scoring affair for both teams, with EPPJ cruising to a 54-25 win.
Meis led all scorers on the night with 15 points, including three 3s. Allyson Wemhoff added 14, Calli Krebs had eight and Kaylee Martinsen added seven.
Martinsen had a game-high 12 rebounds. Wemhoff had nine and Meis had seven.
Neligh-Oakdale was led by seven points from Haley Kerkman, who made the Warriors only three of the game. Paige Furstenau added five points and Trinity Kurpgeweit added four. Kurpgeweit also led the team with six rebounds.
The boys game was an absolute thriller, coming down to the final minutes before the Warriors were able to seal the win in a 61-50 victory.
The two teams went toe-to-toe throughout the first quarter, with the Warriors narrowly holding on to an 11-10 lead at the end of the frame. They maintained that lead until the 2:28 mark of the second quarter when Conor Ramold hit a three to put EPPJ up for the first time, 23-22. They held on to go into the break up 28-26.
The second half saw the Wolfpack extend the lead to four before Nate Buck completed the and-one to bring the Warriors within one, 39-38, near the end of the third. The Warriors finally regained the lead in the fourth when a Hunter Charf three gave them a 43-42 advantage. Then, with the game knotted up at 45, Cole Belitz got the steal, leading to a Charf finish. Julien Hearn then added a three to put the Warriors up by five - and for good.
Buck led all scorers with 21 points, posting a double-double with a game-high 11 rebounds. Belitz added 16 points and Austin Rice added 12 as the Warriors hit on 51 percent of their shots from the floor.
Belitz did a bit of everything for Neligh-Oakdale, pulling in seven rebounds, dishing out six assists and coming away with five steals.
The Wolfpack were led by Ashton Evans, who hit five 3s as part of his 20 points. Hunter Reestman also finished in double figures with 10 points. Adam Dreger and Kyle Schumacher each brought in five rebounds to lead EPPJ on the glass.