The rims seemed to be covered in grease Tuesday night as shot after shot spun out for the Neligh-Oakdale girls basketball team.
The Warriors dropped a 35-27 loss to Niobrara/Verdigre, falling short in their bid Tuesday night for their first win of the season.
The Warriors were up 12-5, hitting from all areas of the court and playing some of their best basketball of the season. Then the Cougars came alive and started rebounding, hitting their own shots and took the lead.
That's when Neligh-Oakdale's rims became slippery as nearly a half-dozen shots danced around the rim before sliding off and into the hands of the Cougars. Niobrara/Verdigre outscore the Warriors 12-6 in the third quarter.
The Warriors started putting things back together in the fourth as Kinsley Klabenes timed a perfect bounce pass to Kristin Rice under the hoop, closing the gap to 26-22 with 5:30 to play. Already in foul trouble, the Warriors struggled to stop the Cougars, who slowly added to their lead.
Hallie Knutson stepped inside the 3-point line for a deep 2 to pull the Warriors back within six with 2:03 to play, but that was as close as Neligh-Oakdale got down the stretch as the Cougars set camp at the free-throw line, extending their lead one point at a time. Klabenes hit a jumper with 35 ticks left to make it 33-27, but the late free throws were too much to overcome
Neligh-Oakdale will be back in action Friday when the Warriors host Plainview in a doubleheader.