HARTINGTON — Bennet Sievers took aim and flung Saturday, and little did he know he would hit one of the best candidates for an ESPN video clip anywhere in America.
The junior guard saw the Hartington-Newcastle boys basketball team face overtime squarely in the eye and decided he would have none of that as he calmly launched and drilled a 75-foot shot as time expired to give the Wildcats a 62-59 win over Osmond.
The win wrapped up a 1-1 first week of play, as the Cats opened the season Thursday with a loss to Ponca.
Sievers said he didn’t think about the shots, but just reacted.
“I don’t know, man, I just saw them hit that basket to tie and I didn’t want to go into overtime,” he said. “I thought we had a little bit more time so I could shoot a deep three, but I looked at the clock and saw there was a second-and-a-half and so I just shot it.”
Sievers admits he practices half-court shots, but not near-full court heaves.
The fact Osmond scored late on a relatively easy layup to send the game seemingly into overtime to only see themselves lose makes it even better.
“I was hoping that no one would foul them and make an and-one, but then they made the shot,” Sievers said. “The thought of overtime flashed across my mind. We had played great - our offense was flowing, and I felt after our first game where we were a little skittish that we really had it together.”
The Wildcat coaches were just happy with the team’s ability to battle.
“We had a great fighter’s mentality all night,” HNS boys coach Nick Haselhorst said. “The boys played with the intensity that is necessary to win games. It was a great back and forth game.”
The Cats did a lot of things right in the first half, Haselhorst said.
Osmond took advantage of some HNS mistakes late in the first half, though.
“That allowed Osmond to make a run in the last two minutes and take a seven-point lead into halftime.
Defense was the big key in the second half.
“In the second half, we dialed up the defensive intensity and rebounding. This led to some easier scoring opportunities and then we made timely plays offensively. It was a great team effort all around.”
As for the ending?
“The ending was crazy and epic,” Haselhorst said. “Credit Bennet for having the wherewithal and composure to come through for the team. The win should give our team a strong dose of confidence and a great shot in the arm moving forward.”
Sievers led the way with 14 points while Kobe Heitman and Jake Peitz each scored 10 points.
Things didn’t go as well in the season opening 48-33 loss against Ponca Thursday.
The Indians Jumped out to a big lead and never looked back enroute to a 48-33 Lewis and Clark Conference victory.
“We got off to a slow start in the game and let several opportunities slip in the first half,” Haselhorst said.
Even though the Cats dug themselves a big early hole, Haselhorst was pleased with how they scrapped to get back into the game.
“We settled down in the second half and fought our way back into the game by trusting each other and the scheme,” he said. “I was proud of our resolve. We improved defensively with our positioning and offensively we were crisper with our decision making and execution.”
The Wildcats Just couldn’t find the range Thursday. Part of that was shaking off the early nerves, but part of it was Ponca’s staunch defense, Haselhorst said.
“We know we won’t shoot 20 percent from the field night in and night out, but we’ve got to credit Ponca for some of that disruption too.”
Isaac Bruning had 11 points and Turner Dendinger grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Wildcats.
“The keys to the games were our defensive awareness and positioning, our ability to gather defensive rebounds, and trusting the offensive scheme and taking what the defense gives us,” Haselhorst said. “When we lock into those key factors, we will be a tough team to defeat.”
Tuesday, the Wildcats battled the visiting Humphrey/ St. Francis, and they travel to Pierce for a 5 p.m. Saturday tipoff.
“Pierce will be a tough challenge, they are so well-coached defensively and rarely make mistakes,” Haselhorst said. “Ultimately, we need to handle their man-to-man ball pressure and grind out possessions with ideal decision-making and shot selection.
“I like the look of our team. In two games we have matured and answered some question marks. I think the kids now realize what kind of a team we can be when we do the little things right. They understand the importance of details in the grand scheme of trying to win games.”
Hartingtn-Newcstle 5 6 11 11 -33
Ponca 15 14 5 14 -48
SCORING HNS - Isaac Bruning, 10; Jake Peitz, 8; Kobe Heitman, 6; Riley Sudbeck, 5; Bennet Sievers, 2; Turner Dendinger, 2.
REBOUNDS HNS - Turner Dendinger, 11; Riley Sudbeck, 9; Jake Peitz, 6; Bennet Sievers, 5; Kobe Heitman, 4; Isaac Bruning, 3; Lane Heimes, 2.
ASSISTS HNS - Bennet Sievers, 3; Turner Dendinger, 1; Jake Peitz, 1; Kobe Heitman, 1.
STEALS HNS - Turner Dendinger, 3; Kobe Heitman, 3; Isaac Bruning, 1; Bennet Sievers, 1; Jake Peitz, 1; Riley Sudbeck, 1.
BLOCKS HNS - Riley Sudbeck, 2; Kobe Heitman, 1; Bennet Sievers, 1.
Hartingtn-Newcstle 10 11 14 17 -52
Osmond 7 21 7 14 -49
SCORING HNS - Bennet Sievers, 14; Jake Peitz, 10; Kobe Heitman, 10; Isaac Bruning, 7; Seth Pinkelman, 4; Reece Morten, 3; Turner Dendinger, 2; Riley Sudbeck, 2.
REBOUNDS HNS - Kobe Heitman, 10; BernmetSievers, 9; Jake Peitz, 7; Turner Dendinger, 3; Riley Sudbeck, 3; Isaac Bruning, 2; Seth Pinkelman, 1.
ASSISTS HNS - Isacc Bruning, 3; Bennet Sievers, 2; Turner Dendinger, 2; Jake Peitz, 2; Seth Pinkelman, 2.
STEALS HNS - Bennet Sievers, 5; Kobe Heitman, 1; Isaac Bruning, 1; Jake Peitz, 1.
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