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Margaret DeBlauw
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Wildcats surprise Winnebago for OT win

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HARTINGTON — The Hartington-Newcastle Wildcats headed into the Lewis and Clark Conference Tournament with a little momentum as they won a couple of games last week to improve to 7-8 on the season.

The Wildcats turned away Plainview on the road 47-44 on Jan. 24 and defeated Winnebago 72-65 in overtime in a wild game played at home on Jan. 26.

In the win over the Indians, HNS used its highest point total of the season to come away with the hardfought win after trailing by 10 at the intermission.

“I was so pleased to see us come back,” Wildcats coach Tylor Fincher said. “We had a few too many turnovers in the first half, but tightened up a little to make our run in the second half.”

After trailing 33-23 at the halftime break, Hartington-Newcastle brought the lead to within a single possession at the end of the third quarter 43-40 and then had its best scoring quarter of the season in the fourth with 22 points.

“We shot the ball very well down the stretch,” Fincher said.

The game was deadlocked 62-62 at the end of regulation, but the Wildcats remained hot in the extra session, scoring another 10 points in the four-minute period.

Dayton and Riley Sudbeck paved the way offensively with 22 and 21 points, respectively.

“It really helps when two of our players have double-doubles with over 20 points each,” Fincher said.

Cole Heimes added 12, Turner Dendinger and Carsen Hopping each tossed in seven, while Lane Heimes chipped in three.

Dayton Sudbeck hauled down a dozen rebounds while Riley Sudbeck grabbed 11.

Dendinger handed out five assists and swiped three steals on the night.

In another tight game, the Wildcats outlasted Plainview 47-44 with a solid second-half performance.

“It was the first game we came back from seven or eight down to win at the end,” Fincher said. “It also helped we weren’t in foul trouble at the end — it allowed us to foul down the stretch to waste some clock.”

The Pirates sprinted to a 13-7 lead at the end of the first before the Wildcats nibbled into the advantage to go to the halftime locker room down only four, 27-23.

HNS cut the lead to a basket at the end of the third frame and then outscored Plainview 14-9 in the final eight minutes to secure the win.

The Sudbecks led the Wildcat offense with Riley pouring in 16 and Dayton adding an at-the-time career-high 15, including 12 in the second half. Dayton Sudbeck would eclipse his career-high in the Winnebago game two nights later.

Lane Heimes added eight, Hopping tacked on six and Cole Heimes added a basket.

Riley Sudbeck had another double-double with 13 rebounds.

Hartington-Newcastle was set to take on Osmond-Randolph in the Clark Division of the Lewis and Clark Conference Tournament as the No. 11 seed in the conference. The Hawks came in as the No. 14 seed.

The winner of that game will travel to Walthill Feb. 2 to play the winner of a game between Winside (No. 10) and Homer (No. 15) while the losing teams will play a game at the highest seed also on Feb. 2.

The finals are set for Feb. 4 at the highest seed. “I’m very happy with how this team has improved throughout the season,” Fincher said.

Hartington-New 11 12 17 22 10 - 72 Winnebago 14 19 10 19 3 - 65 SCORING

Hartington - Dayton Sudbeck, 22; Riley Sudbeck, 21; Cole Heimes, 12; Turner Dendinger, 7; Carsen Hopping, 7; Lane Heimes, 3.


Hartington - Dayton Sudbeck, 12; Riley Sudbeck, 11; Turner Dendinger, 4; Lane Heimes, 3; Cole Heimes, 2; Carsen Hopping, 2; Bailey Paden, 1.


Hartington - Turner Dendinger, 5; Carsen Hopping, 3; Lane Heimes, 2; Riley Sudbeck, 2; Bailey Paden, 1; Dayton Sudbeck, 1.


Hartington - Turner Dendinger, 3; Lane Heimes, 2; Dayton Sudbeck, 2; Cole Heimes, 2; Carsen Hopping, 1. Hartington-New 7 16 10 14 - 47 Plainview 13 14 8 9 - 44 SCORING

Hartington - Riley Sudbeck, 16; Dayton Sudbeck, 15; Lane Heimes, 8; Carsen Hopping, 6; Cole Heimes, 2.


Hartington - Riley Sudbeck, 13; Dayton Sudbeck, 7; Turner Dendinger, 5; Carsen Hopping, 2; Adyn Rosener, 1; Bailey Paden, 1.


Hartington - Turner Dendinger, 5; Lane Heimes, 1.


Hartington - Dayton Sudbeck, 4; Lane Heimes, 2; Turner Dendinger, 1; Cole Heimes, 1; Carsen Hopping, 1.