Will Moats led the St. Pat’s boys basketball team with 17 points as the Irish defeated Bridgeport 64-31 to win the SPVA Tournament on Saturday at North Platte Community College.
“I thought our effort, focus and frankly execution was all really outstanding,” St. Pat’s coach Bill O’Malley said. “We have a great group of kids, and they played really well.”
Brecken Erickson scored 13 points, Zarek Branch added nine and Sam Troshynski finished with seven.
Gage Nein led Bridgeport with eight, followed by Nik Weibert’s seven. Kolby Lussetto and Zach Lussetto each finished with six.
“I thought we did a good job of getting to loose balls,” O’Malley said. “I thought we pressured the ball really well and got the ball in good spots to score. We didn’t have to rely on a lot of jump shots.”
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The Irish never trailed and used a strong first quarter to set the tone for the rest of the game. St. Pat’s scored the first seven points of the game then, after trading baskets with Bridgeport, went on an 8-0 run to take a 17-3 lead. The Irish led 17-6 heading into the second.
“They did a decent job of taking care of the ball, but I did think we made it pretty difficult for them to get open looks,” O’Malley said. “And they got really good shooters. We knew we were going to have to be disciplined in getting closed out because they have a number of guys that shoot the ball really well.”
St. Pat’s bumped that the lead to 24-6 after scoring the first seven points of the second quarter. The Irish later took a 32-17 lead into halftime after outscoring Bridgeport 15-11 in the frame.
St. Pat’s defensive effort took over in the second half, holding Bridgeport to a game-low five points in the third quarter and nine in the fourth.
The Irish, meanwhile, scored 16 in both quarters to close out the game 64-31 and take the SPVA championship.
“We’ve got some guys that are very quick and good guarding the ball,” O’Malley said. “(Bridgeport) didn’t turn the ball over that much, but I thought the guys did a good job of keeping the ball away from the basket.”
Bridgeport 85, Hershey 41
Ruthie Loomis-Goltl now owns the Bridgeport girls record for most points scored in a game.
Her 40 points also played a major role in helping the Bulldogs defeat Hershey 85-41 to win the SPVA Tournament on Saturday at NPCC.
“She’s the best player we’ve ever had, so it’s kind of fitting that she got it,” Bridgeport coach Dave Kuhlen said. “It’s not anything that we planned. It just kind of worked out the way it did. I’m happy that she got it. That’s why I left her in to get it, because she’s such a great role model to every single kid in our school and a tremendous person, and she deserves everything that comes her way.”
Her sister, Olivia Loomis-Goltl, finished with 20 points. Brooklyn Mohrman scored 16.
Emma Hall led Hershey with 24, followed by Alex Beveridge’s nine.
“They played great,” Kuhlen said. “Hershey has an outstanding record, so we knew they would be here to battle, and they were. The girls really stepped up and did everything that I asked of them.”
Hershey held a brief lead early after Hall made a basket for a 2-1 lead. Bridgeport responded with an 8-0 run to jump out to a 9-2 lead.
Hershey later cut the deficit to three at 10-7 off a Hall 3, but Bridgeport once again answered with a lengthy run to extend the Bulldog lead to 19-7 going into the second.
The Panthers had one more push to try and keep the game close, scoring the first seven points of the second quarter to pull to within five at 19-14, but Bridgeport went on a 13-0 run to go up 32-14.
The Bulldogs went into halftime with a 40-20 lead. Hershey came out of the break and scored 14 points in the third, but Bridgeport outscored them with 17 to push the lead to 57-34.
Then Ruthie Loomis-Goltl took over in the fourth quarter. The senior Bulldog scored 16 of her 40 points in the fourth quarter, scoring the record-breaking basket in the final minute of the game.
“We were able to get some turnovers with our press,” Kuhlen said. “We were able to execute our halfcourt offense. We felt like we had some mismatches with their man-to-man team, and we had some that we didn’t quite exploit like I thought we could.”
St. Pat’s (64)
Will Moats 17, Brecken Erickson 13, Zarek Branch 9, Sam Troshynski 7, Andrew Brosius 6, Logan Winder 4, Thomas Gale 2, Sutton Tickle 2, Seth Engler 2, Coy Baker 2.
Gage Nein 8, Nik Weibert 7, Kolby Lussetto 6, Zach Lussetto 6, Logen Leithead 4.
Ruthie Loomis-Goltl 40, Olivia Loomis-Goltl 20, Brooklyn Mohrman 16, Mackenzie Liakos 5, Ella Schluterbusch 2, Grace Dean 2.
Emma Hall 24, Alex Beveridge 9, Tahlia Steinbeck 5, Ali Vaughn 2, Dalaney Kohn 1.