MCM's big first half leads to win over Black PanthersThe first half said it all.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
The first half said it all.
The McCook Central/Montrose boys’ basketball team opened the game with 14 straight points and controlled the game until the final buzzer, beating Platte-Geddes 59-43 during the Hanson Boys Corn Palace Classic Saturday in Mitchell.
“The game was won in the first half,” said MCM coach Bill Marquardt, whose team shot 55 percent from the field in the first half. “We really came out with some energy and made some shots.”
The early lead didn’t only come from hot shooting as the Fighting Cougars outrebounded the Black Panthers 17-6 in the first half.
“We were awful rebounding, and that’s been a weakness for us,” said PG coach Frank Cutler, whose team shot 28 percent in the first half. “They were much better than us. We got outcoached and outplayed.”
MCM’s lengthy run to open the game was spurred by a bucket by Bill Kapperman. PG’s Coby Johnson, who had team highs 15 points and five rebounds, finally broke the 14-0 run with a 3-pointer.
In the second quarter, the Fighting Cougars built on their lead with Brandon Reif leading the way with eight points in the frame. MCM led by 18 points at the end of the first half, putting it up 38-16 heading into the locker room.
In the second half, the Black Panthers fought back, cutting the deficit to 48-35 with a shot from behind the arc from Matthew Randall, who had nine points in the loss.
PG, which shot 36 percent from the field and 42 percent from the foul line, came within 13 points once more with a free throw late in the fourth quarter but it wasn’t enough to overcome early game woes.
Reif led all players with 18 points and brought down eight rebounds for the Fighting Cougars, who shot 49 percent from the field and 86 percent from the free-throw line. Jacob Heumiller was the only other MCM player to score in double figures with 14 points.
Marquardt said he was happy with the way his team, which graduated 13 seniors from last year’s squad, has played so far this season.
“These kids have really stepped up, and we’ve had a good start to our season,” said Marquardt, whose team lost in a late overtime game Friday. “(Today) was a nice way to get to the midway point.
The Fighting Cougars (7-4) host Freeman Tuesday in Montrose, while the Black Panthers (6-4) host Parkston Tuesday in Platte.