Basketball at NSAA Boys Basketball Championship Semi Finals
Photo Credit: John Peterson

5 Thoughts on the Bishop Neumann Holiday Tournament

December 28, 2021

It’s holiday tournament week throughout the state, and on Monday Hail Varsity made the trip out to Wahoo for day one of the Bishop Neumann Holiday Tournament.

In the first game on the boys side, the visiting Seward Bluejays took down the host Cavaliers for a 58-47 win.

In the second game, Wahoo beat Elkhorn North 73-52.

Here are five thoughts on the tournament.

Seward

The Bluejays didn’t have a great day from the arc, but it didn’t matter because they picked apart the interior of Neumann’s defense all game.

I charted Seward with 15 assists on 21 made baskets, and most of those were in the paint. The Bluejays converted their first 14 2-point shots and finished 18-of-21 (85.7%) overall.

Seward’s offensive efficiency started at the point of attack with senior lead guard Traetyn Schaefer. He took just one shot and made a couple trips to the free-throw line, finishing with four points, but he didn’t have to shoot with the way he was carving up the defense with his passing. He racked up 11 assists with just three turnovers and also pulled down five rebounds.

After dealing with foul trouble in the first half, senior forward Leighton Limback went off in the second half with 15 of his game-high 19 points He shot 8-of-11 overall including 2-of-4 from deep and also pulled down six boards.

Senior forward Sam Schroeder was steady throughout, finishing with 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting and 2-of-2 from the line with a team-high eight rebounds. Sophomore Kameron Dyer provided a spark in the first half with seven points on 3-of-4 shooting.

Overall, Seward shot 65.5% from the field and 13-of-17 from the foul line. They raced out to a 10-3 lead out of the gates and never trailed.

Wahoo Neumann

Neumann did a good job of slowing the game down and keeping possessions low with their flex offense, but ultimately the Cavaliers just couldn’t make enough shots to keep up with the Bluejays.

Neumann’s deficit hit double figures midway through the second quarter and they trailed 25-17 at halftime, but the Cavaliers kept battling in the second half.

After shooting 0-of-5 from deep in the first half, Neumann got 3s from Turner Ahrens and Luke Meis to close the gap to two a couple of possessions into the third quarter. The Bluejays stretched it back out with four straight, but Neumann answered with another 3, this one from Jude Polacek.

However, Seward closed the period on a 7-2 run to extend the lead back to eight at the end of the period then pushed it back to double figures in the fourth. Neumann got 11 points from senior Sam Stuhr plus two more triples from Ahrens in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough to make a dent as the Bluejays hit all nine of their free throws in the fourth to seal it.

Stuhr led the way with 16 points on 6-of-9 from the field and 4-of-4 from the line. Ahrens chipped in 11 points, four boards, three assists and three steals.

Wahoo

The Warriors used a 12-0 run in the second quarter to break a 21-all tie and never looked back.

After a sluggish first quarter (including 3-of-15 shooting), the Warriors shot nearly 60% from the field the rest of the way including 7-of-14 from deep. Wahoo used that 12-0 run to build a 35-24 lead at halftime, then stretched it to 18 midway through the third quarter. Garrett Grandgenett hit a 3 to open the fourth quarter and push the lead to 20, and Wahoo cruised to the finish line.

All seven Warriors who saw the floor scored and four of them cracked double figures.

Owen Hancock and Marcus Glock, who combined for 14 points on 18 shots in Wahoo’s loss at Ashland-Greenwood before the moratorium, put an efficient 40 on the board on Monday evening. Hancock scored 10 of his game-high 22 in the third quarter as Wahoo put the game out of reach and he shot 9-of-13 overall including 4-of-6 from deep. Glock, the sophomore son of former Husker Jason Glock, added 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting (2-of-4 from 3) and 2-of-2 from the line with five boards and three assists. When those two are playing well, Wahoo is going to be hard to beat.

Grandgenett added 11 points and six boards while Benji Nelson chipped in 10 points, four boards, three assists and two blocks off the bench.

Elkhorn North

Between offensive rebounds and turnovers, Wahoo had 16 more shooting possessions than Elkhorn North did, which is a massive problem when the Warriors were more efficient with their opportunities as well.

The Wolves actually shot close to 60% inside the arc, better than Wahoo’s 53.8%, but quantity topped quality in this case as the Warriors took 17 more 2-pointers. Wahoo also hit three more 3s on the same number of attempts (20 each). Add 15 turnovers for Elkhorn North compared to just six for Wahoo and the math doesn’t look very good for the Wolves.

Brandon Orgilbold, Elkhorn North’s leading scorer, finished with 14 points, but he misfired on all six of his 3-pointers which canceled out the damage he did inside the arc and from the foul line.

Jack Lusk was efficient with his scoring opportunities, scoring 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting including back-to-back 3s in the third quarter after the Warriors had pushed their lead to 18, but ball security was an issue, which was the case for most of the starting five.

Paxon Piatkowski, the nephew of former Husker great Eric Piatkowski, scored all 11 of his points in the second half on 4-of-6 from the field and 3-of-4 from the line and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Carson Ripley, who slid into the starting lineup in place of the absent Ryan Harrahill, chipped in 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting including 2-of-4 from deep.

Championship Tuesday

The tournament continues on Tuesday as Elkhorn North and Wahoo Neumann will play in the consolation game at 2:30 p.m.

Wahoo and Seward will face off in the championship game at 5:45 p.m.

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