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Five Thoughts on Platteview’s 53-51 Win Against Beatrice

December 14, 2022

Senior Connor Millikan made some big plays down the stretch and reached a milestone as Class B No. 2 Platteview held on for a 53-51 win against upset-minded Beatrice on Tuesday night.

Here are five thoughts on the game.

Mr. 2K

Connor Millikan is one of the most prolific players to come through the high school ranks in Nebraska in recent years and he joined elite company on Tuesday by reaching a milestone that only 28 players before him have reached: 2,000 career points.

Millikan hit 1,000 just nine games into his sophomore season and never slowed down. He needed just 22 points to get to 2,000 heading into Tuesday’s game, but early on it looked like he might have to wait one more game. Millikan missed four of his first five shots before hitting a few late in the first quarter, then he picked up his third foul less than a minute and a half into the second period. He spent the rest of the half on the bench.

But Millikan is as relentless a player as you’ll find anywhere in the state, and he made up for lost time once he got back out there in the third quarter, pouring in 13 points including a 3 at the buzzer to give hime 21 points heading into the fourth.

He didn’t waste any time getting that final bucket in the fourth, though he had to work really hard to get it. Millikan got the ball inside but had his first shot attempt rejected. He grabbed the rebound and tried to put it back up, but he left it short. However, he followed it yet again and the third time proved to be the charm as he scored the bunny for points 2,000 and 2,001.

He scored six more points in the fourth to finish with 29 while also chipping in eight rebounds (five offensive), three steals and two blocks.

Millikan has averaged 28.7 points during Platteview’s 3-0 start, which is right in line with what he did as a junior (28.3), it will put him right near the top of Nebraska’s career scoring list at the end of his career. Bill Holiday, who graduated from Wilsonville in 1960, holds the current record with 2,748 points.

Back and Forth

Early on, it didn’t appear as if Tuesday’s matchup would produce a competitive game as Trey Moseman hit a 3 as time ran down to give Platteview a 17-7 lead after one. Then Millikan picked up his third foul, and it opened the door for the Orangemen to get back in the game.

With Millikan on the bench, the Trojans struggled to generate offense. Beatrice outscored Platteview 13-2 to open the second quarter before a late layup from Ezra Stewart put the Trojans back in front heading into halftime, 21-20.

The teams traded blows throughout the third quarter with eight lead changes and four ties. Platteview created a bit of separation heading into the fourth with late 3s from Alex Draper and Millikan that made it 39-35.

Platteview used another 6-0 run (two layups from Millikan and one from Stewart) to build a 45-38 lead with five minutes to play, but the Orangemen didn’t quit. Beatrice used an 8-0 run to eliminate he deficit and take the lead at 46-45 with just over three minutes to play.

Millikan put the Trojans back in front, Shelton Crawford answered for Beatrice with a floater, then Millikan crossed up his defender at the top of the key then converted a three-point play a the rim to make it 50-48. On the other end, Millikan dove on the floor, ripped the ball out of a scrum and called timeout to secure a stolen possession for Platteview with 1:02 to play.

Stewart hit a pair of free throws to stretch the Trojan lead to four, but Crawford hit a deep 3 with 25 seconds left to cut the deficit to one. Beatrice put Millikan at the line with 10.4 to play and he split the shots to push the lead to two and give Beatrice a chance for the tie.

However, Beatrice couldn’t find any space to attack as Millikan hounded the ball-handler and forced Beatrice coach Clark Ribble to call a timeout with 1.5 on the clock, and the Orangemen weren’t able to get a sho off out of the break,

Clutch Crawford

Crawford, a senior guard, almost single-handedly brought the Orangemen back. Eleven of his team-high 18 points came in the fourth quarter, where the Orangemen only scored 16 as a team. He finished 6-of-10 from the field including 3-of-6 from deep and 3-of-4 from the foul line.

Beatrice only hit four 3s as a team, and Crawford hit three of them, all in the fourth as the Orangemen tried to rally. He scored the team’s last eight points and only missed one shot in the fourth, but they couldn’t get the ball to him on the final possession.

It Takes a Team

Connor Millikan by himself is tough to put Platteview in the mix for a state title in Class B, but in order for the Trojans to go all the way they’ll need contributions from others.

Draper, a Concordia baseball commit, followed up his school record-setting 10-for-12 3-point explosion against Malcolm on Saturday with a 3-for-6 performance for nine points on Tuesday. He’s a career 39% 3-point shooter on nearly 370 attempts.

Stewart, the third returning starter for Platteview, scored six of his eight points in the fourth quarter when the Trojans needed it. He scored two layups in transition off steals and buried both of his free throws with less than 35 seconds to play. Stewart isn’t a prolific scorer, but he does a lot of little things for the Trojans.

Trey Moseman stepped into the starting lineup as a transfer from Millard South, replacing the graduated Michael Wiebelhaus in the backcourt. He had a quiet day on Tuesday, scoring just five points, but he scored 18 points and hit four 3s in a 12-point season-opening win against Elkhorn North.

The Trojans don’t get much offensive production beyond those four, but they do have some size with 6-foot-5 sophomore Reiman Zeibert and 6-foot-6 junior reserve Brandon Staudt.

Physical Orangemen

Crawford was the star for Beatrice with his late 3s, but the majority of the Orangemen’s points came at the rim as they looked to play inside out all game. Beatrice doesn’t have a ton of size as Ribble starts a front line of 6-foot-1 Crew Meints, 6-foot-3 Luke Feist and 6-foot-3 Tucker Timmerman, but all three of them offset their lack of height with extreme physicality.

Timmerman, a Nebraska baseball commit, finished with 14 points and eight rebounds including five on the offensive end. Feist added eight points and didn’t miss a shot while Meints matched him with eight points and also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

Beatrice came up just a bit short in he end, but the Orangemen gave the Trojans their toughest test yet.

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