Hutchinson, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–In a rematch of last year’s championship game, Nemaha Valley started out as more the aggressor, jumping out to a 17-9 lead late in the first quarter. The Scott City defense put the clamps down on the Raiders the rest of the way, yielding 21 points in the final three quarters, advancing to their third straight title game with a 50-38 win Friday afternoon.
Things didn’t come easy for the Beavers. Nemaha Valley shot 64% in the first quarter. Scott City would slowly respond, eventually tying the game at 17 with 2:57 remaining before halftime. Both teams would trade leads back and forth and were tied at 22 late in the first half. Trey O’Neil’s three-point shot from the left wing hit the rim and dropped in the basket as the first half time expired to give the Beavers a 25-22 halftime advantage. The lead would change four times, and the game would be tied five times throughout. Scott City was able to extend their lead to 35-29 after three quarters, and grew their lead to 12 for the first time with 5:50 left in the game at 41-29. For a majority of the final quarter, the Beavers would lead by a 10-12 point margin, with the Raiders only able to pull to within nine one time in the final eight minutes. The Raiders shot just 32% for the game, while the Beavers were able to convert 13-of-17 foul shots to advance on to Saturday’s state championship game.
Scott City (24-1) got another double-double from Drew Kite, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Trey O’Neil finished with 12 points and Brett O’Neil added 10. Nemaha Valley (23-2) was led by Justice McKernan with 10 points.
The Beavers will face undefeated Humboldt at 6:15 pm Friday evening in the Class 3A state championship game. Nemaha Valley faces Silver Lake at 2 pm for the third place trophy. Humboldt used a big second half run to pull away from the Eagles 47-35.