One of the biggest performances by a Tekamah-Herman basketball player in years wasn’t enough.
Tiger freshman Brock Rogers went off for 39 points in the Tigers’ rematch against Clarkson/Leigh Friday at Twin River High School. Rogers’ 39 is believed to the most by a Tiger player since Derek Haber went for 35 in a 72-67 three-overtime win over Pender in 2015.
But the Patriots led from start to finish for a 78-56 win in consolation action of the East Husker Conference basketball tournament. The win avenged a 54-48 loss the Tigers hung on Clarkson/Leigh Jan. 5. That win broke a 64-game losing streak for the Tigers who have now lost seven straight heading into tonight’s (Tuesday) home game against North Bend Central.
“Give credit to them. They were ready to play for that game,” Tiger coach Zach Rosenboom said. “We didn’t help ourselves by coming out flat footed.”
After watching the Patriots bolt to a 10-3 lead, the Tigers got back within two points 15-13, on a free throw from Clay Beaumont. The Tiger junior cashed a pair to open the second quarter, bringing the Tigers back within three, 18-15.
But that was as good as it got for Rosenboom’s team.
Clarkson/Leigh reeled off an 11-0 run for a 29-15 lead midway through the second period. Garrison Potadle got a basket and Beaumont hit two more free throws before the Patriots ripped off another 10 straight points.
In a sign of things to come, Rogers tallied the last six points of the half for the Tigers who went into intermission trailing 43-25. Eight of the 18-point margin came at the free throw line where the Patriots shot a blistering 89 percent as a team, going 16-of-18. Tekamah-Herman shot 80 percent at the line, but were just 8-10.
The teams played even ball in the second half with Rogers carrying most of the offensive load for the Tigers. After finishing the first half with 12 points, the freshman hit 13 in the third quarter and 14 in the fourth. He finished his night with six three-pointers, six two-point field goals and a 9-11 effort at the free throw line.
Rosenboom said that as Rogers got hot, the intent was to get him the ball as much as possible. “That’s how basketball goes, you have to find the hot hand.”
Clarkson/Leigh got a huge lift from 6-foot-3 senior Daniel Beller. The all-conference candidate didn’t play the first time the two teams met. On Friday, Beller displayed a floor game that belied his size while leading his team with 24 points. Tommy McEvoy added 16 points, freshman Jared Novotny cashed 13.
“Give credit to him and the rest of the team,” Rosenboom said. “Beller was a difference maker in the game. He was able to get numerous rebounds on both ends and opened up scoring opportunities for the rest of his team.”
After North Bend comes calling Tuesday, the Tigers have two games left on the regular season slate, both at home. They host Whiting, Iowa, for a Parents Night contest Friday, Feb. 8. The regular season finale is Feb. 15 when Douglas County West comes to town.
The line score:
Clarskon/Leigh................. 18 25 18 15—76
Tekamah-Herman............. 13 12 18 15—58
Clarkson/Leigh (76): Paprocki 8, Novotny 13, Beller 24, Wiese 5, Hanel 8, McEvoy 16, Beeson 2.
Tekamah-Herman (58): Feiling 2, Rogers 39, Wakehouse 3, Beaumont 6, Freidel 3, Potadle 4, Camp 1.
Playing their first round game in the conference tournament at Humphrey Jan. 26, the Tigers were on the short end of a 77-36 decision against third-seeded Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family.
Jason Sjuts came off the bench to lead three Bulldogs in double figures with 18 points, including an 8-of-11 showing at the free throw line, all in the second half. The Bulldogs eventually placed fourth in the league tourney.
Beaumont hit for 14 of his team leading 18 points in the second half. Rogers added a dozen for the Tigers.