While winning two games in a row has been common for Tekamah-Herman’s girls basketball team this season, the Tiger boys hadn’t turned the trick in a while. Nearly eight years, in fact.
But both Tiger squads opened the second half of the 2019-20 season with a pair of wins, enough to claim championship honors at the Madison Holiday Tournament.
For the Tiger boys it was the first time since Jan. 21, 2012, that they had won two games in a row.
“It feels pretty good,” Tiger coach Zach Rosenboom said. “The kids needed it, too.”
They turned the trick with an explosive offense. They downed Elgin Public/Pope John 63-40 in opening round play Dec. 27 before knocking off the host school 68-61 the next day.
Rosenboom said a lack of drama also has helped.
“We’ve come a long way in a month,” he said. “The kids understand their roles and have bought into the team concept.”
Jed Hoover netted a career high 25 points in the win over Elgin. Although he was the only Tiger in double figures, eight other players scored. Hoover also joined Eldridge Jensen and Clay Beaumont in collecting four rebounds, tying for team honors.
The next night against Madison, the Tigers led 55-40 after three periods, but had to hold off a furious Dragon rally to get the win.
Rosenboom said his team hurt itself at the free throw line, going 5-for-12 in the last eight minutes, but made enough plays to get the win.
Hoover netted 18 points to pace the Tigers, Beaumont added 18 points and a team high nine rebounds.
The Tigers were scheduled to be back in action tonight (Tuesday) when they host Omaha Brownell Talbot. On Saturday, they start a string of six straight East Husker Conference contests when they visit Clarkson/Leigh.
Rosenboom’s team travels to Lyons Jan. 14 to take on defending state champion BRLD on Jan. 14 before hosting Madison Jan. 17.
Girls start a new winning streak
The Tiger girls also claimed championship honors at Madison. Coach David Eriksen’s squad rolled to a 41-21 win over Elgin Public/Pope John before stopping Madison 41-39. The Tigers had won six in a row before suffering a three-point loss at Arlington Dec. 21.
The two wins pushed the Tigers to 8-2 on the season.
Eriksen said he was happy with the way his team is sharing the scoring load. Maggie Sheets led the Tigers with 17 against Elgin while Greta Lindberg topped the list with 15 against Madison.
“It’s somebody different every night,” he said. “That makes us a lot harder to defend.”
He said his team was able to control the pace of play in both games, for the most part, with its defense. He said foul problems against Madison let the Dragons chip away at a 29-21 lead going into the final eight minutes. Jadyn Fleischman hit for four of her seven points in the fourth quarter to help keep the Dragons at bay.
The win at Madison was the third the Tigers have posted this season in one-possession games. Two of them have come on the road. Eriksen said winning close games helps build his team’s confidence and helps show them that nothing can be taken for granted.
“We have to show up and play every night,” he said. “Especially in this stretch of games we have coming up.”
His team visits a 6-3 Clarkson/Leigh ball club on Jan. 11 before taking on unbeaten BRLD in Lyons Jan. 14. The Tigers host Madison Jan. 17 before visiting a solid West Point-Beemer squad Jan. 18 and a 10-0 Oakland-Craig team on Jan. 21.