Dogies drop quadrant rematch

By: 
Sonja Karp

Photo by Nicole McFarland/NLJ

Hogan Tystad put his head down to split defenders as he attacked the rim Friday against the Bobcats. Tystad would finish the night with 4 points.

Sonja Karp

NLJ Sports Editor

 

The Newcastle High School Dogie hoopsters had only one contest this week, but it was an important one for the team as they began their quadrant re-match stretch with a long road trip to take on the Bobcats in Thermopolis. 

When these two teams met earlier, Newcastle came away with the 58-55 overtime win at home, so head coach Allen Von Eye and his crew knew the Bobcats would be looking to even the score.

“They shoot well in their own gym, and we knew that going in,” Von Eye said. “Unfortunately, they came out on fire and we weren’t ready to go.”

It was evident early that the Dogies just weren’t themselves as the Bobcats jumped out to a 20-7 lead at the end of the first then out-scored the Dogies in all but the final frame of play to take the 62-33 win over Newcastle.

“We didn’t get in a rhythm at any point in the 32 minutes,” Von Eye said with a sigh. “It just seemed like we were sluggish, and it just wasn’t the same team we’ve seen all season. We were a step behind in pretty much every phase of the game.”

Von Eye noted that Thermopolis is the second fastest team in the state and while his team is the third, he and his squad knew the Bobcats would push the ball really hard. 

“They did that and we didn’t,” he admitted. “They sat in a saggy man and didn’t get up on us. That made us really hesitant, and we really didn’t accomplish much on offense.”

The Dogies were hesitant on offense, settling for passing the ball around the perimeter, rather than attacking the rim as is their usual offensive set, and the shots they did create just didn’t seem to fall. 

“We dug ourselves a hole early,” Von Eye said. “And we never really ramped up anything like we have in the past games, so we just couldn’t climb back out.” 

That first-quarter hole deepened to a deficit of 16-39 by the half then 21-58 by the end of the third quarter. 

“It was unfortunate, because we left behind the chance to get a little space in the seeding run, and we felt far more prepared than it looked,” Von Eye said. “We had an idea we’d see what we did, and though we anticipated a little more pressure, they didn’t bring any of it against us. We knew what we were going to see, but we just didn’t execute.”

Quint Perino led the team in scoring with 9 points, while Aidan Chick and Tate Engle were next with 6 points apiece. Slade Roberson and Hogan Tystad each put in 4 points, and Avery Chick and Neil Whitney chipped in 2 points each.

As it stands, the Dogies are still sitting with the third seed in the Northeast Quadrant given the first tie-breaker goes to cross-quadrant wins. Newcastle has a win over Wheatland, and Thermopolis has no wins over Southeast Quad teams.

This week, the Dogies face two very tough competitors to end their regular season. On Thursday, the No. 1-ranked Douglas Bearcats come to town and then on Saturday, the fourth-ranked Buffalo Bison will be in Newcastle for the final match-up before regionals.

“We have to run the gauntlet to end the regular season, but at least we play at home against two of the toughest teams in the East, so the home court advantage is on our side,” Von Eye said. “It’s a good opportunity for us to fine-tune some things against great competition heading into regionals.”

Games start at 4 p.m. on Thursday against Douglas with varsity scheduled to begin at 7. On Saturday, action tips off at noon with varsity playing at 3.

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