AUBURN- Pumping out the victories is exactly what the Class C-1 No. 1 Ashland-Greenwood boys basketball team continues to do. They earned two more on the year with wins over Falls City 71-28 on Jan. 3 and Class C-1 No. 8 Fort Calhoun 59-43 on Jan. 8.
To start the week off the Bluejays traveled to Auburn and took part in the Southeast Nebraska Shoot-Out. There they played the Tigers from Falls City who they defeated easily.
“Our defensive pressure created some early turnovers and transition baskets,” A-G head coach Jacob Mohs said. “After our initial burst, we did not finish as well as we would have liked to around the rim. We did get scoring from a number of players and our defense was solid the entire game.”
Cougar Konzem helped A-G get out to a 5-0 lead to begin the first quarter with a three. Later on, Konzem connected on his second three of the quarter and Cade Bridges also made a three that put the Bluejays up 27-5.
The offensive explosion for A-G continued in the second with a fast-break bucket and a three pushing the lead to 35 points. At halftime, the Bluejays were fully in control leading 41-12.
Max Parker got the scoring going during the third quarter with a layup that increased the lead to 35 points. Dane Jacobsen made a three-pointer that put A-G up 58-21.
During the fourth quarter, the Bluejays were held to their lowest point total at 13. Despite this, they were still able to outscore the Tigers 13-7.
Konzem led A-G with 19 points. Right behind him was Brooks Kissinger with 15 points, Dane Jacobsen had eight, Bridges scored seven, Evan Shepard and Parker each had six points, Drake Zimmerman and Luke Clark scored four, and Ty Carey finished with two points.
Heading into the contest with Fort Calhoun, the Bluejays knew they would have to be at their best against a solid squad. It wasn’t perfect for all four quarters, but it was enough to get the job done.
“We knew this would be a physical game and they were the more physical and aggressive team for a good part of the game,” Mohs said. “We got off to a good start in the first and we thought our defense would settle in but then we struggled on offense in the second quarter. We did not execute our defensive game plan very well throughout the game, but in the second half, we were able to play at our pace while being more consistent on offense. It was a good road win that showed us some things we need to improve upon.”
Up by two points early on, Parker knocked down a three in the corner that increased the lead to 12-7. The score remained five for the rest of the first, as A-G took a 17-12 advantage going to the second.
The offense sputtered for the Bluejays before halftime with only six points. Finishing with eight points were the Pioneers, and all of a sudden it was a one-possession game at 23-20 in favor of A-G at intermission.
Shepard got the offense started for the Bluejays in the third with a three that put them ahead by six points. Another three-pointer, this time by Konzem increased the lead to 29-22.
With one quarter remaining, A-G had a 39-32 advantage.
The Bluejays dominated the start of the fourth and made sure to leave no doubt they were going to win. Three-pointers from Shepard and Kissinger helped A-G go up by 20 points at one point.
Kissinger paced the Bluejays with 16 points, while Cale Jacobsen had 14 points, eight assists, six rebounds, and five steals. Shepard was in double figures with ten points, Parker had nine, Konzem finished with five, Zimmerman scored three, and Dane Jacobsen had two points.
On Jan. 11, A-G took on Class B No. 7 Platteview at home. They play at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 14 at Raymond Central.