Sara Huss drops new career-high to lead Jeffs past Sandy Creek in dominating fashion
FAIRBURY, NE – The Fairbury Jeffs (9-8) came into Monday evening’s game, needing some positive momentum.
After reaching a record of 8-6 off of a six-game winning streak, the Jeffs dropped two close games in the last 12 days – 41-43 to Sutton at home on Jan. 17 and a 41-43 overtime heart-breaker at No. 8 Clay Center, KS on Saturday.
Fairbury got some wind back in its sails Monday with a 58-21 win over Sandy Creek (2-14) at Fairbury High School in the first round of the Southern Nebraska Conference basketball tournament.
“We really think that we have a chance to win this tournament,” Fairbury head coach Lyle Thompson said. “There’s a lot of teams that are pretty equal, but we needed to come out tonight and make a statement. Not to anyone else, but to ourselves – that we can come out and execute and do the things that we need to do.”
Junior forward Sara Huss, who leads the Jeffs this season with 13.2 points per contest, dropped a career-high 21 points. Nineteen of those came in the first half.
“Sara did a really good job on the defensive end of getting the offside hand up and deflecting a few passes,” Thompson said. “She’s fast enough where she can dribble down and outrun the defense and convert (steals into points) on the other end. She had a really good night.”
Fairbury wasted no time putting the game away, going up 28-2 by the end of the first quarter. The 58 points scored are a season-high for the Jeffs, and the 37-point win margin is the widest of this season as well.
Freshman Karly McCord was the only other Jeff to finish in double figures – she finished with a season-high 13 points off the bench. Senior Jessa Eden and junior Jaelle Johnson each scored eight.
With the win, Fairbury (No. 7 seed) travels to take on No. 2 seed Superior (14-2) in the quarterfinal round of the SNC tournament on Tuesday. Tip-off from Superior High School is set for 7 p.m.
The Wildcats are ranked No. 4 in the latest News Channel Nebraska rankings, but Thompson remains confident that his team can put a solid fight.
“We want to believe that there are 7-8 teams in this league that are all fairly equal,” Thompson said. “Superior may be at the top of the food chain, but I believe there are several teams that are not that far behind. If we go in and play a good team game, especially on the defensive end, I think we’ll have an opportunity.”
Superior came to Fairbury on Dec. 4 and won, 48-30.
Fairbury boys win second straight game behind full team effort
After opening the 2019 calendar year with a four-game losing streak, the Fairbury Jeffs (6-10) did two things on Monday that they haven’t done since early December.
Win back-to-back games, and beat Fillmore Central.
The Jeffs knocked down seven three-pointers and got points from seven different players en route to a 51-35 win over the Panthers (2-15) at Fairbury High School on Monday night in the opening round of the Southern Nebraska Conference tournament.
Monday’s win came on the heels of a 47-39 win at Clay Center, KS on Saturday. The Jeffs hadn’t won back-to-back games since victories over Fillmore Central (12/1) and Superior (12/4).
“It feels good to win,” Fairbury boys coach Travis Steinhoff said. “We were on a stretch there where we lost a few in a row. We had a really tough schedule, but I think we’re better because of the schedule. It just feels good to win. A good feeling.”
The Jeffs certainly had a tough schedule to open 2019, facing four straight opponents that were both ranked in the top 10 and had 11+ wins.
On Monday, Fairbury was led in scoring by senior guard Isaac Robertson. He finished with a game-high 11 points. Nine of those 11 came from the three-point line. Robertson leads the Jeffs this season with 30 made three-pointers.
Juniors Joe Melcher and Chance Amundson each scored eight points. Junior Dalton Peterson and sophomore Bret Cole settled for seven.
Fairbury’s bench also provided some big moments Monday. Senior Trevin Arnold scored a season-high five points, while sophomore Dylan Starr made his second three-pointer of the season.
“(Trevin) is a kid who hadn’t played a lot all season, and he’s just worked his butt off,” Steinhoff said. “He had big minutes tonight, and big buckets when we were in foul trouble. It was a special night. Some of these guys (that scored) are freshmen, sophomores. I was pretty proud of the whole team as a group.”
Fillmore Central, who’s now lost seven straight, was led in scoring by senior Carson Scott who wound up with a game-high 16 points. Junior Carson Tatro came off the bench and scored nine for the Panthers, who have lost 11 games this year by 12 or more points.
Fairbury, the No. 7 seed in the SNC tournament, advances to play No. 2 seed Sutton (15-2) at Sutton High School at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The Mustangs, who are ranked No. 5 in the state, topped Fairbury on Jan. 17, 47-22.
“We’re going to have to shoot the ball pretty well,” Steinhoff said. “We played (Sutton) pretty well defensively (the last time), so I think we have something to draw from there. So, hopefully we can go in there and play a little better offensively.
“You never know. You go in there, make it a game in the fourth quarter, anything can happen.”
Other SNC results from Monday, starting with girls:
No. 8 Sutton 55 No. 9 David City 47
- Tuesday: Sutton @ No. 1 Fillmore Central, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Heartland 57 No. 11 Wilber-Clatonia 17
- Tuesday: Heartland @ No. 3 Milford, 5:45 p.m.
Another Tuesday game:
- No. 5 Thayer Central @ No. 4 Centennial, 5:45 p.m.
Monday SNC results, boys’ bracket:
No. 6 David City 68 No. 11 Thayer Central 60
- Tuesday: David City @ No. 3 Milford, 7:15 p.m.
No. 9 Sandy Creek 52 No. 8 Superior 41
- Tuesday: Sandy Creek @ No. 1 Centennial, 7:15 p.m.
Another Tuesday game:
- No. 5 Heartland @ No. 4 Wilber-Clatonia, 7 p.m.
You can follow Tommy on Twitter @Tommy_NCN.