CHADRON, Neb. — November 14, 2018 — The Chadron State men’s basketball team will be at home in the Chicoine Center Thursday night to meet long-time rival Nebraska-Kearney. Tipoff will be at 6.
The CSC Student-Athlete Advisory Council will be collecting canned good donations in exchange for general admission tickets both Thursday evening and Friday when the MSU Billings women visit. The cost of each ticket, each night is two non-perishable food items.
The Eagles and Lopers have been basketball opponents since at least 1921, as far back as hoops records are available at Chadron State. The contest in Chadron nearly always draws the season’s largest crowd.
When Kearney withdrew from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference at the end of the 2011-12 school year to join the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association, much of the athletic competition between Eagles and Lopers ceased. But because the basketball rivalry was so popular, the hoops teams have continued to meet once early each season in non-conference contests.
This will be the seventh of the annual meetings. Kearney won each of the first five contests by at least 16 points, but two years ago when the Lopers visited Chadron they needed overtime to win 75-65.
Last year, the Eagles pulled off a 72-69 victory in Kearney. It was just their second win at Kearney this century and only the fifth in the 30 games the men’s teams had played since 2000.
The Lopers, coached by Kevin Lofton, won six of their final seven games while finishing 16-14 overall and 11-8 in the MIAA last season. They were tabbed to finish ninth by the media and 10th by the coaches during the MIAA preseason polls this fall. There are 14 teams in the conference.
Kearney opened its 2018-19 season last weekend Bethany, Okla. Southern Nazarene beat the Lopers 88-69 in the first game, but UNK edged Oklahoma Baptist 80-78 in the second tilt by making two free throws with 25 seconds remaining.’
No one from last year’s team who averaged in double figures is on this year’s Kearney roster, but a freshman from Kearney got his college career off to a strong start last weekend. Kanon Koster, 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, scored 17 and 21 to lead the Lopers in scoring in both games last weekend.
Koster averaged 22.6 points for the Kearney High basketball team last season and also was chosen Nebraska’s Class A all-state quarterback a year ago. In addition, he was selected the High School Male Athlete of the Year for 2017-18 by both the Lincoln and Omaha newspapers.
Carter Burns, a 6-6 senior who scored just 50 points for the UNK basketball team last year, tallied 30 in the two games last weekend.
The Eagles are 1-2 so far, splitting a pair of games with teams from Texas at home last weekend and then dropping an 83-69 decision to the Augustana Vikings in Sioux Falls on Tuesday night.
The Eagles will not play at home again until Dec. 1, when Metro State of Denver visits to help open the RMAC season.