SIDNEY – After nearly 14 days off from varsity basketball action, the Holdrege Lady Dusters shook off their rust and earned a key victory over a tough Sidney squad 36-34 in the panhandle. Click here to listen to the broadcast.
Holdrege and Sidney fought tough defensively to begin the contest, as the first four and half minutes of play went without a score from either side. Finally, Karli Sylvester of Sidney was fouled and hit back-to-back free throws to break the scoreless tie, followed by a three pointer from McKenna Ortgiesen to drop the zero from the Holdrege scoreboard. Slyvester added another two in the opening quarter, and Alecca Campbell hit two free throws as well giving Sidney the first quarter edge. Holdrege saw Megan Belgum contribute inside with two points, but trailed 6-5 at the end of the first quarter.
Offensive scoring started quickly for both sides in the second, as Sidney added 12 and Holdrege tallied 11 to end the half. Slyvester continued her prowess from the line, adding two more points from the charity stripe and a hook shot ending the quarter with 8 total points. Holdrege wouldn’t go into halftime quietly, as four different Lady Dusters scored. Brooklyn Berney came off the bench hitting two shots for four points, while Mallory Pfeifer and Taylor Wiser hit triples. The Dusters still trailed 18-16 entering the locker room.
Holdrege came out with a more aggressive attitude on both ends of the court, as Sidney elected to rotate players in more rapidly – often all five at a time. The Dusters attacked quickly, as Alexis Bliven scored her first points of the game with a three pointer and a stolen coast-to-coast bucket. Avery Hurlbert dropped a three pointer as well, while Berney and Pfeifer both added 2 points. The story of the third quarter was the Dusters defensive prowess, as Sidney never found an easy lane or go-to bucket, being shut down scoring only 5 points in the quarter; three of which came in the opening moments of the quarter from Morgan Jaggers behind the arc. The Dusters led leading into the final quarter 29-23.
Having their largest lead of the day, Holdrege continued to push the pace of the game against tired legs of the Lady Raiders as they were coming off three games in three days just a few days prior. Bliven attacked defensively, adding more steals and getting to the free throw line. Sidney did claw back, as they outscored Holdrege in the final quarter 11-7, but couldn’t close out the game as they were only able to score from the free throw line. Holdrege added scores from Bliven and Pfeifer hitting drives inside, while Bliven also added two points from the line.
The Lady Dusters would escape in the final moments with a defensive stop as Sidney was unable to get a last second shot up. As the buzzer sounded, Holdrege celebrated their fourth win of the year earning a 36-34 decision.
Holdrege improves to 4-3 on the season, and saw contributions from Bliven with 9 points, 7 points coming from Pfeifer, Berney added 6 points, Ortgiesen tallied 5 points, while Belgum and Hurlbert contributed 3 points. Holdrege will travel this weekend to Broken Bow for a tough draw against the undefeated Lady Indians, and will battle in Gibbon on Saturday.
Sidney falls in back-to-back losses for the first time this season, making their record 7-3. The Lady Raiders saw contributions from Slyvester with 12 points, 9 points coming from Campbell, Brynna Ross and Jaggers each added 3 points, Gabrielle Fortner, Jersie Misegadis, and Katie Ramsey each contributed 2 points, and Emilee Wieser tallying 1 point. The Raiders face South Sioux City on Tuesday, and will travel to Gering on Friday.