Monday, 01 March 2021
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Nemaha Central Girls and Royal Valley Boys Win Key Big 7 League Battles
By Jonny Kane
Copyright: MSC Sports

In one of the most anticipated doubleheaders of the high school basketball season the two games between Nemaha Central and Royal Valley lived up to the hype as each side earned a win.

GIRLS: Nemaha Central 52, Royal Valley 49

It was one of the top matchups throughout the entire state of Kansas and it lived up to the billing with the No. 2-ranked Thunder outlasting No. 6 Royal Valley in the final seconds 52-49.

This game was back-and-forth throughout with Nemaha Central taking a 16-14 after the first quarter behind seven points from sophomore Ella Larkin and five more from senior Cassidy Corby.

Royal Valley’s Mahpiya Irving hit a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter to give the Panthers a short lead, but the Thunder responded and battled back to take a 27-25 lead at the half.

The third quarter was all Panthers as Irving continued her strong play from the second quarter scoring nine points in the third to give Royal Valley a 42-36 lead going into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth the Thunder battled back with a pair of buckets from Corby and then with under a minute to go junior Taryn Ganstrom hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 49.

Royal Valley would then turn the ball over on their ensuing possession and with 3.6 to go Corby recorded a layup with a foul and after hitting the free throw the Panthers couldn’t get a good look off giving the Thunder the win.

Corby finished with a game-high 22 points in the win for the Thunder (16-1) while Riley Rottinghaus added 15 and Ella Larkin 13.

The win also marked No. 200 in the career of Thunder head coach Hadden Hiltgen in his 11th season in Seneca.

Royal Valley (14-3) was led in the loss by Mahpiya Irving who finished with 20 points, putting her over 1,000 points in her career.

BOYS: Royal Valley 54, Nemaha Central 51

Just like the girls game the boy’s game lived up to the hype with the top spot in the Big 7 League on the line and despite trailing most of the game Royal Valley found a way to pick up a 54-51 win.

Both teams got off to quick starts with Royal Valley’s Nahcs Wahwassuck scoring seven points in the first quarter, but Nemaha Central’s Marcus Beck added seven of his own giving the Thunder a 15-13 lead after one.

The offense for both sides slowed in the second with the Thunder outscoring the Panthers 9-8 in the quarter to lead 24-21 going into halftime.

That three-point lead held into the fourth quarter and in the fourth Wahwassuck took over for Royal Valley scoring 11 points in the quarter hitting 7-of-9 free throws to pick up the win.

Wahwassuck finished with a game-high 29 points for Royal Valley (13-3) while Brady Klotz added 13.

Nemaha Central (12-4) was led in the loss by Zac Kramer who finished with 18 points while Marcus Beck added 12 and Kurtis Beck 11.

With the win Royal Valley sweeps the season series with the Thunder and take over first place in the Big 7.

©2021 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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