Looking to start off the second half of their season on the right foot were the Haymaker hoops teams as they competed in the Elm Creek Holiday Tournament on Friday and Saturday. 
In the girls opening round contest, the Lady Haymakers big second half scoring surge wasn’t enough against the host Elm Creek Girls, 51-45. 
“After digging ourselves a huge hole in the first quarter, we fought our way back to take the lead during the fourth quarter, only to fall by six points,” stated Cozad Girls Head Coach Brent Frauen.  
In the first quarter, the Lady Buffaloes were able to cash in on transition scoring opportunities to led 21-6 at the end of the initial eight minutes of hoops action. 
During the second stanza, Cozad was able to settle down on the defensive end to hold Elm Creek to just eight points while scoring ten points to cut into the deficit 29-16 at the halftime break. 
Coming out of the break, the Lady Haymakers caught fire and flexed the net in a big way on a 19-8 scoring run that made the score 37-35 with just one quarter remaining in regulation. 
The Red and Black were able to gain the edge on the scoreboard during the fourth quarter in a game that wasn’t decided until the final moments when Elm Creek was able to cash in at the free throw line to score a 51-45 win over the Lady Haymakers. 
Leading the way for Cozad was sharpshooter Sadie Rush with 19 points. 
Brenna Dugan chipped in with nine points and six rebounds for the Red and Black. 
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Cozad 6 10 19 10 45
Elm Creek 21 8 8 14 51
Cozad: Sadie Rush 19, Brenna Dugan 9, Sydney Lindstedt 6, Hanna Wright 5, Kennedy Berreckman 4, Abby Cornelius 2. 
In the Cozad boys opening contest, there was a fireworks show of offensive explosions that finished with the Haymakers earning the hard-fought 64-47 win over the host Buffaloes of Elm Creek. 
Doing their best to hit the door running, the Haymakers were able to cash in on the offensive opportunities to earn a five-point lead, 20-15 before the horn sounded on the first quarter of play. 
After the scoring frenzy that happened during the first quarter, the Cozad and Elm Creek defensive efforts gained momentum during the second frame. The Haymakers were able to still hold the edge on the scoreboard throughout the period as the Red and Black inched away to lead by six-points, 31-25 entering the halftime break. 
Taking advantage of the situation that had presented itself, the Haymakers didn’t wait for the sway of momentum and took it upon themselves to grasp the pendulum and score in bunches along with stepping up on the defensive end to limit Elm Creeks’ scoring chances. The Haymakers outscored the Buffaloes 20-7 during the period to enter the final quarter with Cozad leading 51-32
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Cozad 20 11 20 13 64
Elm Creek 15 10 7 15 47
In the consolation finals, the Lady Haymakers went toe-to-toe with Gibbon and it was the Lady Buffaloes that finished with a fury that resulted in a 52-48 win over Cozad. 
“Had the lead going into the 4th quarter, however we were not able to play with poise and maintain the lead in the end,” explained Head Coach Frauen. 
Cozad led on the scoreboard 11-9 at the end of the first quarter and into the break, 21-20. 
During the third quarter of play, the Lady Haymakers were able to flex the net for 18 points while allowing just 10 points to enter the final frame of the contest with a 39-29 lead. 
During the final period of the contest, Gibbon caught fire and rallied to score 23 points while allowing just nine points to be scored to net the come from behind win over the Lady Haymakers 52-48. 
Sadie Rush and Brenna Dugan paced the Red and Black scoring efforts with 17 and 12 points, respectively. 
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Gibbon 9 10 10 23 52
Cozad 11 10 18 9 48
Cozad: Sadie Rush 17, Brenna Dugan 12, Kennedy Berreckman 8, Abby Cornelius 6, Hanna Wright 3, Megan Burkholder 2. 
In the boys championship contest, the Haymakers were able to score a 54-52 win over Doniphan-Trumbull on Saturday. 
The Cards were able to gain an early lead, 14-8 at the end of the first quarter. 
Going into halftime, Cozad inched closer with the score being 29-24 entering the second half of play. 
Both the Cards and Cozad flexed the net in the third quarter with the score remaining close 45-38 with one stanza in regulation remaining. 
It was now or never time for Cozad and they responded in a big way on a 16-7 scoring run to gain the lead and net the 54-52 win over the Redbirds. 
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Doniphan-Trumbull 14 15 16 7 52
Cozad 8 16 14 16 54
Coming out of the holiday break, the Gothenburg hoopsters stepped up to the plate and looked to hit a homerun while competing in the Grand Island Central Catholic Winter Tournament held in Grand Island on Friday and Saturday. 
In the Lady Swedes first round contest, the Gothenburg girls were edged 45-42 despite the valiant fourth quarter comeback against Fillmore Central. 
In the first quarter, the defensive intensity was too strong for the offensive efforts. Despite the strong defensive efforts, the Lady Swedes were able to cling to a 6-4 lead at the end of the first period. 
After a slow start offensive as a result of great defense being played, it seemed that the horn woke up the offensive efforts. The Lady Panthers of Fillmore Central were able to outscore Gothenburg by just one-point point during the second half to enter the haftime break with a 19-18 lead. 
Swinging for the fences coming out of the intermission, the Lady Panthers roared loud to the tune of a 19-8 scoring run that gave Fillmore Central a ten point lead, 37-27 with just one quarter remaining in regulation. 
With just eight minutes left in the contest, the Lady Swedes went on the offensive along with scoring in transition to swing the momentum in their direction for much of the fourth quarter. The Gothenburg girls were able to flex the net for 15 points in the fourth quarter but it was the Lady Panthers that scored enough down the stretch to hold off the late charge by the Lady Swedes 45-42. 
Gracie Stienike led Gothenburg with 27 points and 10 rebounds. 
Chiara Richeson dished out eight points along with scoring four points for the Lady Swedes. 
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Gothenburg 6 13 8 15 42
Fillmore Central 4 14 19 8 45
Gothenburg: Gracie Stienike 27, Chiara Richeson 4, Alexis Bliven 4, Annica Harm 4, Arleigh Costello 3. 
On the boys side of the opening round, the Swedes scored a 61-57 win over Fillmore Central. 
Doing their best to get off to a fast start, the Swedes led 13-6 at the end of the first quarter and held that edge to the tune of 23-16 entering the halftime break. 
Coming out of the intermission, the Panthers were able to dent the deficit but it was Gothenburg that held onto the lead, 37-31 with one quarter remaining. 
During the final frame of regulation, Gothenburg was able to answer the call every time that Fillmore Central attempted to cut into the lead. Gothenburg scored the 61-57 win. 
Bennett Folkers netted 21 points for Gothenburg. 
Josh Olson contributed 18 points and seven caroms. 
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Gothenburg 13 10 14 24 61
Fillmore Central 6 10 15 26 57
Gothenburg: Bennett Folkers 21, Josh Olson 18, Maguire Bartlett 11, AJ Whiting 8, Owen Geiken 3. 
In the Lady Swedes consolation final contest, the Gothenburg girls finished strong to win 53-41 over Fullerton. 
In a see-saw battle, Gothenburg led 13-10 at the end of the first quarter before relinquishing the lead, 20-18 at the break. 
During the third quarter the Lady Swedes were able to regain the lead and then never look back when the outscored the Warriors, 22-11 during the fourth quarter to net the win 53-41. 
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Fullerton 10 10 10 11 41
Gothenburg 13 5 13 22 53
In the championship game, Gothenburg dueled with the host Crusaders. Grand Island CC had a stellar second half to score the 60-30 victory. 
Gothenburg led at the end of the first quarter, 9-8 but it was the host Crusaders that led 22-20 at the break. 
Central Catholic netted 19 points per frame in the second half to score the 60-30 win over Gothenburg. 
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Gothenburg 9 11 3 7 30
Grand Island CC 8 14 19 19 60
Gothenburg: Bennett Folkers 21, Josh Olson 18, Maguire Bartlett 11, AJ Whiting 8, Owen Geiken 3. 
The Lexington hoops squads battled some of the best at the GNAC Tourney that was held in North Platte Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 
In the Minutemaids opening contest they went toe-to-toe with Kearney. Lexington fell behind early and their late charge wasn’t enough, as Kearney netted the 56-31 victory over the Minutemaids on Thursday. 
Lexington trailed 17-8 at the end of the first quarter and then 32-14 at halftime. Entering the final quarter of regulation, the Maids hoped to dent the 44-23 deficit. 
The Lady Cats were able to hold off the late charges by the Lexington hoopsters 12-8 during the fourth quarter to net the 56-31 win. 
In the Minutemen’s opening contest, they were edged by Norfolk, 59-49 in a closer than the score indicates contest. 
Lexington was shooting a high percentage during the first quarter of play, as they led by two-points, 14-12 against the highly touted Panthers. 
The Lexington boys continued to flourish on the offensive end during the second stanza as they flexed the net for 13-points to hold a 27-24 lead at the break. 
During the third quarter of play, Norfolk switched defenses and gained ground on the scoreboard, as the Panthers outscored Lexington 18-13 during the initial eight minutes after halftime to  then take a 42-40 into the fourth quarter. 
Lexington was able to charge back in the fourth quarter and take the lead with just four minutes to play, but it was Norfolk that was able to turn the tide at the charity stripe to escape with a 59-49 victory. 
Dylan Richman led the Orange and Black with 17 points. 
Jake Leger dropped in 10 points for Lexington. 
In the consolation semifinal round, the Minutemaids were defeated by North Platte, 47-41 in a hard-fought battle on the hardwood. 
In the Lexington boys consolation semifinal match-up, the Orange and Black fell behind early and weren’t able to recover as they were defeated by the Discoverers, 60-47. 
Lexington hung close during the first quarter as they trailed Columbus by two-points, 14-12 before the Discoverers exploded to a 36-20 lead at the break. 
The Discoverers were able to hold off all late charges to win 60-47. 
Lexington’s Nick Saiz and Andrew Saiz had 13 and 10 points, respectively. 
In their final contest, the Lexington girls were defeated by McCook, 58-44 in the seventh place game. 
The Minutemen defeated  McCook in an offensive shootout 64-59 to finish seventh overall. 
Dylan Richman led Lex with 16 points. 
FIVE YEARS AGO
(2013)
The Lexington grapplers were a force to reckoned with at the Beatrice Invite. “It was exciting to see that every person on our team won at least one match,” stated Lexington head coach Joey Morrison. Minutemen Alam Alvarez and Danny Ibarra fared quite well in their respective weight divisions, by winning gold medalist honors at 120 and 126 lbs. Taking home silver medalist honors was Pascual Francisco (106 lbs), Dakota Hernandez (132) and Edwin Perdomo (220). Mike Nguyen (113) and Luis Nunez (285) won bronze medalist honors. 
10 YEARS AGO 
(2008)
Open weight classes added up, as Lexington capitalized and won a 51-28 wrestling dual over Cozad. Roberto Cohetero (112 lbs.), Mukoma Issa (119), Julio Levia (130) and Eric Freeland (285) were Minutemen winners. Tanner Sturgeon and Ryan Levell were victorious for the Red and Black. Sturgeon shutout DJ Ward 8-0 in a 145 lb. match and Levell recorded a pin over Lex’s Aaron Bliven in 1:45. 
Lex exploded in the fourth quarter offensively to earn a 45-40 victory over Holdrege. The pair were deadlocked at 13-13 at the end of the first quarter and the Dusters stormed ahead 27-18 at the break. The Minutemen sank 14-of-16 free throws during the fourth quarter to earn the victory. Bryant Bernal and Matt Cunningham netted 15 and 13 points for the Orange and Black. 
15 YEARS AGO
(2003)
Cozad’s wrestlers won six matches and collected three open weights on their way to a 48-20 dual win over Lexington. Micah Chrisinger, Tyler Sturgeon, Joel Pflaster and Justin Kinnan picked up pins for the Haymakers. Justin Teeters came up with a pin at 171 pounds for Lexington. Kyle Banzhaf picked up a big win for Cozad at 112 pounds as he earned a 13-6 decision over Devin Dennis. Chaney Chee re-turned the favor for Lex, edging Andrew Chrisinger of Cozad, 5-2 at 125 pounds. Lex’s Jason Libal broke a 7-7 tie in the final seconds for a 12-7 win over Justin Lemmer. Bryan Gnirk won by technical fall at 215 pounds for Lexington while teammate Jordan Homan edged Cozad’s Seth Wiesen, 5-2. Ryan Wolf scored an 8-1 win for the Haymakers over Nick Smith at 160 pounds. Logan Hart, Jordan Kinnan and Heath Jacob all received forfeits for Cozad.
20 YEARS AGO
(1998)
The Cozad wrestlers finished second in the David City Aquinas Invitational. Eight of Cozad’s nine finished fourth or better. The Haymakers took two firsts, five thirds and a fourth. Champions for CHS were Chris White and Nick Maaske at 135 and 140 lbs. 
The state-ranked Lady Swedes met another high-powered squad on the road at Centura and fell in girls basketball by a count of 62-54. Michelle Sitorius lead the Swedes in scoring with 19 points. Brandi Mitchell with 12 points was the only other Gothenburg player to crack double digits. 
25 YEARS AGO
(1993)
When the tough get going – there’s Jeff Sykes. That was evident as Lexington met a strong Minden challenge and col-lected an 84-63 decision. Sykes led the charge with 20 points. Aaron Brand was close behind with 19. Gary O’Donnell and Scott Reynolds contributedly greatly with 14 and 12 points, respectively. 
Lexington protected its state rankings in girl/boy basketball, cruising past Ainsworth in a doubleheader. Coach Randy Carpenter’s Minutemaids, the No. 8 team in Nebraska’s Class B rankings, doubled-up on the Lady Bulldogs, 54-26. Jill Laux finished the night with 18 points and got good scoring support from Mandy Bliven, who netted 13 points. In the boy’s game, Jeff Sykes keyed the assault with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Balanced scoring support was evident with an 18 point effort from Aaron Brand and Bill Tjaden’s 11 points.
30 YEARS AGO
(1988)
An overtime proved fatal for Cozad in a Southwest Conference girl’s basketball showdown 60-51 with host Holdrege. The home-standing Dusters outscored Cozad 10-1 in the decisive period. Holly Waring finished the night with 15 points for the Haymakers. Vicki Harris scored 10 points for the Red and Black Cagers.
Lexington swept seven weight classes enroute to a 41-23 Southwest Conference wrestling dual win over Cozad. Coach Jim Bonesteel’s Haymakers gained seven solo crowns, including an 8-5 decision by Peter Gomez over Chad Franzen in the 119 lb. weight division. Mike Dorsey (136 lbs.), Jason McCoy (140), John Smock (145), Todd Laird (152) and Matt Burkholder (160) also prevailed for the Haymakers. Brad Holbrook (103), Mike Warta (112), Chris Lynch (125) and Tim Rios (130) all got their arms raised for Lexington.