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