asketball split the night at home in the barn on Thursday, Dec. 19 when they hosted the Cambridge Trojans; the lady ‘Makers fell to Cambridge, 27-42, while the Haymaker boys earned their second consecutive win over the Trojans, 69-51.
The girls game got off to a slow start on Thursday as both teams struggled to find the net in the first quarter, going 0-3 for a small Cambridge lead at the end of the first eight minutes. Before the half, the lady Trojans had extended their lead to 5-13.
Scoring improved for both teams in the second half of the game with Cambridge keeping the advantage, scoring 29 points over the Cozad squad’s 22 points.
The lady ‘Makers struggled to find open shots in the matchup with Cambridge, and Cozad girls head coach Zach Stauffer felt their shot volume was where their trouble originated.
“Defensively, we were solid tonight. We did our job and forced them to take tough shots,” Stauffer began. “We weren’t taking shots. When we’re being aggressive and attacking the rim, we’re a different animal but right now we just need to be more aggressive and be shot-ready.”
As for the Haymaker girls’ leading scorers, Megan Dyer led her team with nine points, followed by Megan Burkholder with six and Abigail Nelson with five.
The Cozad girls’ season drops to 1-5 after the loss.
The Cozad Haymakers, while suffering a slow beginning to the season, have appeared to emerge from the depths of varsity inexperience to a level of confidence expected by head coach Drew Danielson and earned their second consecutive win. Their first three games were losses suffered at the hands of Chase County, Pleasanton and Hershey before earning their first win of the season over Valentine on Saturday, Dec. 14 and then a 69-51 win at home on Thursday, Dec. 19.
Knocking down three-point shots has been a signature of Cozad boys basketball in recent years. The numbers from Thursday’s game showed an increase for the Haymakers from the start of this season as 39 of the team’s 69 points were scored on three pointers, seven of which were from the leading scorer Jacob Gengenbach, accounting for all 21 of his points against Cambridge. Rounding out the top scorers for the Cozad Haymakers in Thursday’s game were Jacob Weatherly with 12 points and Tag Sassali with 11.
The Cozad boys’ season improves to 2-3 after the win over Cambridge.
The Cozad basketball squads will Travel to Ainsworth on Saturday, Dec. 21 with games set to start at 4 p.m. Their next home game will be with Ogallala on Friday, Jan. 10.