BDS Claims 2nd Straight MUDECAS A Division Title

Published on Tuesday, 19 January 2016 19:23
Written by thenebraskasigna

The Bruning-Davenport/Shickley boys spent last week in Beatrice participating in the 87th annual MUDECAS Tournament that features 16 schools ranging in size from Class D-2 to Class C-1.  Eight of the teams are bracketed by the coach's votes into the A Division and eight are placed in the B Division.  This season the Eagles ended up as the No. 1 seed in the A Division and played eighth-seed Johnson-Brock in a first round game.
Defense was the key to the game as both teams struggled to score early and BDS took a 6-3 lead at the end of one quarter of play.
“They do a nice job with their zones and we really did a pretty good job of being patient,” commented Eagle head coach Fred Kluck.  “Cody Garland really did a good job of hitting some outside shots and defensively we made them shoot tough shots so that combined to keep scoring low.”
Both teams picked up the pace and by the half, the Eagles lead was a slim 18-16.  The third stanza saw BDS start to pull away and again the defense was the key as Johnson-Brock managed just five points while the Eagles added 16 and then held on in the fourth period to seal the 49-35 victory.
For the game, Garland scored 15 points including hitting three 3-pointers before the halftime break and Riley Tegtmeier added 19 going 6-for-7 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.  Sam Christensen added 7 points while Stuart Rohr and Kale Kleinschmidt scored 4 each.
In the semifinal game Thursday, BDS faced the fifth-seeded Nebraska City Lourdes, a team that the Eagles faced twice last season.
“We don’t match up with two 6-8's, a 6-6, and a 6-5," said Kluck of the Knights' large front line.  “We generally stand around 6-0 in our starting line-up so this was a real challenge.”  
6-4 Kendall Dickson came off the bench to provide some size and Stuart Rohr, Sam Christensen and Ben Elznic all did a good job of checking out on the boards to help the Eagles with a rebounding edge 24-16, Kluck noted.  “I really felt like we needed to win the rebounding battle to stay competitive in this ball game and we did,” Kluck said.
The other challenge BDS faced with such a tall team was how to attack them on the offensive end.
“Our ability to move the ball and get the open shot was really put to the test, and at times we really did well," Kluck said.  "Other times, we struggled some, but they were so long, we just had to keep plugging away.”
The first quarter was the Kale Kleinschmidt show as he drove the lane for a pair of baskets and added four assists to four separate 3-point shooters along with making a big steal in the back court to help lead the Eagles to an 18-13 lead after one period of play.
“We were having some difficulties stopping them so Kale's offense helped spark us and give us some momentum," Kluck said.  “He’s always a defensive stopper for us but tonight his offense really came to life.”
The second quarter was tight as well and BDS went into half time leading 24-22.
The second half became Sam Christensen's 3-point shooting gallery as he went 4-of-5 for the game including a big three in the final period to give the Eagles the lead for good and along with two big free throws by Cody Garland with nine seconds left helped BDS advance to the finals of the tournament for the second year in a row.  Christensen led the balanced scoring effort with 12 points, Kale added 8 along with 5 assists, Riley Tegtmeier scored 7 and had 4 assists, Caden Norder added 6 and Garland had 5.  Ben Elznic, Stuart Rohr and Kendall Dickson each scored 2 and Kendall grabbed a team-high 6 rebounds as well.
For the second year in a row, BDS faced off with C-2 power Freeman in the championship game of the tournament.  Last season, it took a half-court shot at the buzzer for the Eagles to pull off the upset, and the way this one started it looked like it might take another big finish to help BDS pull out the win.
Once again, the defensive effort by both teams was an important part of the early game flow as both teams played aggressive man-to-man.  The Eagle's Riley Tegtmeier got things going scoring eight first-quarter points including another long trey at the quarter break to tie things up at 10 apiece.  The second period saw Freeman tighten up its defense on Tegtmeier and Freeman jumped to a seven-point advantage, but a long pass by Stuart Rohr to Cody Garland as the half ran down was deflected into the hands of Caden Norder who hit a buzzer beater and kept the Eagles within striking distance down 25-20 at the break.  
“I really felt like we had played pretty average basketball on both ends of the court and we were still only down five,” Kluck said.  “If we could just pick up our play some on both ends, I thought we were certainly capable of getting back into the lead and winning the ball game.”
BDS did just that by really shutting down what Freeman likes to do and especially keeping the Falcons' 6-5 leading scorer Holden Scott in check.  He had four first-quarter points and ended the game with just those four points.
“I really felt that Stuart Rohr and Ben Elznic did a great job of making it difficult for him to get started,” Kluck said.  “Every time he touched the ball one of them along with our guard help was right there to force him into a tough shot.”
BDS held Freeman to just 11 points after the break while pouring in 33 themselves including going 10-for-14 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter to seal the 53-36 victory.  
BDS was led in scoring by Tegtmeier who scored a game- high 21 points which included 13 in the second half of play.  Riley also had two steals, four assists and added five rebounds as well.
“This was probably Riley's best all-around game in a while," Kluck said.  “He’s always a good leader and ball handler for us but he really took charge in the third quarter tonight and led the way to this win.”
Sam Christensen added 9 points and Caden Norder scored 8.  Cody Garland had 5, while Stuart Rohr and Kale Kleinschmidt each scored 4.  Ben Elznic ended up with 2.
The MUDECAS tournament victory was the second in two years for the Eagles and the first time a B-D/BDS team has ever won back-to-back titles.  The Eagles' record currently stands at 13-1 and they are rated No. 1 in Class D-1.