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Close calls in Nebraska

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Cass, Love double-doubles key in Cowboys’ 85-82 triumph

By Dave Kavanaugh

A late turnover by Chadron State helped the Highlands Cowboys hang on to an 85-82 squeaker Friday night in Chadron, Neb.

Mannie Cass and Stargell Love both posted double-doubles for Highlands. Cass dropped 15 points on the Eagles to go with a team-best 10 rebounds. Love had a full stat line, tallying a game-high 18 points and 10 assists, plus five boards and three assists.

Stuart Sullivan (15), Drew Martin (14) and Dominic Baca (nine) were other leading scorers for NMHU (9-6 overall, 6-5 RMAC going into Saturday’s game at Black Hills State). Las Vegas’ own Justin Bustos was 2 for 3 from the floor and finished with five points.

Seconds after Kendrick Holliman had stolen the ball for Chadron — with the Eagles down by just a deuce — Kyle Vinich lost it back to the Cowboys. The ball ended up in Martin’s hands, and he made one of two free throws to seal the win.
Chadron had led 78-74 with 6:04 left after Zac Bargen’s 3-pointer. A 9-1 run by the Cowboys, capped by two foul shots from Sullivan, shifted control to the visitors, 83-79, with two minutes remaining.

Eagles 102, Cowgirls 99, 2 OT
Kattie Ranta snagged a huge rebound, then hit two clutch free throws with four seconds left, lifting the Eagle women to a double-overtime win.

Alyssa Lopez, who’d forced overtime with a layup, then a second overtime with a 3-pointer, missed one last 3-ball at the buzzer.

The loss spoiled a stellar evening for several Cowgirls. Post T.J. Manson had a double-double with 20 points, 11 rebounds. China Smith was just shy of that with 20 points, nine boards. Lopez (19) and Jenny Johnson (16) also scored in double digits.

Chadron was more efficient from long distance (6 of 10 compared to Highlands’ 5-for-21 effort) and got to the free-throw line much more often, making 32 of 47 attempts.

Ranta made 16 of 20 free throws on her way to 37 points. She also had 12 rebounds.

NMHU slipped to 7-7 overall and 4-7 in league.