With hopes of out-pacing their opponents this season with their athleticism, the South Nodaway Longhorns had an uphill battle with that goal in their opener against the King City Wildkats.

King City matched South Nodaway’s high-tempo performance, outpacing them at times, to go on to win it 49-42 over the Longhorns.

The Wildkats managed to win the end of every quarter, including a 12-point streak that began in the third quarter and carried into the fourth to make it a double-digit lead for King City.

An early run by the Wildkats gave them a 13-8 at the end of the first quarter, but a 14-point streak for South Nodaway including points from Clayton Walker, CJ Sipes, Taylar Freemyer, Cade Henggeler and Jordan Muprhy reversed the lead throughout most of the second quarter. Unfortunately for the Longhorns, King City’s own streak in the final two minutes reversed the lead back to a 23-22 Wildkat edge into halftime.

Mismanaged possessions and a rushed offense dug a hole in the third quarter that the Longhorns couldn’t fill by the game’s end. King City outscored South Nodaway 14-8 to build a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter. The Longhorns' third quarter woes included an eight-point Wildkat streak that had done significant damage to any chances of South Nodaway coming back.

King City completed its 12-point run in the opening minute of the fourth for a 41-28 lead early in the quarter. Tanner Davis drew a foul early and went two-for-two, hitting a 3-pointer moments later to spark the Longhorns' offense. Harlan hit a 3-pointer of his own in the scramble to close the gap to 45-38.

South Nodaway was forced to foul in the final minute of the game to slow the clock, allowing King City to maintain its lead. Poor shooting from the line kept the score from getting into the double digits, and a buzzer-beater from Walker helped soften the blow to a 49-42 loss.

Three Wildkats landed double digits against South Nodaway’s defense, leaving much to be desired if they face another team with multiple offensive threats. On the flip side, South Nodaway can hopefully tighten its passing before the Platte Valley Invitational which happens upon returning from Thanksgiving break.

Harlan led the team with nine points followed by Freemyer with eight; Walker with six; Henggeler, Murphy and Davis each with five; and Sipes with four points.

The Longhorns begin play in the PVI Nov. 27 against Osborn at 7 p.m. at St. Joseph Christian.