STANBERRY, Mo. — The South Nodaway Longhorns and North Andrew Cardinals met Monday night in the Stanberry Invitational in a battle for third place on the boys side of the bracket. The Longhorns kept pace for much of the game, but Levi Linville and his 27 points were too much in the Cardinals’ 71-58 win.
“I think they’re a good basketball team and you have to give them credit where credit is due and they did a good job defensively,” Longhorns coach Dustin Skoglund said. “I do think if we were at full strength and healthy that we could definitely compete with that team.”
The Longhorns played without key rotation players Kole Kramer and Dakota Coffman.
The Cardinals took the lead right from the tip and owned it for the rest of the first half. North Andrew and South Nodaway traded baskets for much of the first quarter, but two big three-pointers from Longhorn point guard Cade Heneggler kept the score close. Henggeler’s second field goal made the score 11-9 Cardinals. North Andrew ended the quarter on a 7-0 run, taking an 18-9 lead.
The second quarter saw both teams go back-and-forth to start — preventing the Longhorns from cutting into the North Andrew lead. The Cardinals led by as many as 11 midway through the second quarter, but South Nodaway’s Taylar Freemyer’s eight-straight points for the Longhorns made the score 31-28 with 1:10 left in the half. North Andrew’s McKinley Lillard’s three-pointer before half gave the Cardinals a six-point halftime lead.
The Longhorns looked to cut into the Cardinals’ lead early in the second half with Freemyer and Heneggler combining for seven points in the first two minutes of the second half. Freemyer’s field goal at the five-minute mark tied the game at 37. The Cardinals didn’t let the game stay tied for long as Jaden Baker scored on back-to-back possessions.
The Longhorns struggled to contain Linville for most of the second half and his eight third-quarter points helped North Andrew pull out to a 12-point lead.
“Defensively we really had a hard time with the Linville kid,” Skoglund said. “We were able to front him with a kid who has similar athletic ability, but they did a good job of sealing, reversing and getting him on some of the backside stuff.”
After being held scoreless in the first quarter, Freemyer scored eight points in both the second and third quarters.
“It took him a little while to get into rhythm,” Skoglund said. “We switched some things up to try to get him in the post and in a rhythm and then he got out on the perimeter and made some shots.”
Freemyer and Linville continued their back-and-forth throughout the fourth quarter. The two players combined scored 21 points in the final period. The Longhorns were never able to cut into the North Andrew lead — trailing by as many as 17.
Freemyer led the Longhorns with 25 points and Heneggler was second on the team with nine points. The Longhorns finished the tournament with a 1-2 record — matching the same number of losses they had coming into the tournament.
“We had a little bit of bad and a little bit of good,” Skoglund said. “We played a very good team. We were able to compete and it’s a chance for us to look at film and identify what it is in those two or three minutes where we’re letting things slip through our fingers because other than about five minutes of the ballgame, we played pretty good basketball.”