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     'For the second season in a row, the Northern Valley boys defeated the Logan Trojans to claim the Class 1A Division 2 Sub-State Basketball title.  Held on Saturday, March 5, the tournament championship game between the Huskies and Trojans was the fourth time that the two teams would meet this basketball season.  It was the Huskies who hoisted the 2022 Sub-State trophy at the buzzer - when they defeated the Trojans 62-58.

     The two hometowns' faithful witnessed a hard-fought  battle; but the Huskies' sharp-shooting skills allowed them to punch their ticket to the 1A State Basketball Tournament in Great Bend.

     "It was an excellent game played by both teams, and beating a team of that magnitude is hard to do four times in one year," said Head Husky Coach Kevin Sides of his team's second sub-state victory and chance to compete on the state level.  "We led {Logan} by two points after the first quarter, and went into halftime with a 31-22 lead.  By the end of the third, we were still leading 37-27, but the Trojans were able to fight their way back within two points with 1:27 remaining. Some late free-throws and defensive stops helped us hold onto the 62-58 win."

     Quarter scoring efforts for N.V./Logan were: 17-15; 14-7; 16-15; 15-21.

    Bailey Sides led with 18; Eric Loya scored 15; and Kenton Thalheim made 11 points.  Each of these players had 7 rebounds and four assists; Jeremiah Hansen and Drew Schemper each added 9 points. 

      Logan Seniors Ty Kats, Dillon VanLaeys, and Kylor Hogan finished their high school basketball careers; and led the Trojans' scoring efforts with 20, 10, and 10 points respectively.

     "I was proud of the kids' effort and mindset that it took to win this game," said Sides of his team's Sub-State victory.  "We knew how good they were and we were focused and ready to play.  Thanks to all the fans that showed up, as we really appreciate their support.  I know the kids are eager to get back to Great Bend and win some games."

      Entering the sub-state tournament as the top-seeded boys team, Northern Valley received a first -round bye.  On Thursday, March 3 the Huskies played the St.Johns Beloit/Tipton Bluejays during the semi-final round of the bracket in Beloit.  The Huskies came away with a 60-57 win over the Bluejays to advance onto the sub-state finals.

     Quarter scores for N.V./Beloit St. Johns were: 18--12; 24-16; 10-16; 8-13.

     "After Bailey hit a three-pointer at the buzzer, we went into halftime with a comfortable 42-28 lead, " Coach Kevin Sides reported.  "But, the second half was a different story.  We got into foul trouble and Thalheim went down with an ankle injury.  The Bluejays erased their 18 point deficit, and we were up by only three points with 24 seconds left in the game," Sides explained.  "A good defensive possession by the Huskies and a steal/foul sent Bailey Sides to the line - where he put in both free-throws. Our stifling defense made the Bluejays turn the ball over and we prevailed."

     Bailey Sides led his team's scoring efforts with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and four steals - earning him a double/double against the Bluejays.  Foster Brands also secured a double/double,  making 10 points and bringing down 11 rebounds.  Kenton Thalheim scored in double-digits, making 10 points. Eric Loya and Jeremiah Hansen each tallied 7 points; while Drew Schemper scored 6; and Brody Preston made 5 points for Northern Valley.

     The Huskies will enter their road to the state tournament with a 20-2 win/loss record.  Northern Valley will play the (13-10) Waverly Bulldogs at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9 at Barton Community College in Great Bend.'