Both the girls and boys Niobrara Valley Conference basketball teams cruised to victory in the annual NVC Vs. MNAC All-Star game Friday night at O’Neill St. Mary’s.
The NVC girls won 66-51 while the boys dominated with a 40-point victory. Holt County athletes participating in the all-star game were Sydney Hupp and Riley Sibbel of O'Neill St. Mary's, Linzie Van Horn of Ewing, Dawn Marie Klabenes, Tami Jo Marcellus and Brenden Pelster of Chambers/Wheeler Central, Monique Schafer, Jaden Schafer, Tate Schmaderer, Conner Paxton, and Micah Dexter of Stuart, and Aaron Seger and Riley Bilstein of West Holt.
The girls game was close for much of the first half with NVC going in to halftime with a six-point lead, thanks in part to a buzzer beater by Marcellus.
NVC used a combination of athleticism on offense and strong defense to increase the lead early in the second half, eventually extending it to a 66-51 win. With a team-high 13 points, Riley Sibbel of St. Mary’s was named the game’s most valuable player.
Marcellus was the only other player for NVC to reach double digits, scoring 11 points for the game. Klabenes of Chambers/Wheeler Central led the NVC girls with five rebounds.
As a team, the NVC girls shot 19-of-51 from the field, including 5-of-29 from 3-point range. At the free-throw line, the girls were 12-of-23. They also forced 24 turnovers on defense, leading to many fast break points.
In boys action, the NVC used a combination of quick guard play and strong post presence to take control of the game from the opening tip.
Bilstein led the boys in scoring in the first half with 11 points as the NVC took a 56-29 lead into the break. NVC kept its foot on the gas after halftime, nearly hitting 100 points in the big win.
Bilstein led the NVC with 14 points for the game while Paxton added 12. Cade Kalkowski of Niobrara/Verdigre, Andy Kerkman and Jagger Smith of Clearwater-Orchard, and Aaron Seger of West Holt each added 10 points for the NVC boy’s effort.
Kerkman would post a double-double on the night, adding 12 rebounds.