A pair of fourth-quarter three-pointers from Falls City High junior Jordy Stoller, mixed with a 10-for-14 effort at the free-throw line in the final period keyed the Tigers 56-49 victory over the Jackson Heights Cobras Thursday night in the semifinals of the Raider Classic at Seneca, KS.
Sixth-ranked Falls City struggled from the three-point line until Stoller’s pair in the fourth and finished the game 3-for-10 from deep. The difference came at the charity stripe where, along with the 10 of 14 effort in the final eight minutes, the Tigers converted 19 of 23 FT’s.
FC led led by four at the end of the first quarter, then scored in the last few seconds before halftime to take a 25-23 lead into the break. Jackson Heights tied it up after three quarters, however.
FC’s Weston Witt led all scorers with 16 points, 11 of which came at the FT line where he finished 11-for-13. Witt, a junior, has been dynamite in the role of “sixth man” and continued a solid five-game stretch, in which he’s averaged 11 points per contest and led FC in scoring three times.
FC senior Reese Hogue recorded his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while senior Mitchell Harling added 14 points and two assists. Harling’s two assists gave him 66 for the season and 306 in his career, pulling him to within five of tying Jason McNeely’s (1988-91) career school-record of 310 assists.
With the win, FC improved to 16-1 and became the first team in Nebraska to reach 16 wins. They will be tested big time by this week’s host, Nemaha Valley, who defeated Silver Lake, 43-33, in the other semifinal Thursday night. The Raiders, now 10-1, are also ranked No. 7 (Class 3A) in the latest Kansas Basketball Coaches Association poll.
The Tigers will look to knock off the three-time defending Raider Invite champs Saturday at 7 p.m. Nemaha Valley defeated FC, 56-48, in last year’s championship.
Nemaha Valley has won 15 Raider Invites, the most of any school.
FC — Witt 16, Harling 14, Hogue 10, Stoller 8, Hartman 8.
JH — Jacobsen 14, Olberding 12, Z. Richter 11, P. Richter 6, Thomas 5, Ahlgren1.