Blowout win over Auburn just what doctor ordered

Rebuilding or otherwise, the FC High boys’ basketball program is not and will not soon be OK with 0-2 starts and, unfortunately for Auburn, a ticked-off Tiger team let out its aggressions on the Bulldogs Friday in front of a rowdy home crowd that last congregated en mass last March at the Devaney Center. FCHS sophomore Brandt Chapple, held scoreless during a first quarter that saw the Tigers fall behind yet again in this young 15-16 basketball season, got energized in the second and powered his team to a 47-30 blowout victory. Chapple scored 11 in the quarter, six more than Auburn’s team, and FC used a 30-15 run in the middle periods to negate any thoughts of an Bulldog upset or, worse, an 0-3 start to the season. Chapple missed two shots that entire stretch and finished with a game- and career-high 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the floor. He chipped in seven team-best rebounds, a steal and a block – and his numbers could’ve been even better, but three foul calls after halftime sent the youngster to the bench. It was a good win – Auburn was 2-1 entering, having beaten Plattsmouth in the opener and losing by just one point to Marysville, KS – and the Tigers certainly needed it after road losses of 18 (Syracuse) and 26 points (Atchison) to start the year. If the opener was a nightmare, the trip to Atchison was a night terror, with the home team forcing 21 Tiger turnovers and hitting 28 of its 45 shots. The Redmen play-making ability was on display, as they recorded 14 assists and FC managed three steals. It was a 10-point game after one quarter and that lead grew to 21 — 39-18 — by halftime. Chapple scored 15 and make 5-of-7 from the stripe, while Leafty had nine points and eight rebounds. The Tigers were 0-for-10 from downtown and 12-of-35 overall from the floor. After that Tuesday trip, with Auburn, St. Joseph (MO) Leblond and Plattsmouth – all at home – remaining before the break, a blue Christmas was a very real possibility for the two-time defending district champions. Auburn is much improved, Leblond is generally solid and the Devils, though they’ve been better, are still a Class B-sized school, playing a Class B-sized scheduled. As it stands, though, if FC can keep firing and sweep what remains of the homestand, the Tigers will enter the holiday with a winning record and riding a winning streak. That’s the kind of holiday cheer everybody’s used to. In addition to Chapple, junior Kyle Leafty scored 10 points and hauled in six rebounds as the Tiger frontcourt flexed it’s muscles. Sophomore guard Rudy Vrtiska drained 3-of-4 free throws in the final quarter and made 4-for-5 in the second half, finishing with eight points. Senior guard Trent Pentecost drained his lone three-point attempt and led the team with four assists and two steals. Auburn was limited to a pair of field goals apiece in the third and fourth quarters and finished with 9-of-39 shooting from the floor, including 2-for-12 from three-point land. Skyler Hopper was just 3-of-16 from the field, but made 7-of-8 free throws and led Auburn with 15 points. SCORING vs. Auburn FC — Chapple, 19; Leafty, 10; Vrtiska, 8; Pentecost, 5; Br. Rose, 2; Hogue, 2; Heckenlively, 1. Aub. — Hopper, 15; Darnell, 6; Neiman, 4; Yates, 3; Wredt, 2. SCORING vs. Atchison FC — Chapple, 15; Leafty, 9; Br. Rose, 4; Pentecost, 2; Heckenlively, 2; Milam, 1; Hogue, 1. Atch — Gill Jr., 18; Bateman, 15; DeSilva, 11; Smith, 9; Helms, 8; Holly, 4; Birch, 3.

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