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Boys basketball: Gothenburg defeats HersheyTell North Platte what you think
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Dawson Graham cuts to the basket for the Swedes in the fourth.
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Hershey's Tyler Johnson (10) shoots over Ty Clement (42) in the first half.
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Hershey's Clay Frels (21) goes for the basket in the fourth.

Led by senior guard Dawson Graham, Gothenburg rolled past Hershey Thursday 78-61 to end the Panthers’ fine season.

Gothenburg (24-2) captured the C1-11 boys’ basketball sub-district championship in the showdown. The game was at North Platte High.

Graham scored 32 points, including three treys, to lead the Swedes’ potent offense.

The Panthers (17-5) stayed close, trailing by two midway through the first quarter.

But poor shooting, the inability to capture rebounds, and turnovers helped Gothenburg close the period with an 8-0 run and built a 19-9 lead.

The teams traded baskets throughout the second period and the Swedes went to the locker room still up by 10 points, 32-22.

The Gothenburg offense exploded in the third quarter to take a commanding 59-36 lead.

Hershey fought back in the fourth, but starters Clay Frels and Jason Davis fouled out with about four minutes left.

Even so, the Panthers put together their best quarter of the game, outscoring the Swede’s 25-19, but the deficit was too much to overcome.

Seven players scored in double digits in the high scoring contest. Gothenburg scored five three-pointers and the Panthers hit three.

Along with Graham’s 32, Bennett Folkers scored 12 and Ty Clement dropped in 10 for the Swedes.

For the Panthers, Frels and Brady Roberts each hit 14, Davis added 11 and Tyler Johnson had 10.

Gothenburg Coach Roger Koehler said he didn’t have to motivate his team.

“I didn’t have to say a lot,” he said. “The team has goals and they were locked into them. We talked about how Hershey was going to be a load and that we needed to play well.”

Koehler said the team will not be satisfied unless they make it to the state tournament.

“Naturally that is our goal,” he said. “We made it down there last year and our five seniors want to return.”

Panther Coach Dustin Jorgenson was disappointed, but praised his teams’ effort.

“Gothenburg is a great team with lots of great kids. I think they did a nice job,” he said. “I was proud of our kids. They hung tight and did some nice things. They had some chances to fold the tent but they kept battling.”

“This team did a lot of great things this year for Hershey,” he said. “It was a great bunch of kids.”

Jorgenson had admiring words to say about Graham.

“He is one of the best players in the state and he proves it, night in and night out.”

Next, Gothenburg will face Chadron (8-15) in the C1-6 district finals Monday at Sidney High.

Chadron earned their spot with a 43-33 upset over Gordon-Rushville (19-4) Thursday in the C1-12 sub-district finals at Alliance.


Score by quarters

Gothenburg: 19-13-27-19 – 78

Hershey: 9-13-14-25 – 61      

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 2/24/2017
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