Dennis Cavanaugh hit a three-pointer in the opening minutes of the match up.

Broncos lose to RPAC foe Paxton in first round of state tourney

Broncos fans left Lincoln disappointed this weekend after the Wauneta-Palisade boys’ basketball team’s season ended with a 45-63 loss to Paxton.
    Returning to the state tournament for the second time in three years, WP Head Coach Dave Kuhlen said his team was ready.
    “I don’t think we were intimidated by the atmosphere because we had previous state tournament experience,” Kuhlen said. “The kids were expecting to play well.”
    The game got off to a promising start for the Broncos. WP turned two Paxton turnovers into points to start the game. Joel Maris took the ball strongly to the hoop on WP’s opening possession and Dennis Cavanaugh swished a baseline three-pointer to give the Broncos a 5-0 lead.
    When Paxton finally settled in, WP was left with no answer. Paxton went on a 10-point run broken by a  George Lee jumper. Paxton closed on the first quarter with 1-8 run.
    The Tigers had their typical success in the paint, but got their running game going in the second quarter. Defensive rebounds by the Tigers led to fast-break opportunities and a larger deficit for the Broncos.
    WP’s first basket of the second quarter, a three-pointer by Maris, came with 3:20 left in the half. When the Broncos had a chance to set up their press, good things did happen. Paxton struggled to get the ball across half court in 10 seconds and did give up turnovers.
    But with a lid on the basket, WP didn’t get many chances to set up its press.
    The Broncos closed out the half on an 8-0 run behind free throws by Duncan Rector, Ben Anderjaska and Caid Doetker, plus a breakaway layup from Dalton Harchelroad.
    WP trailed 16-31 at halftime.
    The third quarter was definitely a bright spot for the Broncos.

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