Late Homer rally sinks Cards

RANDOLPH — The struggles continue for a young Randolph High School boys basketball team, but one would be hard pressed to not admit the Cardinals are finding their way.

Randolph (1-10, 0-2) dropped two tough decisions last week, falling 50-35 against Homer and then dropping a tough 43-36 decision against a solid Creighton team that stood at 9-2 after the game.

Against Homer, Randolph trailed by three points after one quarter, but then turnovers snuck up on the Cardinals to create separation between the two teams.

“They have been a weakness all season,” Randolph head coach Jim Hixson said. “Other teams scouting us have seen that we have trouble handling pressure defense, so until we can again prove that we can handle the pressure, and not turn it over, teams will continue to pressure us.”

Randolph shot an improved 42 percent from the field despite only connecting on 22 percent of their trey attempts.

They also struggled at the free throw line, going 3-11.

But it was the 24 turnovers that did the most damage.

“Calculating Homer’s additional possessions due to our turnovers, times their shooting percentage on the night, gave them an extra 10 points minimum,” Hixson said.

Randolph out rebounded Homer 31-19, a statistic Hixson was happy to see.

“We have focused on rebounding in practice this past week and I am glad the boys’ hard work paid off in this category,” he said.

Justin Haselhorst’s 12-point effort paced the Randolph attack.

In the loss to Creighton, the Cardinals played arguably their best game to date.

“We had them on the ropes,” Hixson said. “Unfortunately, we could not stop Creighton’s John Miller in the fourth quarter,” Hixson said.

Miller had 15 of his gamehigh 32 points in the fourth quarter.

There aren’t many times in my 30-year career that I have been prouder of an effort than I am of our team tonight.

“To have a 1-10 team take a 9-2 team to the wire like that, only to fall short was heartbreaking for myself as well as the team. As a coach you always want your players to find success and to see us fall short in the fourth quarter really makes you feel for the boys.”

Randolph also out rebounded Creighton, 34-20 while cutting their turnovers to nine.

“In my mind that is also success,” Hixson said. “I can see the team growing every day. Now we just need to learn to finish.”

Sam Korth (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Justin Haslehorst (eight points, four assists) and Tristan Mosel (10 rebounds) led the Cardinals in the defeat.

Randolph travels to Wausa Friday and then come back home for a tilt against Winside Tuesday.

“If we get another effort like we did against Creighton - rebound well, keep our turnovers down, and improve our free throw shooting - we will put ourselves in a position to have success,” Hixson said.

Assistant coach Darrin Nordhues stepped into his role this year as a volunteer and he is a lifelong resident of the town and he has seen it all and a tough year like this one is not out of the blue and the community appears prepared to handle things.

“We understand that there are down years,” he said. “This team and these kids, we’ve seen improvements from leaps and bounds from opening practice. It feels like we’ve been really close but haven’t been able to overcome those situations.

“There were only about two kids that were on the varsity floor much if at all so this is all new to them.”

Nordhues said that he has heard nothing but support and encouragement from alums.

“They just know these kids haven’t had a ball in their hand as much as they have had in the past,” he said. “We didn’t have summer basketball and missed out on all those games (due to the pandemic).”

Randolph 14 5 9 7—35 Homer 17 13 7 13—50

Homer 17 13 7 13—50

SCORING Randolph - Justin Haselhorst, 12;

Randolph - Justin Haselhorst, 12; Tristan Mosel, 7; Collyn Beal, 6; Sam Korth, 5; Tyson Junck, 3; Jacob Calder, 2.

REBOUNDS

Randolph - Sam Korth, 8; Justin Haselhorst, 6; Collyn Beal, 5; Tyson Junck, 4; Jacob Calder, 2; Tristan Mosel, 2; C Goetsch, 1. Tom Korth, 1; B Schearer, 1; Andy Hausemann, 1.

ASSISTS

Randolph - Tristan Mosel, 2; Justin Haselhorst, 2; Sam Korth, 2; Collyn Beal, 1; Jacob Calder, 1.

STEALS

Randolph - Tristan Mosel, 1; Isiaha Salmon, 1; Tyson Junck, 1; Collyn Beal, 1.

Randolph 9 16 9 2 —36 Creighton 8 10 6 19 —43

Creighton 8 10 6 19 —43

SCORING

Randolph - Sam Korth, 11; Justin Haselhorst, 8; Tristan Mosel, 6; Collyn Beal, 6; Jacob Calder, 3; Tom Korth, 2.

REBOUNDS

Randolph - Tristan Mosel, 10; Sam Korth, 10; Collyn Beal, 7; Jacob Calder, 3; Justin Haselhorst, 3; Tom Korth, 1.

ASSISTS

Randolph - Justin Haselhorst, 4; Sam Korth, 4; Jacob Calder, 2; Tristan Mosel, 1; Tom Korth, 1.

STEALS

Randolph - Jacob Calder, 3; Justin Haselhorst, 1.

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