Blazers claim Cabela’s title


SIDNEY, Neb. – The Torrington High School boys’ basketball team swept the Sidney’s Cabela’s Holiday Tournament, winning the championship defeating Gordon-Rushville, Neb. and Sidney.

On Monday, the Blazers raced out to an 18-4 lead, cruising to a 63-37 victory over Gordon-Rushville

“We played noticeably better than we had,” THS coach Neil Baker said. “We came out against Gordon-Rushville really, really good defensively.”

Torrington was able to speed up the game, making life difficult for the younger Gordon-Rushville team.

“That was the difference early. We got their kids sped up, turning the ball over a couple times, and it made a real difference for us,” Baker said. “Once we got started, we did a really nice job of moving the ball.”

Seniors Jackson Jones and Sam Firminhac led the Blazers with 23 and 16 points, respectively. Senior Cameron Murphy added seven.

The win advanced the Blazers to the tournament championship against host Sidney.

Torrington was able to use a 19-point second quarter to put some distance between themselves and the Raiders.

“Against Sidney, they are having their own struggles to start the season. They have a couple guards with good quickness and who can shoot the ball pretty well,” Baker said. “We had a really nice second quarter to put a little bit of a lead on them.”

Torrington went on to outscore Sidney 16-6 in the third quarter, including a 10-0 start to the quarter.

Three minutes into the period, the Sidney coach subbed out all five of starters.

“It was fun to play that well, and we were able to get all of our guys in and get some good experience for the younger kids coming off the bench,” Baker said.

Torrington’s lead reached as many as 21, only to be outscored by 10 in the final quarter.

Jones and Firminhac led the team with 17 points, while sophomore Keiser Wolfe added 17, including 12 in the second quarter.

“We felt like we played pretty well against Chadron and Wheatland. Lander, we were a little over matched and didn’t give a real great effort against Lovell,” Baker said. “Coming out, it was a really great effort in both games. It was a good reward for those kids for their efforts and to pay it off with a couple wins.”

The Blazers travel to Newcastle for a 7 p.m. contest on Friday, Jan. 10.

“Up there, it’s a tough place to play – a fun place to play,” Baker said. “One of the best places to play in our conference, I think. It’ll be a challenge, but going up there after we get a couple wins, we’ll be feeling pretty confident.”

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