#7 Natoma Boys Rock Southern Cloud
Girls: Southern Cloud 60, Natoma 31
Boys: Natoma 79, Southern Cloud 21
NATOMA-Jayson Engling scored 21 points and Jayce Dickerson added 19 as the Natoma Tigers knocked down 13 3-point baskets on their way to a 79-21 rout of Southern Cloud in the regular season finale for the two Northern Plains League teams Tuesday evening. Southern Cloud took the Girls contest earlier 60-31.
In the Girls game, Southern Cloud started fast, scoring the game's first four points but the Lady Tigers pulled back to within 6-4 before the Lady Warriors stretched their advantage to 15-4 after the first eight minutes. Trailing 21-7 in the second period, Natoma ripped off eight straight points to pull to within 21-15 before Southern Cloud added a basket for a 23-15 advantage at intermission.
The Lady Warriors were then able to pull away in the second half, outscoring Natoma 37-16 en route to their fifth consecutive victory to close the regular season. Candace Engling led the Lady Tigers (0-15, 0-11 NPL) with 17 points while Shealynn McMillian and Athina Liby each scored 18 points for Southern Cloud (9-4, 7-2 NPL). Natoma, after scoring 40 points in Monday's two-point loss at Chase cleared 30 points for the second consecutive game.
The Natoma Boys took control from the outset and the two seniors, Engling and Dickerson led the way in their final home game as the Tigers sprinted out to a 20-8 lead after one quarter. The margin swelled to 41-12 at halftime and Natoma never looked back in the contest which had a running clock in the fourth quarter.
Engling and Dickerson had five 3-pointers apiece while Tracen Frye, Keith Conlin and Javon Letsch added treys of their own as the Tigers (10-5, 7-4 NPL) rolled to their third straight victory. Natoma also tallied a season high in points in Tuesday's win. Gabe Rice led Southern Cloud (2-10, 2-6 NPL) with 11 points.
The Natoma Girls will open Sub-State play on Thursday, February 25 at Tescott. The winner of that game will face Southern Cloud in the Semifinals in Wakefield on March 4. The Natoma Boys are the #1 seed in the Wakefield Sub-State and have a bye into the Semifinals. They will face the winner of Friday's game between Southern Cloud and St. Xavier of Junction City on March 5.