Defensive pressure and timely shooting down the stretch was the difference, as the Haymakers defeated Gothenburg 60-46 in a hardwood clash in the C1-11 Basketball Semifinals held in Sutherland on Tuesday.
The Swedes hit the door running and were able to score an early lead of 5-4 that turned into 11-6 with both the outside shooters and the paint producers flexing the net with 3:18 left in the opening quarter.
The Cozad attack was able to post a 6-0 scoring surge to garner the lead for the first time at 12-11 with 2:02 to play in the first quarter that became 14-11 when time expired in the period.
Much of the second stanza played out the same way with Gothenburg rallying to knot the game at 18-18 at the halfway point. The Swedes took a 20-18 lead momentarily before the Haymakers surged to a 25-24 halftime lead.
Coming out of the intermission, the Red and Black were able to gain a cushion on the scoreboard 35-30 at the 4:29 mark of the third period. Not so fast though, as Gothenburg bombarded the paint with Tanner Borchardt getting on a scoring run of his own and cutting the deficit to two-points, 38-36 with 1:35 remaining in the third quarter. Cozad was able to close out the period with two straight scoring possessions to grab a 42-36 lead with just eight minutes remaining in regulation.
Near the halfway point of the fourth quarter, Cozad was able to build a 47-40 cushion on the scoreboard.
With 3:32 remaining in the fourth quarter, Gothenburg charged back into contention with the score being 49-46, but that is as close as the Swedes would get, as the Haymakers went on a 11-0 scoring run over the final three minutes to score the 60-46 victory for the Red and Black.
Cozad shot 53 percent from the field compared to the Swedes 47 percent effort. Gothenburg won the rebounding battle 28-15 over Cozad.
Haymaker sharpshooter Conor Young flexed the net for a game-high 20 points.
Colin Wetovick netted 10 points for the Red and Black.
Jake Paulsen contributed greatly with eight points and four steals for Cozad.
Gothenburg center Tanner Borchardt posted a double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Swedes.
Doing his best to lead the Gothenburg backcourt was Ross Ostendorf with eight points and four assists.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Cozad 14 11 17 18 60
Gothenburg 11 13 12 10 46
Cozad: Conor Young 20, Colin Wetovick 10, Jake Paulsen 8, Nate Bubak 6, Jacob Stallbaumer 6, Jason Finnegan 6, Tysen Werner 4.
Gothenburg: Tanner Borchardt 18, Ross Ostendorf 8, Dawson Graham 6, Blake Ristine 6, Nathan Graham 4, Roy Slack 2, Adam Speck 2.