Night Hawks take 3 out of 4 from Bison

The Bison Cardinal girls and boys basketball teams came to town on Jan. 12 to take on the Night Hawks in junior varsity (JV) and varsity games.  The Bison boys came in with a 4-1 record and the girls were 1-4.

Sheldon Christenson
For the record

The night was also for paying tribute and honoring John Butterfield who passed away last May.  The basketball court was named “John Butterfield Court”.  His family members were present and his son Bill spoke before the crowd.  You are missed “Big John”.

The JV girls started the games with the Night Hawk girls pulling out a come from behind win in the fourth quarter.  Trailing 22-21 after the third quarter they outscore Bison 14-5 in the final stanza led by Ella Jensen.  Jensen ended up with 10 points and Lilli Steeke paced the winners with 13.  Jale Yalowizer had eight for the Cardinals.

Up next were the JV boys who also trailed after three quarters, 24-20.  But a strong showing by Cory Christopherson and Bradee Clapper in the fourth quarter powered them to a 35-28 win as they outscored Bison 15-4 in the quarter.  Christopherson had a huge game with 23 points and 7 or 8 rebounds.  Clapper added eight counters.  One of the highlights of the game was with seconds left on the clock to end the first half Night Hawk Ryder Sanford let fly with a 25-30’ shot hitting nothing but net as the buzzer sounded.

Girls Varsity was next as a very young Bison team faced a juggernaut Night Hawk team and lost 69-15.  The Night Hawks jumped out to a 14-0 lead with their press causing Bison problems and led 25-4 after the first quarter.  Leading the Night Hawks were Alyssa Andress with 21, Sam Oase 12, and Bailee Pierce and Briana Sanford 10.  The Bison girls roster had 12 players listed and only one upper class person, a senior.  The remaining roster was all ninth thru seventh graders.

The final game was definitely the most exciting as the game went back and forth.  It was tied at ten all after the first quarter but the Night Hawks took the lead at half 23-17.  At one point in the second quarter the Night Hawks had a nine point lead.  The Night Hawk press was bothering Bison in the second half but their 3-point shots were not following and the Cardinals went up 32-30 after three quarters.  The final quarter produced the most points as they combined for 30 points.  Bison took a 46-44 lead with 13 seconds left but they turned the ball over to the Night Hawks.  Night Hawk Jeran Anderson took what looked like the last shot of the game when his off balanced 3-point shot bounced off the rim.  Warrick Dilse was in the right spot at the right time and hauled in the rebound and quickly put it in as the buzzer sounded knotting the score at 46-46.  Six-foot-five Cardinal Jaren Beckman took over in the overtime with five points and a couple of rebounds to give Bison a hard fought 53-49 win.

Although the Night Hawks did not achieve their first win of the season, this group of players never gave an inch as they battled all the way.  Anderson led the in scoring with 13 and Brady Dillon added 11.  Beckman led Bison with 21 points and 11 rebounds while Shane Collins had 14.