BELLEVUE, Neb. – A charge into the locker room by the host Bruins ended up spoiling Waldorf’s night on the road.
Bellevue used a 17-2 run before halftime to take control, then held off the Warriors in men’s North Star Athletic Association basketball to score an 84-72 victory Saturday.
“Two bad spells hurt us tonight,” Waldorf head coach Nigel Jenkins said. “In the first half we turned the ball over and gave up a lot of points in transition.
“In the second half we cut the lead down while getting consecutive stop, but rushed on the offense end,” the Warriors coach added.
A close battle for much of the opening session, Waldorf (10-14 overall, 5-7 NSAA) grabbed a 24-23 lead on a Brian Smith bucket with 4 ½ minutes left until halftime, then the Bruins suddenly took off.
Bellevue went on a 17-2 run to grab a formidable 40-26 advantage at the break, aided by six missed Warrior shots and four Waldorf turnovers.
Digging out of the deep hole, the Warriors closed to 55-45 down on two Kaden Verdin free throws with 12 minutes to play, then got even closer as a Verdin bucket made it a 65-59 score with less than seven minutes to play.
But a 10-1 run by the hosts iced the game, despite the determined Waldorf comeback effort.
“Overall, the second half was way better than the first,” Jenkins said. “We took steps forward to getting back to winning basketball. Hopefully, our home court will help us out on Friday.”
The Warriors return home Friday and host Dickinson State at 7:30 p.m., the first of four home games to close out the regular season.
Prior to Friday’s tip-off, Waldorf will take time to honor Verdin, who with 11:20 left in the game at Bellevue on Saturday hit a 3-pointer that made the score 60-48, and gave the 6-foot-9 senior from Atwater, Calif., 1,000 points in his Warrior career.
Verdin finished with 19 points and six rebounds on the night, while Falmata Tula scored 11 for the Warriors, Smith added 10 points, and Osahen Iduwe had eight points and nine rebounds for Waldorf.