Published Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 8:29 pm / Updated at 12:26 am
Class B: Cardinals rally to capture state title

LINCOLN — A third comeback, indeed, was in the Cards.

South Sioux City, which had trailed by 18 points in its tournament opener and 14 in the semifinals, rallied from 11 back Saturday night to reclaim the Class B boys basketball state title from Scottsbluff with a 55-53 win.

The Cardinals’ Jordan Comstock scored on a pass from Nathan Rogers with 3 seconds left at the Devaney Center.

“We have to stop doing that to ourselves, getting in a hole like that,’’ Rogers said. “But we knew what to do to get out of it, both defense and offense.”

No. 6 South Sioux City (16-12), with the most losses for a state champion in any class, claimed its third Class B title in four years. The Cardinals lost to Scottsbluff 64-61 in the 2012 final.

“In the locker room last year, some of the guys said, ‘We’ll be back,’ ” said Cardinals coach Terry Comstock, no relation to his player.

On Saturday, South Sioux fell behind No. 1 Scottsbluff (23-6) by 11 in the first half and again at 31-20 midway through the third quarter.

The Cardinals chipped away and gained a 48-48 tie with 3:37 to play. Taylor Winkler’s 3-pointer with 1:51 left gave the Bearcats a 51-48 lead, with South Sioux countering with a jumper by Austin Fritza.

Scottsbluff lost possession on a held ball, then Rogers drilled a step-up 3 with 39 seconds left for a 53-51 lead, the Cardinals’ first since 3-0.

The Bearcats gained their final tie on two free throws by Michael Hadden, whose 21 points led Scottsbluff.

After a timeout with 14 seconds left, Rogers took the inbounds pass and eventually drove to the right baseline. With three defenders converging on him, he shot a pass to Comstock cutting down the lane for the winning layup.

Rogers in the first half had no points, no rebounds and five turnovers.

“We had done a job on Rogers in the first half,’’ Scottsbluff coach Tony Siske said, “but he made the plays when it counted.”

Fritza led South Sioux with 16 points. Rogers had 13 and matched Fritza for the team high with six rebounds, and Comstock finished with 10 points.

The Cardinals were 6 of 9 from 3-point range, making all three attempts in their comeback.

Hadden, too, had a monster second half, scoring 19 points to finish with a game-high 23. Eric Moreno had 16 of his 19 for Scottsbluff in the first half.

“South Sioux had an incredible tournament, with the halftime deficits they overcame,’’ Siske said, “and they did it three times.”

Scottsbluff (23-6)......................................16 12 13 12—53
South Sioux City (16-12).............................. 9  9 17 20—55

SB: Taylor Winkler 1-5 0-0 3, Jackson Hinze 2-4 0-0 6, Matt Klein 1-6 0-0 3, Eric Moreno 7-12 0-2 18, Michael Hadden 9-13 5-6 23, Tyler Mickey 0-1 0-0 0, Austin Clarkson 0-0 0-0 0, Beau Lofink 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 20-43 5-8 53.

SSC: Alex Borchers 2-6 3-4 8, Sky Aldrich 0-3 1-2 1, Jordan Comstock 5-9 0-0 10, Nathan Rogers 4-12 3-3 13, Austin Fritza 7-10 0-0 16, Scott Manley 0-0 0-0 0, Michael Offerman 1-1 0-0 2, James Sedivy 2-5 0-0 5. Totals 21-46 7-9 55.

3-point goals: SB 8-19 (Winkler 1-2, JHinze 2-2, Klein 1-3, Moreno 4-9, Hadden 0-1), SSC 6-9 (Borchers 1-1, Aldrich 0-2, Rogers 2-2, Fritza 2-2, Sedivy 1-1). Total fouls: SB 11, SSC 12. Fouled out: none. Technicals: none. Turnovers: SB 15, SSC 10. Rebounds: SB 27 (Hadden 7), SSC 23 (Rogers, Fritza 6). Field-goal percentage: SB .465, SSC .457. Free-throw percentage: SB .625, SSC .778. Officials: Willie Beamon, David Egge, Richard Buchmann.

Contact the writer: Stu Pospisil    |   402-444-1041    |  

Stu Pospisil has been The World-Herald's lead writer for high school sports since 1990 and for golf since 1988. He primarily covers football in the fall, basketball and wrestling in the winter and track and field in the spring.

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