Panthers pull away from Riley County, 76-44

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Riley County's Trace Nelson was trying to shoot the Falcons back into the game in the third quarter, but Concordia's Cooper Holmes made sure it didn't happen.
With the Falcons trailing Concordia 30-15 at halftime, Nelson came out firing in the third period, knocking down three three-point shots and scoring 15 points.
Holmes, who sat out much of the first half with foul trouble, bettered the effort by Nelson by scoring 19 points in the quarter, as Concordia pulled away to a 76-44 win over Riley County Tuesday night in the Concordia Junior-Senior High School gymnasium.
Holmes scored 25 of his 29 points in the second half. He finished 10 of 17 from the field, including three of five from three-point range, and six of six from the free throw line and also had 11 rebounds and four steals.
“He got hot, and with a player of his caliber you get him the ball and let him go when he gets in a groove like that,” Concordia coach Michael Roe said of Holmes.
Concordia bounced back from a loss to Holton on Saturday, and is now 10-4 heading into a North Central Kansas League game at Chapman Friday night.
Riley County fell to 4-10 with the loss.
Concordia got four each from Cooper Holmes and Grant Holmes and a three-point shot by Kaleb Pounds in jumping out to an 11-2 lead in the game, and would never trail.
Pounds was four of seven from three-point range in scoring 12 points in the game. He also had five assists.
A three-point play by Nelson got Riley County within six points, 11-5.
Nelson scored 24 points for the Falcons.
Pounds hit a three and Ethan Bechard scored inside to put the Panthers up 16-5.
It was a 17-9 game when Jace Coppoc followed up a missed shot and Pounds connected on his third three to extend the lead to 22-9.
Concordia got into some early foul trouble with Cooper Holmes picking up his third foul early in the second period. Pounds sat for a while with two fouls and Coppoc collected three fouls.
The Panthers bogged down offensively, scoring just eight points in the second stanza, but held Riley County without a field goal in the period.
The Falcons would make six of eight free throws, but could not draw any closer than 10 points.
Two free throws by Grant Holmes with two seconds remaining in the first half gave Concordia a 30-15 advantage.
“It thought it was good we kind of got into some foul trouble and saw what it was like without Cooper on the floor and without Kaleb out there,” Roe said, “It thought we responded well. We struggled a little offensively, but we did some good things.”
The two teams traded baskets to start the second half, and then Cooper Holmes and Nelson took over.
A three by Nelson made it a 38-24 game.
Grant Holmes, who was three of six from the field and 16 of 17 from the line in scoring 22 points, made two free throws.
Nelson scored on a drive, and it was 40-26.
“The only way you are going to stop him was not let him catch it, and we weren't quite prepared to do that,” Roe said.
Cooper Holmes then tossed in nine consecutive points to give Concordia a 49-26 lead.
Nelson hit a three, Cooper Holmes hit a three, Nelson hit a three and then Cooper Holmes hit a three to make it 55-32 heading into the fourth quarter.
Riley County went the first 4:42 of the final period without scoring.
The Panthers poured in 19 points during that stretch to open up a 71-32 advantage.
Roe was able to empty the bench as the Panthers coasted to the win.
Ian Nordell came off the bench to score six points and grab seven rebounds for Concordia.
The Panthers hit 22 of 45 field goal attempts for 49 percent and 25 of 27 free throws for 93 percent.

Sager 20-4 4, Nelson 8-5-4 24, Wagner 1-4-1 7, Brummett 0-0-5 0, William 1-1-0 3, Richard 0-0-1 0, Huey 0-0-2 0, Serrano 3-0-2 6. Totals: 15-10-19 44.
Mares 0-0-2 0, Coppoc 1-0-5 2, Pounds 4-0-2 12, Garcia 1-0-1 2, James 0-0-1 0, Acree 0-0-1 0, Bechard 1-1-2 3, G. Holmes 3-16-3 22, Nordell 2-2-1 6, C. Holmes 10-6-3 29. Totals: 22-25-22 76.


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