Tuesday, January 27, 2015
   
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Sheer Strong At NFR

Cort Scheer entered the 2014 National Finals Rodeo with hopes of a world championship.

Instead, he pocketed more than $93,000 over the 10 days of ProRodeo’s grand championship event and left Las Vegas with a big piece of disappointment. How can that be?

He needed $10,000 more.

Instead, he finished the season No. 2 in the world standings with $195,586, $9,800 behind world champion Spencer Wright of Milford, Utah. It was a fantastic finish for the gold buckle, and it came down to the final round to decide the champion.

Scheer, 28, of Elsmere, Neb., placed in five go-rounds, including a first-round victory. He also finished second in the average behind Wright – they were the only two men to ride all 10 horses; it marked the second straight season Scheer finished second in the average and rode all 10 broncs at the NFR. By finishing with 764 cumulative points, he added $39,537 in average money.

Scheer, who attended Montana State University, Garden City (Kan.) Community College and Oklahoma Panhandle State University on rodeo scholarships, had a strong NFR. The main difference between first and second was their payoffs in the average. Still Wright – who brought his bronc riding family their fourth gold buckle, joining big brothers Cody (2) and Jesse – earned more than $145,000 in Sin City.

None of that takes away from the exceptional season Scheer had in 2014. In the PRCA alone, he had eight event titles, including big-rodeo victories in Pendleton, Ore., and Denver. He also added championships at Cinch Shoot-Outs throughout the season.

That all added up to a great way to make a living on the backs of bucking horses. But that’s what fans have come to expect of Scheer, who has been among the top 5 in the final world standings each of the past two seasons. He has consistently been one of ProRodeo’s elite bronc riders – the only season in which he hasn’t made the NFR came in 2011 when he suffered a knee injury and finished 25th.

Where he goes from here remains to be seen, but he’s proven a gold buckle is within reach.

Now he just needs to grasp it.

 

Local Basketball Scores from Saturday, December 13

Below are selected sports scores from Saturday:

 

BOYS BASKETBALL

Cozad 45, Valentine 38

Mullen 62, Hay Springs 30

North Central 51, Sandhills/Thedford 48

Ord 39, Broken Bow 29

 

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Ainsworth 68, Gordon/Rushville 47

Cozad 48, Valentine 37

Mullen 54, Hay Springs 30

Sandhills/Thedford 53, North Central 33

 

 

 

Huskers Hold Off Cincinnati in Double Overtime

Benny Parker's floater in the lane with 1:14 remaining in the second overtime lifted Nebraska to its first-ever win over Cincinnati, 56-55, in front of more than 15,000 fans inside Pinnacle Bank Arena Saturday night.

Cincinnati scored the first three points of double overtime on a Kevin Johnson 3-pointer 1:18 into the period. But that would be the Bearcats' only points of the second overtime. A pair of Tai Webster free throws pulled Nebraska to within one before Parker's game-winner. The Bearcats had a final chance to win it in the closing seconds, but Johnson missed a 3-pointer and Shavon Shields corralled the rebound as time expired.

The Huskers overcame a three-point deficit in both overtime periods to snap a two-game losing streak. NU trailed 51-48 with 26 seconds remaining in the first overtime following a pair of Troy Caupain free throws. But Webster hit two free throws of his own to trim the deficit to one with 16 seconds left. Cincinnati then converted 1-of-2 at the line before Shields was fouled and converted both attempts to knot the score at 52-52. Caupain had a chance to win it, but his driving layup was blocked by David Rivers.

Nebraska (6-3) went 8-of-8 from the free-throw line in the two overtime periods, helping the Huskers to the victory despite making just two field goals in the two overtimes combined. Cincinnati (6-2) also scored only two buckets in the overtimes, but the Bearcats were 6-of-10 at the line.

While free throws made the different down the stretch, it was the Huskers' defensive effort that defined the game. Nebraska held Cincinnati to its two lowest-scoring halves of the season, as the Bearcats managed only 21 points in the first half and 23 points in the second half. Nebraska also forced 18 turnovers - one shy of its season high - while limiting Cincinnati to 31.7 percent shooting, including 3-of-17 from beyond the arc.

The outstanding defensive effort helped Nebraska overcome a season-high 22 turnovers, which led to 22 of the Bearcats' 55 points. The Huskers were also outscored 20-9 in bench points, with Webster accounting for all nine of Nebraska's points off the bench. The sophomore from New Zealand scored seven of the Huskers' 12 points in the two overtime periods.

Nebraska led by as many as 13 points in the first half, and the Huskers were on top 23-21 at halftime. In the second half, Nebraska went more than eight minutes without a field goal, allowing Cincinnati to claim its first lead, 34-33, on a pair of Deshaun Morman free throws with 9:08 to play. Webster knocked down two free throws of is own a minute later as Nebraska regained the lead.

Cincinnati came back to take a one-point lead with 4:00 remaining in regulation, before Webster came up big again with a 3-pointer that gave Nebraska a 42-40 lead with 2:57 remaining. The 3-pointer was Webster's only field goal of the game. Cincinnati twice erased two-point deficits, forcing overtime on a Gary Clark dunk with 39 seconds remaining.

Terran Petteway and Shields led NU with 13 points apiece, while Walter Pitchford just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds. Caupain paced the Bearcats with 13 points.

Fresh off a win in the first overtime game at Pinnacle Banke Arena, Nebraska takes a week off before traveling to Hawaii to take on the Rainbow Warriors at 11:59 p.m. (Central) on Dec. 22.

   

Huskers' Season Comes to an End in Elite Eight

The 14th-seeded Nebraska volleyball team's run through the NCAA Tournament came to an end late Saturday night in Alaska Airlines Arena, as the Huskers fell to upset-minded BYU 3-0 (21-25, 20-25, 21-25) in the Seattle Regional Final.

The Huskers finished the season 23-10 and came up one match shy of the NCAA Semifinals for the third straight season. Nebraska has been in four regional finals since its last NCAA Semifinals appearance in 2008 but has been unable to advance each time.

After upsetting No. 3 Washington on Friday to snap the Huskies' 34-match home win streak, the Huskers couldn't muster the same performance on Saturday to top the Cougars.

BYU (29-4) entered the NCAA Tournament ranked 12th in the nation but was unseeded. The Cougars reeled off a second-round win over No. 11 Arizona and a Sweet 16 win over No. 6 Florida State on Friday before knocking off the Huskers on Saturday. BYU will take on No. 2 Texas in one NCAA Semifinal in Oklahoma City, Okla. next Thursday. The other semifinal pits top seed Stanford against fifth-seed Penn State.

Amber Rolfzen led the Huskers with 11 kills. Kadie Rolfzen had 10 kills and 15 digs for her fourth double-double of the NCAA Tournament. Kelsey Fien added nine kills. Senior setter Mary Pollmiller capped her Husker career with 38 assists for a career total of 5,230, which ranks fourth among current DI setters. Justine Wong-Orantes had 22 digs in a solid defensive effort.

The Husker game plan of limiting BYU's 6-7 hitter Jennifer Hamson worked. After posting 30 kills Friday vs. Florida State, Hamson was held to nine kills and .132 hitting by the Huskers. But the rest of her teammates stepped up, led by Alexa Gray's 11 kills and .310 hitting. Tambre Nobles had 10 kills, and Amy Boswell added eight while hitting .438.

BYU showed why its the top blocking team in the nation, tallying 12 blocks to eight for the Huskers. NU had a 70-57 advantage in digs but committed four service errors and four reception errors to allow the Cougars to gain an edge.

Nebraska opened up an 11-9 lead early on in set one, but the Cougars used a 3-0 spurt to take a 12-11 lead. The teams engaged in a sideout battle before BYU took a 20-18 lead after Hamson's first kill and a Husker hit off the antenna. After a Husker timeout, BYU's Ciara Parker served an ace to make it 21-18 and Hamson killed again for a 22-18 lead, causing another Husker timeout. Kadie and Amber Rolfzen struck for back-to-back kills to cut it to 22-20 before BYU took a timeout. The Huskers then committed a service error and a reception error to fall down 24-20. The Cougars ended it at 25-21 on their fifth block of the set. BYU outhit NU .333 to .214.

Nebraska went up 5-3 in the second set on stuffs from Hall and Kadie Rolfzen and then Meghan Haggerty and Amber Rolfzen. But BYU went on a 5-0 run to take an 8-5 lead. Alohi Robins-Hardy started it with a set kill and a joust win. Two Husker attacking errors and a Boswell kill gave the Cougars the three-point edge. A Cecilia Hall kill and Pollmiller ace trimmed the deficit to 10-9. NU then fell behind 14-10 before stringing together a 4-0 run by picking up its defense. Haggerty and Kadie Rolfzen combined for a block to even the set after Wong-Orantes and Annika Albrecht produced key digs. The Huskers took a 17-16 lead after BYU hit wide. But the Huskers broke down defensively, committing passing and reception errors to help BYU to a 22-18 lead. Hamson had two kills down the stretch to help BYU finish the 25-20 win.

Melanie Keil provided a spark off the bench in set three with two kills to tie it 8-8 before Hall and Fien combined for a block for a 9-8 Husker lead. The Huskers led 11-10, but BYU rallied for a 14-11 lead a kill by Hamson and kill and block by Boswell. The Cougars began to pull away, going up 19-14 on a Husker service error, attack error and Hamson kill. The Huskers continued to fight, as a Fien kill and Pollmiller ace cut it to 20-17 and forced a BYU timeout. NU thought it had cut the lead to one when Hamson's blast went long, but it was ruled to have tipped off a Husker's fingers and instead made the score 21-18. The Cougars went up 23-19 after the Huskers hit long and they ended the sweep with a 25-21 win.

 

National Finals Rodeo Wrap-Up

Rookie saddle bronc rider Spencer Wright used a fifth-place in the 10th and final round of the National Finals Rodeo on Saturday night to move atop the PRCA standings and win the gold buckle.

Wright earned $205,388 to top the PRCA standings after not leading the category in any prior day at the NFR. He ended up second among all NFR competitors with $145,123 in earnings. Wright, whose three older brothers also qualified for the NFR, also won the event’s aggregate standings with 807.5 points on 10 head after scoring a 79 on Lunatic from Hell.
“I would hope they’re all happy for me and proud of me. They’re my brothers and it makes me happy that they were going crazy for me,” Wright said. “I came in here expecting to do the best I could do, and I guess I really have. This is hard to describe.”
Cort Scheer finished close behind Wright in the PRCA standings with $195,586 after not securing a check with a 71 on Big Fork. He also finished second in the aggregate standings with 764 points over 10 rounds.
Cody DeMoss won round 10 with an 86 on Resistol’s Top Hat.
In bareback riding, Kaycee Feild won his fourth consecutive PRCA championship in both the PRCA and NFR aggregate standings with $294,980 after placing second with an 86 on Scarlet’s Web in round 10. His total includes a $48,732 bonus for winning the aggregate crown. Steven Dent placed 9th in bareback.

Feild closed out the aggregate race with 818.5 points for 10 rides after moving up from third place. Richmond Champion was second in the aggregate race with 814.5 points for 10 rides. Caleb Bennett won round 10 with an 86.5 on Dirty Jacket.
Feild joined team roping header Leo Camarillo (1968-71) as the only NFR contestants to win four consecutive aggregate titles.
In steer wrestling, Luke Branquinho won his fifth gold buckle with $202,380 and the NFR aggregate standings crown with a time of 41.6 seconds on 10 head despite not placing among the top six with a time of 5 seconds in the final round.
Branquinho, sidelined with an injured right arm from July 18 until the NFR’s opening round, became the eighth individual to win at least $1 million in career earnings.
“To be able to win it is pretty meaningful to me,” Branquinho said. “Every time you have to have surgery on a tendon repair there’s a chance you may not come back. But I took the risk and my therapist at home and the doctor that put me back together said everything healed up and looked great.”
Dru Melvin won the final round in 3.4 seconds.
In team roping, header Clay Tryan of Billings and heeler Jade Corkill won their first gold buckle with $220,058 each and their second consecutive NFR aggregate standings championship with a time of 70.10 for 10 rounds after placing fourth with a time of 6 seconds during round 10. The defending PRCA champions were the only pair to have 10 successful rounds.
They were trailed in the PRCA standings by Trevor Brazile and Travis Graves with $176,183 each. Brandon Beers and Jim Ross Cooper won round 10 in a time of 4.1 seconds.
In tie-down roping, Tuf Cooper became a three-time PRCA champion with $241,734 and the NFR aggregate champ with a time of 89.7 seconds over 10 rounds after not finishing among the top six with a time of 9.4 seconds.
Brazile ended up second in the PRCA standings with $210,315 and runner-up in the aggregate race with a time of 93.1 seconds for 10 rounds. Cooper, however, foiled Brazile’s bid for his third PRCA crown of the 2014 season. Brazile was first in NFR tie-down roping earnings with $116,466.
Matt Shiozawa finished in third place in both the aggregate standings with a time of 97.6 seconds for 10 rounds and in the PRCA standings with $199,888 following a last-place time of 17.5 seconds in round 10.
“I just had to go tie one down,” Cooper said. “Those guys (Brazile and Shiozawa) were going for a PRCA title. They weren’t backing off and playing it safe. They wanted a gold buckle just like everybody grows up roping wants, and hats off to them for sticking to that.
“It is such an honor. You want to win a round, you want to win the average (aggregate) and you want to win a PRCA title, and I’m so blessed to do all three in one year.”
Six-time champion Cody Ohl won the final round in 6.80.
In barrel racing, Fallon Taylor who earned $276,441 in the WPRA standings, claimed her first gold buckle after finishing second in 13.96 seconds.
Lisa Lockhart won the NFR aggregate standings with a time of 144.93 over 10 rounds following her sixth-place ride of 14.02. She was second in the PRCA standings with $265,514. Trula Churchill of Valentine placed 8th overall in barrel racing.

Former WPRA champ Mary Walker won round 10 in 13.9 seconds.
In bull riding, Sage Kimzey who clinched his first PRCA championship in round eight and the NFR aggregate crown in round nine, ended up with $318,631 and a score of 671 for eight rides. Kimzey was the lone rider to cover eight of his 10 bulls and the only one of seven bull riders ever to win four rounds at one NFR.
Kimzey also led all NFR competitors with $175,466 earned over 10 rounds. He became just the second bull rider to win the PRCA championship during his rookie season. The only other first-year rider to win a gold buckle was Bill Kornell in 1963.

Tyler Smith won the 10th round with an 84.5 on Hot Wired.
In all-around, Brazile closed out the season with $494,369 in earnings.
   

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