The Blair boys basketball team played tight games on back-to-back nights Monday and Tuesday.
On back-to-back nights, though, the Bears also came up just short.
Tuesday at Omaha Concordia, senior Jason Stewart knocked down five 3-pointers, but coach Chris Whitwer's squad came fell to the Mustangs, 66-60. BHS dropped to 3-11 in defeat.
Stewart finished with a team-high 15 points, while Auggie Rasmussen had 12, and both Max Nickerson and Wyatt Ogle scored 11. Their squad's 60-point total was its highest of the season, but also came on the night where it gave up its third highest total of the campaign.
Concordia's Karsten Mathsen led all scorers with 25 in his squad's sixth win of the year.
BHS leads through 2, falls by 7
The Blair boys basketball team led Plattsmouth 23-21 at halftime Monday before falling 45-38.
Nickerson, a Bears senior, broke the road game down afterward.
“First half, we played defense pretty well,” he said. “Second half, we kept with them, but we just had a hard time shooting.”
With less than 2 minutes remaining, Plattsmouth took a timeout and set up a late-game strategy. That plan likely didn't include a turnover created by a Blair double-team. Rasmussen finished off the defensive effort with a layup, cutting into the Blue Devils' lead, 39-38.
From there, though, the game concluded just as Nickerson had explained. The Bears couldn't come up with the buckets to beat Plattsmouth on the road.
“Probably get a couple of better shots,” commented the senior when asked what he would have liked to have seen go differently during the last couple of minutes. “We forced a couple of ugly ones.”
In a tough 3-10 start to the season, Blair hasn't seen a wide variety of late game situations to run through.
“We're young, too,” Nickerson added. “Not a lot of experience.”
Still, the Bears were in the game until the end and even led much of the first half. They went ahead 17-10 on back-to-back Stewart 3-pointers to start the second period.
Later, after Plattsmouth pulled even 21-all, the Blue Devils opted to play for one shot at the end of the first half, burning up all but 16 seconds. They came out of a timeout and immediately turned the ball over to Rasmussen, who drove the length of the floor and put up a layup. He missed, but on his second chance after a second offensive rebound, Nickerson scored the go-ahead bucket to give the Bears a 23-21 advantage at the break.
BHS still lost Monday, but the senior guard has seen positives in the Bears' recent play.
“I think we're getting used to each other,” Nickerson said. “A lot of us haven't played together a long time.”
What could come from the additional experience as time moves on?
“There can be some big things happening,” Nickerson said. “Especially later on down the road. Even when I'm gone.”