Senior Tyler Strauss had a grin on his face as he called for one more fast break pass Tuesday at Fort Calhoun High School.
“Harry!” he yelled before junior Harrison Schmitt threw the ball downcourt for another layup.
The Pioneers boys basketball team was able to get behind the Omaha Brownell-Talbot defense all night Tuesday during its 62-36 home win. With the victory, coach TJ O'Connor's squad improved to 8-6 on the season, while the Raiders fell to 6-7.
Strauss scored his first two easy points during a 6-0 start to the game. From there, he knew he could take advantage of his speed and score on run-outs.
“I was like, 'Man, they're not getting back,' so I felt like I could keep doing it all night,” Strauss said.
Fort Calhoun jumped out to a 13-4 lead through one quarter, scoring its final three points on Owen Newbold's long-range make from the top of the key.
But 3-pointers weren't really necessary. The Pioneers kept scoring off of fast breaks, building a 31-15 advantage by halftime.
“It's a big momentum-setter, so we don't have to sit in the half-court offense for every possession,” Strauss said. “We can get out and run, and that's what a lot of our players are really, really good at.”
FCHS' Brant Hilzendeger was really good in the post Tuesday, too. The 6-foot-4 junior had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Pioneers in both categories. Grant Halford added five more points as another post option.
“I don't think they always get the love they should get, but I appreciate it,” Strauss said. “They get the quiet points sometimes, but they're both very, very good players.”
Fort Calhoun led 46-25 through three quarters and went ahead 55-33 during the fourth when Strauss called for one more fast break pass from Schmitt for a layup. He finished with 11 points, while Kaden Therkildsen had eight and Zane Schwarz notched seven.
Tommy Pugsley led Brownell-Talbot with 15 points in defeat.
Fort Calhoun next hosts Conestoga tonight at 7:30.