WINNEBAGO — A 16-3 run in the second half propelled Little Priest Tribal College to a 72-66 win over the Northeast Community College men’s basketball team Saturday afternoon here.
The Hawks seemed to be in control in the early and middle stages of the contest, but the Warriors used the second-half run to erase a Northeast eight-point advantage.
"We shot the ball well at times and not so well at times," Northeast coach Dan Anderson. "Give Little Priest credit, they are playing well."
After five lead changes in the first seven minutes of the second half, the Hawks went up 48-45 on a fast break layup from Moses Byekwaso.
A pair of free throws on two trips to the charity stripe for the Warriors made it 48-47 before Caleb Rihanek hit a jumper from the free throw line.
Northeast stopped Little Priest on its next possession and Rihanek ended up on the free stripe after a foul. Rihanek converted both free tosses and the score was 52-47 with 10:58 to go in the game. Byekwaso canned a three and the Hawks were up by eight, 55-47.
Little Priest went on the run from there.
"I told our guys at a timeout we need to learn to finish a game," Warrior coach Mike Hadley said. "I told them to earn respect from this league, the officials and the teams, we need to finish and win. Today we did just that."
The Warriors went up by seven with 2:48 left in the contest, but the Hawks weren't done.
"We had our chances toward the end," Anderson said. "We just went cold at the wrong time and they made some plays and hit some shots."
Seth Coatta, who finished with a team-high 19 points, splashed a long ball from behind the arc with just over two minutes left and then converted one of two free throws with 1:19 to go to make it 67-64.
After a Warrior score, Rihanek hit a 12-foot jumper on the baseline to make it a three-point game again at 69-66, but Little Priest hit three of four free throws down the stretch, sandwiched between a three-point miss by the Hawks to close out the game.
"Little Priest just keeps getting better and better," Anderson said. "We’ll get better, too. Learn from this and move on to the next game."
As it turns out, the next game for the Warriors will be a rematch with the Hawks at the Cox Events Center in Norfolk on January 7.
"We just got done with finals today and now our players will all go home until January 3," Hadley said. "We have to come right back and play these guys again — it will be another great game."
The Hawks will travel to New Providence, Iowa, to take on Quakerdale Academy before returning home to take on Little Priest Tribal College.
Northeast 35 31 — 66
Little Priest 32 40 — 72
NORTHEAST COMMUNITY COLLEGE (8-6): Seth Coatta 6 2-4 19; Caleb Rihanek 4 2-2 10; Moses Byekwaso 4 0-1 9; Ben Moxness 3 3-5 9; Joel Ufele 3 2-2 8; Emmette Page 3 1-2 7; Junior Oscar 1 0-2 2; Luke Rollman 1 0-0 2.
LITTLE PRIEST TRIBAL COLLEGE (6-5): Tyriek Railey 6 5-6 20; Donte Innocent 7 5-6 19; Conner Hawk 6 2-4 14; Reynald Laurent 4 0-2 10; DaKwaunte Fields 1 1-3 3; Jayden Sheridan 1 0-0 3; Earl Gresham 1 0-0 3.