By BRETT MARSHALL
For two varying reasons, the victories on Saturday night for the Scott City boys and girls basketball teams, could be considered at the very least mild surprises.
First, the Beavers' boys came up with a 68-58 victory over Denver South, a team that had knocked off both Holcomb and Garden City on the previous two nights of the Clarion Inn Southwest Classic.
Second, the Lady Beavers earned new head coach Shelby Crawford his first win after two losses in the form of a 54-39 triumph over the Lady Rebels.
And each team got big offensive outputs from its leading scorer — Trey O'Neil pouring in 29 points for coach Glenn O'Neil's squad while senior Bailey Nickel had perhaps her best career game with 34 points, including three 3-pointers and hitting 9-of-10 free throws.
Scott City boys 68, Denver South 58
After falling behind 13-12 at the end of one quarter, the Beavers took advantage of foul trouble by 6-7 center Ibrahim Sylla for Denver South and outscored the Rebels 18-9 in the second period for a 30-22 halftime lead.
South cut one point off the Beavers' advantage in the third quarter, trailing 42-35. The teams got into a run-and-gun final quarter with the Beavers outscoring the Rebels 26-23 for the final 10-point margin.
"Definitely happy to go 2-1 against the teams we played, and considering it was our first games of the season," coach O'Neil said of his revamped team. "Thursday looked like a first game vs. a team that had played five games (Pueblo East). Friday (victory over Wichita Trinity) was our best game, especially with the ball movement. Saturday, I thought we played with tired legs, and we missed some shot that we normally would make. But we did enough good things to hold off a good South team."
Trey O'Neil, the lone returning starter for the Beavers, had his second straight 25-point plus performance with 29 points. Brett Meyer added 17 points for the Beavers. For South, Tyson Purifoy led the way with 21 points and Sylla added nine.
After struggling in losses to Pueblo East and Wichita Trinity, the Lady Beavers finally broke through for that first win.
"That first win is always the hardest, at least it's been that way so far," Crawford said. "The girls were really excited, and it gives us something to build on."
Crawford said the Lady Beavers played progressively better in each of the three games as they learned the new system he has implemented.
The Lady Beavers trailed 13-10 after the opening quarter but then went on a 15-6 run to take a 25-19 lead at halftime. In the third quarter, the Lady Beavers used a 15-12 advantage to end up with a 40-31 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. They iced it away with a 14-8 spree in the final eight minutes.
The Lady Beavers travel to Ulysses on Friday.
Denver South 13 6 12 8 -- 39
Scott City 10 15 15 14 -- 54
Denver South (0-6) — Garcia 0 1-2 1, Ray 0 0-2 0, Kindell 1 2-6 5, Sweets 6 7-12 19, Mestes 2 0-0 4, Albury 4 2-6 10. Totals 13 12-28 39.
Scott City (1-2) — Latt 1 3-5 5, Wildoxson 0 0-1 0, Hawker 5 0-0 10, Campbell 0 1-2 1, Wycoff 2 0-1 4, Nickel 11 9-10 34. Totals 19 13-19 54.
3-point goals--Denver South 1 (Kindell), Scott City 3 (Nickel 3).