Petersen connection lets Exira-EHK boys rally for OT win

 ELK HORN (Dec. 22) -- Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton’s first lead of the night vs. Ar-We-Va came on the very first shot of overtime.
 The Spartans would never trail again, surging ahead to stay on Cash Emgarten’s fifth three-pointer and finishing off the Rockets 62-56 in Rolling Valley Conference boys basketball action last Tuesday.
 Trailing 10-2 just four minutes into the game and 40-30 in the third quarter, Exira-EHK basically played catch up the entire way. But just when it looked like they might be out of chances, the Spartans pulled a rabbit out of the hat to force OT.
 Down 52-50 with :05.6 left in regulation, Exira-EHK missed a pair of free throws - the second one on purpose - and fouled Ar-We-Va’s Cooper Kock on the rebound. Kock had just given the Rockets the lead at the :17.9 mark by hitting both ends of a one-and-one, but this time his first attempt was off the mark and rebounded by Tyler Petersen.
 The senior forward, who is also a quarterback, quickly turned and fired a long pass down the floor to younger brother Trey Petersen, who had leaked past his defender. Trey caught the pass and made a layup just ahead of the buzzer to force overtime.
 “They claim they practice that in their backyard all the time,” said Spartans’ head coach Doug Newton of the Petersen brothers.
 “We have some (set plays off free throws) that we try to do, but we don’t get the bounce quite that well. I think when they practice that in their backyard it’s on an eight-foot rim and I think Trey generally finishes with a dunk, but we’ll take the layup tonight.”
 Tyler Petersen, who led the Spartans with 24 points, opened the overtime with a jumper to give his team their first lead at 54-52. Ar-We-Va answered right back with a Will Ragaller basket and Exira-EHK turned the ball over on three straight possessions, but was able to take the lead for good on Emgarten’s clutch three. Tyler Petersen hit 5-of-6 free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
 Tyler Petersen’s 13 rebounds gave him a monster double-double and he also had four assists and two steals. Emgarten’s threes gave him 15 points, freshmen Aiden Flathers and Jackson Radcliff scored eight points each and Trey Petersen had six points and five assists. Radcliff added 11 rebounds.
 Senior Zach Schimmer had an impressive game for the Rockets, particularly off the dribble, and scored a team-high 24 points.

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