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November 15, 2012

Verden sweeps Ninnekah at Owl's Nest

NINNEKAH — Ninnekah gave the Verden High School boys basketball team a challenge for most of Tuesday's game, but the Tigers' size and experience won out in the end.

The Tigers beat the Owls in Ninnekah, 51-34, helped out by a big game by Verden center Tyler Amoss.

Amoss scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, six of those on offense. He led all scorers and rebounders in the game.

"We've got some pretty good size and some experience down there," head coach Cody McHugh said. "We have two seniors that can play down low, and they did a good job."

Both teams struggled on offense in the early going, and neither team scored until three and a half minutes had passed. Verden was a little sloppy with the ball early, and missed two makeable layups, but led 10-7 after the first quarter.

Ninnekah kept it close in the second quarter as well, and was only down five points at halftime.

"Ninnekah gave us everything we wanted tonight," McHugh said. "They're well-coached and they fought hard."

The Tigers were able to pull away in the third quarter, opening up a double-digit lead as Verden began to impose its will inside offensively and holding the Owls to five third-quarter points.

Verden executed well in the half-court offense most of the game, largely due to the consistency of its two main ballhandlers, Dusty Keil and Trystan Morgan.

"We can get it into our offense, and that means we can get it into our big guys," McHugh said. "And those two guys are our best defenders, so they always have the job of guarding the other teams' best players. So when one gets a little bit tired, its always nice to know there's another guy that can get us into our offense. It's a definite luxury."

With so many key players returning from last season's team, the Tigers have a potential to be much-improved from last season, said McHugh.

"They're high," McHugh said of the expectations for his team this year. "We should do better than we did last year. But that's just me, my expectations are always high. We have a good group of kids, they work hard, so if we just keep getting better we'll control what we can do."

Verden's next game is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday at home against Fort Cobb. Ninnekah will play Cyril on the road at 8 p.m. Friday.

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