Knights Fall From Their High Horse

Conestoga Boys Basketball Breaks 27-year Drought with Tough Overtime Win

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Taylor McClatchey

Sophomore guard Jack Welch (4) mans up against Noah Arent (15) during Conestoga’s win. The Cougars’ defense effort played a huge role in the victory.

Murray, NE – The year is 1994. “Groundhog Day” has just opened in theatres and Mariah Carey and a new west coast rapper named Snoop Dogg are dominating the top charts. Bill Clinton is halfway through his first term as president. The Chicago Bulls have just completed a 3-peat and the Cornhuskers are consistently playing in big games. Another notable event-maybe a little less than the others-is the 66-57 Conestoga victory over the newly collated Elmwood-Murdock Knights. While this victory would go down as just another tally on the Cougars’ 9-11 1993-’94 record, no one could have guessed that this would be the last win over the Knights for almost three decades.

Flash forward to Jan. 15, 2021. You find yourself at Conestoga High School where the 1-10 Knights of Elmwood-Murdock have just taken their 20 minute trip down Highway 1 to face off against the 4-6 Cougars. Records mean nothing in this rivalry, which becomes apparent down the stretch.

The score is 45-45 with 5.7 seconds left on the clock, as the Knights are inbounding the ball on their side of the court. The Knights throw a pick, as the ball falls in the hands of Conestoga Junior Tyler Fox. Fox races down the court with a stampede of Knights following. He kicks it to the wing, where Senior sniper Ben Welch sits, ready for the shot. Welch handles the crisp pass and launches as time expires. As the buzzer sounds, the ball just misses. Overtime.

Through three minutes of the four minute overtime, no points are scored by either squads. With 44 seconds, the Knights go up 47-45 after an easy lay-up. Now the Cougars bring up the ball with Tyler Fox handling the rock at the top of the key. This time, he hits Lane Fox with the brotherly connection. As Lane pulls the shot in the face of the defender, watching eyes sit in wonder as the ball splashes through. Ice. Veins.

The Cougars now take the lead 48-47 with seven seconds left. Following a timeout, E-M gets the ball inbounded quickly. E-M senior Noah Jones finds the ball inside, goes up, foul. Two shots, four and a half seconds remaining. Jones steps up the line, where the game sits on his shoulders. First shot: *clank*. Shot number #2: *clank*. Game, set, match. Now, the Cougars waste out the clock as the bench mob starts their celebrations.

Senior Lane Fox finishes with 31 points, accounting for 65% of the Cougars’ production. Flashback to 1994, Matt Burg and Andy Benson combined with 21 and 19 points accounting for 60% of the Cougars’ points over E-M.

With the Cougars’ first taste of victory over the Knights in 27 years, the Cougars will look to make a streak of their own against their Highway 1 rival.