Clark’s late basket helps Syracuse escape, boys roll to eighth win

ASHLAND – Throwing the ball in underneath their own basket, senior Payton Beckmann found an open Meredith Clark in the middle of the lane and the junior hit a shot with 12 seconds left in the game, and the Rockets escaped an upset bid from Ashland-Greenwood (3-13) Friday night, 40-38. The win snaps a four-game losing streak.

Freshman Kiara Libal helped the Bluejays race out to a 17-3 lead at the beginning of the second quarter. She would finish with a game-high 20 points. She also grabbed three rebounds.

Beckmann, who led the Rockets with 15 points, helped Syracuse (7-6) get back in the ballgame by hitting a game tying three in the fourth quarter. The Rockets wouldn’t have their first lead until the final period.

Clark and sophomore Lauren Meyer each finished with 8 points.

Syracuse began the boys game on a 17-3 run and the Rockets ran away from Ashland-Greenwood, 60-37, at Ashland-Greenwood High School.

Junior Ben Nannen was one of three players in double figures for Syracuse (8-5). He finished with 21 points and four rebounds. Senior Christian Frederick added 13 and junior Jackson Zastera had 10 points and five rebounds.

Trevor Brinkman, playing in his first game since suffering a knee injury during the football season, hit two three-pointers to finish with six points.

Syracuse forced 29 Ashland-Greenwood turnovers.

Junior Nolan Kasuske and senior Christian Ray each had seven points to lead the Bluejays (2-11).

Both Syracuse teams will be at Elmwood-Murdock on Saturday. Ashland-Greenwood has the weekend off before competing in the Nebraska Capitol Conference Tournament next week, a tournament the Rockets will also participate in.

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