Nevada freshmen opened up at Roland-Story for their first game after Christmas break on Jan. 4. Being our first game after break, offense can be a little rusty, but we were able to come away with a 58–49 win. Our defense had a hard time at the beginning of the game. We had a slim 17–15 lead at the end of the first quarter; in the second quarter our offense continued to put points on the board, and our defense tightened up to extend our lead to 34–17 at halftime. We held on in the second half, despite being outscored 32–24, to close out the game. Leading in scoring was A.J. Strottman with 13, followed by Simon Saunders and Tyler Shafer with 12 each. Matt Fortmann contributed eight points. The Cubs were led in rebounding by Strottman with six, Preston Shill with five and Fortmann and Saunders with four each.
On Jan. 7, the Cubs faced a very talented Gilbert Tigers squad. At the start, Nevada struggled finding their shooting range against a very tough Tigers defense. At one point it looked as if the Cubs were not going to be able to score as the first quarter ended with the Tigers up 14–1. In the second quarter, our offense finally got on track and the defense was able to slow down the Tigers’ offensive production. We ended the quarter on a 16–6 run and were down by three at half. In the second half, the Cubs were able to stay close to the Tigers, never trailing by more than three points. With a little over a minute left in the game, Nevada took its first lead at 48–47, and with two-tenths of a second remaining, Macade Matuska made one of two free throws to come away with a 51–50 win. Nevada was led in scoring by Shafer, Shill and Strottman, all with 11, followed by Matuska and Saunders with five each. Leading rebounders for Nevada were Matuska with eight and Ross Mitchell with seven.
The Cubs traveled to Baxter on Jan. 13 to play CMB. Nevada started the game very flat and had a hard time getting on track in all areas of the game. The Cubs were only able to put up 13 points in the first half and trailed 18–13. In the second half, they were able to come out aggressively on both ends of the floor. Their defensive intensity caused CMB to struggle getting the ball up the floor, and Nevada’s offense was able to put up 25 points in the third quarter to take a 38–27 lead. They closed out the game with a 15-point win to improve their record to 7–0. Leading the Cubs in scoring was Tyler Shafer with 16 and Preston Shill with 13, followed by Matt Fortmann and Jack Henry with six each. Rebounding-wise, Shafer, Matuska, Toot and Saunders each had threee.
On Jan. 20, South Hamilton came to Nevada. The Cubs struggled early in the first quarter, getting down 10-6. Nevada then went on a 24–0 run, which extended into the second quarter, to close the half with a 32–21 lead. They continued playing good offense and tough defense in the second half, coming away with a 58–32 win. Leading the Cubs in scoring was Shafer with 12, Matuska 10, followed by Shill with nine, Toot with eight and Strottman with 7. The Cubs were led by Mitchell with seven rebounds, Matuska with six and Strottman had five.
-Submitted by Coach Baethke