HE’S BACK — Cowboy Nate Gage goes up for two points against Shelby on Saturday night. Gage scored 21 of his game high 23 points in the second half as the Conrad Cowboys downed the Shelby Coyotes 60-49. This was Gage’s second game back from a broken collarbone which sidelined him for a month. I-O Photo by Adam Jerome
By Adam Jerome, I-O Reporter
The Conrad Cowboys had a full slate of games last week as they took on Heart Butte, Cascade and Shelby all on the road, winning all three.
On Monday the Cowboys traveled to Heart Butte to take on the Warriors. Conrad won the game 84-43. The Cowboy offense clicked from the beginning as they scored 28 points in the first quarter and 47 in the half as they lead by 19. The Cowboys cruised from there to gain the non-conference win.
Coach Tyson Anderson commented, “Good ball movement led to easy opportunities around the basket and we made some defensive adjustments in the second half.”
Conrad shot 47 percent from the field, brought down 37 rebounds, dished out 19 assists and recorded 20 steals. The team only had 11 turnovers.
Josiah Moerkerke had a monster games as he scored a season high 31 points, grabbed 10 boards and passed for six dimes to lead the team in each category. Big Rob Brenteson notched 11 points and eight rebounds. Graham Grubb pumped home 11 markers and notched five steals and Grant Grubb banged in 10 points. Ben Moerkerke hit for seven points and hauled in nine boards. Clay Winters scored six and Rhett Orcutt and Sam Larson rounded out the scoring effort with four points apiece.
Riding high the Cowboys galloped into Cascade for a conference battle. The Cowboys rode away victorious 76-27. The Cascade game was also the first game back for senior guard Nate Gage. The Cowboys jumped out to a 40-16 lead at the half and rolled from there.
Conrad hit on 54 percent of their shots, grabbed 26 rebounds, and stole the ball 11 times.
Coach Anderson talked about the game, “Our pressure was impressive and we executed well on the offensive end. I was pleased with the performance.”
J. Moerkerke once again led the squad in points and rebounds with 25 and six respectively. Graham Grubb continued his solid play with 16 points on 7 of 13 shooting. Winters dropped in 11 markers and Brenteson scored eight. Gage in his return to the court nailed in four points, grabbed three boards and handed out three assists.
Grant Grubb and B. Moerkerke banged in three points each, followed by Brandon Perkins, Larson and Devin VandenBos who each hit for a bucket.
On Saturday the Cowboys rolled into Shelby trying to keep their perfect week alive as they stepped it up in the second half to gain the 60-49 win. The Cowboys found themselves down 26-21 at the half, but Gage and the rest of the boys came out firing in the second half to get the double digit win. Gage scored 21 of his game high 23 in the final half to pace the Cowboys.
The offense struggled for much of the game as they hit on only 38 percent of their shots. Conrad also hauled in 32 boards and dished out seven assists.
Coach Anderson added, “We struggled offensively in the first half and our transition defense was subpar. We made a good run in the third quarter sparked by our defense and finished in the fourth quarter.”
J. Moerkerke had another double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Graham Grubb also scored 10. B. Moerkerke pumped home seven points and added five rebounds. Brenteson had four markers and three offensive boards. Winters scored three points and Orcutt banked in a trey.
The win gave the Cowboys a three game conference lead for second place. Conrad will get a good test on Friday as the division leading Rocky Boy team comes to town. In their first game Rocky Boy dominated from the start, so the Cowboys have an opportunity for a little revenge.