Neligh-Oakdale and Niobrara/Verdigre fans both knew Monday's second-round match up in the Niobrara Valley Conference Tournament would be a tough one, but no one could have predicted just how tough it would be.
The Warriors jumped out to a quick lead in the first quarter, but Niobrara/Verdigre battled back to eventually enter halftime up 39-31. In the third, Neligh-Oakdale came out hot once again, tying the game up and then subsequently trading blows with the Cougar throughout the half. With 10.9 seconds remaining in regulation, Tyson Belitz completed an and-one to give the Warriors a 65-62 lead before Niobrara/Verdigre's Christian Swalley tore down the court and hit a 3 to send the game to overtime.
In the extra frame, both teams continued to play an evenly matched game, with the Cougars eventually taking a 75-72 lead with 4.5 seconds left. However, Nate Sandoz missed the second half of a one-and-one for the Cougars. Belitz took the rebound and, as time expired, nailed a three from the top of the arc to send the game to a second overtime. In that frame, the Warriors were able to hold Niobrara/Verdigre to just two points while hitting crucial free throws to finish with an 82-77 win.
Individual statistics for the Cougars were unavailable.