KEARNEY — Kearney boys basketball had its hot start cooled down against Platte County in the finals of the Savannah Tournament Saturday, Dec. 7.
The Bulldogs won their first three games, including two in the Savannah Tournament to reach the championship game. The team had not won its third game last year until over a month into the season.
But the Pirates ran away with the title game as Kearney lost 71-49.
Senior guard Brennan Watkins was the leading scorer for his team, but his 15 points in this one were the result of a 4-of-19 shooting night with just 2 of 12 from 3-pointer range. Junior forward Ashton Holloway added 12 points on 5 of 9 field goal attempts with five rebounds. Junior Braxton Breedlove scored 8 points but also had a shooting percentage with 2 of 7 shots in the game.
Senior guard Drew Gentry gave the Bulldogs some help with 7 points and a team-high six rebounds.
It was a tough way to finish what was a strong performance in the previous two games of the tournament.
Kearney dropped Chillicothe 61-44 on Monday, Dec. 1 before holding off Benton 45-41 two nights later.
The Bulldogs scored five first-half 3-pointers as they took a 36-23 lead into half against Chillicothe. Senior guard Brennan Watkins scored a game-high 35 points. Senior guard Drew Gentry scored 10 points and senior guard Tyler Carr added in 6 points. Gentry also tallied four rebounds and three steals.
Kearney had a tougher start against Benton.
The Bulldogs trailed 20-16 at halftime deficit and they found themselves down 9 points in the waning minutes of the third quarter before scraping their way back in the fourth quarter.
Watkins, who was named to the all-tournament team, led all scorers again with 23 points. Junior Ashton Holloway added 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Carr dropped in another 6 points.
Watkins only shot 4 of 14 from the field but he did most of his damage from the free-throw line with 15 of 17 in the game. The Bulldogs as a team shot 13 of 15 from the charity stripe in the final frame to finish with 19 of 25 in the game.
Kearney (3-1) will face Odessa on the road 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10.