GENEVA – Behind 23 points from athletic 6-foot-2 sophomore guard Trajan Arbuck and 19 from 6-3 forward Jared Nunnenkamp, the Heartland Huskies boys basketball team went on the road and picked up a 57-51 win over the Fillmore Central Panthers in Geneva on Thursday night.
After starting the season 0-2, Heartland has turned a corner this season and gone 8-1 in its last nine games and currently sit at 8-3.
The win in Geneva kicked off a stretch where the Huskies’ next four games are all on the road, with trips to Brainard (East Butler), Polk (High Plains), Central City (Nebraska Christian) and Friend upcoming.
Heartland led Fillmore, which dropped to 1-12 on the season, 13-10 at the end of the first quarter. The Huskies controlled the second stanza as well as Arbuck scored seven of his team’s 14 points. He got to the line during that stretch, too, and went 3 of 4 at the line.
Fillmore kept pace during the second, however, and trailed just 27-21 at the half. Garrett Nichols scored seven first-half points while Izayah Morris provided an inside presence with six, all of which in the opening quarter.
In a competitive second half, head coach Jordan High’s Fillmore team didn’t get the surge it needed to make a comeback. The Panthers outscored Heartland 14-13 in the third quarter, but couldn’t find a way to slow down Nunnenkamp, who scored nine of his 19 in the third to help give the Huskies a 40-35 edge heading into the fourth.
The last eight minutes, however, belonged to head coach Erik Wetjen and the Huskies. Arbuck took control in the last eight minutes himself, and scored nine points. Like the second quarter, Arbuck was aggressive in the last stanza and was rewarded with free throws. He went 7 of 10 at the line in the fourth alone to help seal the victory.
After being held scoreless in the second and to just two points in the third, Morris came alive in the fourth for Fillmore, scoring seven points and going 3 of 3 at the line. Nichols poured in six and also went 4 of 5 at the line.
Fillmore will travel to DeWitt for a game against Tri County (8-5) on Friday.
13 14 13 17 – 57
At Fillmore Central (1-12)
10 11 14 16 – 51
Heartland scoring: Trajan Arbuck 23, Jared Nunnenkamp 19, Jake Regier 6, Trev Peters 3, Kale Wetjen 3, Nolan Boehr 2, Josh Quiring 1.
Fillmore Central: Izayah Morris 15, Garrett Nichols 13, Carson Tatro 7, Keegan Theobald 6, Riley Hiatt 5, Brock Tatro 3, Parker Uldrich 2.