HEBRON, NE — The Thayer Central Titans opened up the 2022-23 basketball season with wins over Republic County, Kan. Thursday night in the first pair of games in the school's new gym. 

Thayer Central won the girls contest 53-37 and the boys game 36-34. 

Natalie Tietjen led the Titans in the girls game with 20 points, including 13 in the second half as the Titans led wire-to-wire over the Lady Buffs. Ava Wiedel also reached double figures with 13 points. 

Thayer Central jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter en route to leading 16-9 after the first quarter. The Titans only allowed one field goal in the second quarter, expanding their advantage to 27-12 by halftime. 

The largest lead came at 50-26 in the fourth quarter before Thayer Central removed their starters from the game on its way to the 53-37 win. 

Emily Hansen led Republic County with 13 points. 

The boys contest was much more of a defensive struggle with Thayer Central leading 11-5 after the first quarter. 

Both teams were on scoring droughts in the second quarter. Three minutes into the period there had only been one basket between the two and the score was 11-7. 

Thayer Central struggled to get shots to fall, but foul trouble for the Buffaloes put the Titans at the line often, which they took advantage of. A late surge by Republic County, spurred by Trey Melton, resulted in a tie game at 19 at the break. 

The free throw line continued to be Thayer Central's friend in the second half. The Titans got four of its eight fourth quarter points from the stripe and led 27-24 after the third. 

That lead eventually extended to five late in the final period at 36-31. A three-pointer with less than 10 seconds left in the game made it 36-34, but Republic County was unable to get another basket to either extend the game or win. 

Sam Souerdyke and Duncan Wiedel each had 10 points for the Titans. Melton led the Buffaloes with 18 points. 

Both Thayer Central teams are now 1-0 on the year. The Titans are back in action Saturday at home against Lawrence-Nelson. 

Republic County returns home Saturday to face Superior in its second consecutive game against a Nebraska opponent.