The Nebraska Boys State Basketball Championships tipped off on Wednesday with Class C1, D1 and A quarterfinals at Pinnacle Bank Arena and the Devaney Center. Jacob Padilla of Hail Varsity provided us with a breakdown of the action.
CLASS C1 QUARTERFINALS
No. 8 Auburn 47, No. 1 Wahoo 44
For the second straight year, the top-seeded Warriors fell in the first round while state tournament mainstay and last year’s runner-up, Auburn, is back in the semifinals as the No. 8 seed.
Junior guard Maverick Binder and senior big man Carson Leslie did the navy lifting early, but it was sophomore Nixon Ligouri who stepped up in the fourth quarter after struggling in the first three. He knocked down a big 3-pointer and went 5-for-6 at the foul line for eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter.
Binder finished with 13 points on 3-for-7 from 3 and 4-for-4 from the foul line with five rebounds and two steals. Leslie matched him with 13 points on 6-of-8 from the field and 1-of-2 from the line with five boards and three blocks before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Junior Marcus Glock came alive in the fourth quarter for Wahoo, scoring 12 of his game-high 16, but he was the only Warrior in double figures. Wahoo went 11-for-21 from the foul line in the three-point loss.
The teams went back and forth throughout the first half with an 8-3 Auburn start, an 8-2 Wahoo response, a 7-0 Bulldogs spurt then a 6-0 Warrior stretch to tie it up at 17-all.
Auburn scored five of the last six points including a step-back 3 at the buzzer from Binder to take a 22-18 lead at halftime.
Wahoo pulled within one twice, but Auburn maintained the lead throughout the entire third quarter and went into the fourth leading 30-27.
Wahoo continued to hang around and earned a chance to tie the game at the free-throw line with 54.7 to play, but the Warriors missed both. On the other end, Skylar Roybal split a pair of free throws but Austin Lavigne, in for the fouled-out Leslie, grabbed the offensive board and Ligouri took advantage of the extra possession with a 2-for-2 trip to the line to put Auburn up five with 34.9 to play.
Auburn made enough free throws the rest of the way to hold on, though the Warriors made it interesting with some buckets late. Wahoo’s last chance came with 1 second left as Auburn fouled at halfcourt to send Owen Hancock to the line to prevent a 3-point attempt. Needing to make the first and miss the second for a potential put-back, he missed the first, sealing the Bulldog victory.
Auburn advances to the semifinals on Friday.
Auburn: 8-14- 8-17 — 47
Wahoo: 7-11- 9-17 — 44
A: Maverick Binder 13, Carson Leslie 13, Nixon Ligouri 10, Skyler Roybal 10, Austin Lavigne 2, Payton Boden 1
W: Marcus Glock 16, Trey Simon 7, Owen Hancock 6, Anthony Simon 5, Kamron Kasischke 4, Benji Nelson 3, Garrett Grandgenett 3
No. 5 Omaha Concordia 53, No. 4 Pierce 45
The lower seeds went 2-for-2 in the morning session at the Devaney Center as 6-foot-10 junior Quientan McCafferty powered the Mustangs to a first-round victory.
McCafferty finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds (four offensive) and three blocks while shooting 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Carter Sunde scored 11 points on 4-of-7 from the field and 3-of-4 from the line with six rebounds. Elliott Wilson chipped in 10 points, four boards and three steals.
Iowa State football commit Ben Brahmer did the heavy lifting early with 18 of Pierce’s first 28 points, but he didn’t score again after that. Brahmer grabbed eight rebounds and blocked a pair of shots as well.
Concordia opened up a 16-11 lead in the second quarter, but McCafferty picked up his second foul at the 6:32 mark and set the rest of the half. Pierce took advantage to cut the deficit to two at halftime, 18-16.
McCafferty and Brahmer traded buckets early in the third quarter with ties at 18-18, 20-20 and 22-22, but Concordia took the lead for good with a 6-0 run. McCafferty picked up his third foul with 2:24 to go in the quarter, but this time Concordia maintained its lead without him and took a 32-25 advantage into the fourth thanks to a jumper from Sunde at the buzzer.
Concordia continued to roll int he third, extending the lead out to 13 midway through the period. Pierce managed to trim the lead all the way down to five with 1:27 to play but Jack Thrasher beat the Pierce press for a layup and the Mustangs used the game on an 8-4 run.
Abram Scholting scored 17 of his game-high 20 in the fourth quarter to lead the comeback, but it wasn’t quite enough.
Concordia will take on No. 8 seed Auburn in Friday’s semifinal in a rematch from last year’s quarterfinals. Tipoff is set for 9 a.m. a Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Omaha Concordia: 9- 9-14-21 — 53
Pierce: 5-11- 9-20 — 45
OC: Quientan McCafferty 18, Carter Sunde 11, Jack Thrasher 9, Jackson Shepherd 5
P: Abram Scholting 20, Ben Brahmer 18, Colby Anderson 4, Deon Watts 3
>> No. 2 Ogallala 67, No. 7 Central City 46: Ogallala’s mach towers perfection continues on after Jeron Gager dropped 22 points and and Harry Caskey added 18 to lead the Indians to a 21-point victory. Kenia Kearney led Central City with 18 points.
>> No. 3 Ashland-Greenwood 52, No. 6 Sidney 28: The reigning champion advanced to the semifinals with a dominant defensive performance. Brooks Kissinger led the way with 16 points while Dane Jacobsen added 12 and Cougar Konzem chipped in with 11. Jaeden Dillehay led the Red Raiders with 13 points.
CLASS A QUARTERFINALS
No. 1 Bellevue West 68, No. 8 Lincoln North Star 46
Bellevue West opened up a 16-point lead early in the second quarter and cruised into the semifinals despite the best efforts of North Star senior Antallah Sandlin’el.
The 6-foot-8 forward put on a tough shot-making display with a flurry of jumpers, finishing with a game-high 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting (3-of-5 from 3) and 3-of-5 free-throw shooting. However, the only other Navigator with more than one bucket was Brennon Clemmons Jr. with 11 points and eight rebounds.
The Thunderbirds backcourt of Creighton commit Josiah Dotzler and junior Jaden Jackson nearly equalled North Star by themselves as Dotzler finished with 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting (4-of-8 from 3) and 5-of-6 from the foul line and Jackson added 19 while shooting 8-of-14 from the field including 3-of-5 from 3.
North Star kept it somewhat respectable in the second and third quarters before Bellevue West stretched it out again with a 20-point fourth.
Nebraska football target Isaiah McMorris chipped in 10 points off the bench for the Thunderbirds, shooting 3-for-3 from the field with a triple and 3-for-4 from the line.
Bellevue West improves to 26-0 and advances to Friday’s semifinals.
Lincoln North Star: 6-14-14-12 — 46
Bellevue West: 17-14-17-20 — 68
BW: Josiah Dotzler 21, Jaden Jackson 19, Isaiah McMorris 10, Eldon Turner 7, Steven Poulicek 5, Jaxon Stueve 2, Robby Garcia 2, Jacob Arop 2
LNS: Antallah Sandlin’el 26, Brennon Clemmons Jr. 11, Will Schafer 3, Lazerek Houston 2, KG Gatwech 2
No. 5 Omaha Westside 84, No. 4 Lincoln East 34
One month after the Spartans ran the Warriors off the floor their own floor in a game where Westside misfired on all 15 of its 3-point attempts, Westside sent East home down in Lincoln with an outstanding offensive performance.
Tate Odvody scored 10 points with two steals and two blocks. Rickey Loftin scored a season-high 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting with a couple of 3s off the bench. Kevin Brown Jr. chipped in nine points, seven rebounds and three assists. CJ Mitchell also scored nine points with five rebounds and four assists.
Westside held East to 33.3% shooting including an ice-cold 2-for-16 from 3. Junior Carter Mick notched a double-double with 20 points on 50% shooting and 10 rebounds, but the only other Spartan in double figures was senior Carter Tempelmeyer with 13 points, shooting 8-for-10 from the foul line.
East jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but Westside used a 12-0 run to take a 17-10 lead late in the first quarter and the Warriors never looked back. Westside put up 20-plus in each of the last three quarters to prevent any kind of Spartan comeback attempt.
Westside will face No. 1 Bellevue West in Friday’s semifinals, a rematch of the regular season finale that saw the Warriors push the Thunderbirds to overtime, the only single-digit win for Bellevue West all season. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CT at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Omaha Westside: 19-20-23-22 — 84
Lincoln East: 12-15-15-12 — 54
OW: Kevin Stubblefield 20, Tate Odvody 10, Rickey Loftin 10, CJ Mitchell 9, KevinBrown Jr. 9, Caleb Benning 8, Malik Crawford 8, Maddox Anderson 4, Donnie Barfield 2, Montae Giddings 2, JT Evans 2
LE: Carter Mick 20, Carter Tempelmeyer 13, Jared Townsley 7, Christian Melessa 7, Connor Johnson 2, Carter Toomey 2, Connor Hamilton 1
>> No. 2 Shelton 72, No. 7 Santee 68: The Warriors used a 22-5 third quarter to rally from a 13-point halftime deficit to set up a thrilling fourth quarter — which including a controversial finish. Santee had possession up by one with 7 seconds remaining when a Warrior made contact with a Shelton player during a dead ball situation that the official determined was enough to draw a whistle, resulting in a technical foul. Ashton Simmons hit both free throws to put Shelton in front then went on to hit four more to seal the victory. He finished with 24 points while fellow junior Riley Bombeck scored a game high 29. Kellen Medina and Austyn Saul scored 16 apiece for Santee.
>> No. 3 Lincoln Parkview 62, No. 6 Falls City Sacred Heart 42: The reigning D2 champs outscored Sacred Heart 38-17 in the second half to knock the Irish out of the tournament for the second straight year. Viktar Kachalouski led the way with 22 points, scoring 14 of the team’s 24 in the first half. Maurice Reide also scored 17 and Terance Pittman 13 (including 11 apiece in the second half) for the Patriots. Joe Simon led Sacred Heart with 15 points.