The first four semifinals on Thursday produced same conference finals. MUDECAS members Parkview Christian and Falls City Sacred Heart will meet the Class D-2 final, while East Husker members Howells-Dodge and Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family will open Saturday’s games in the D-1 final at 9 a.m.
In Class C-2, Grand Island Central Catholic punched their way to a second straight with a 64-40 win over Hartington Cedar Catholic, where they will play Yutan, who advanced on Brady Timm’s elbow bucket with 2.2 seconds left to beat BRLD 49-47.
Here are all of the small school semifinal recaps.
Yutan 49, BRLD 47
Brady Timm. Money.
Timm hit an elbow jumper for the Chieftains with 2.2 seconds left to send Yutan to the championship game. The Doane commit finished the game with 18 points.
The game was pure basketball. Yutan with a 19-9 lead, then BRLD all the way back to lead 29-26 at half. Just three bench players and 11 total fouls in the game.
BRLD — the two-time defending champions — got 12 points from Dylan Beutler and 11 from Micah Henschen. Lucas Vogt had nine points and seven assists for the Wolverines.
Grand Island Central Catholic 64, Hartington Cedar Catholic 40
Top-ranked and top-seeded Grand Island Central Catholic (24-4) sprinted to a 33-6 lead halfway through the second quarter and cruised to the championship game. The Crusaders led 37-15 at the half as the Trojans did not have a 2-point field goal in the first half.
Brothers Gil and Dei Jengmer led the Crusaders. Gil had 13 points and seven rebounds, while Dei had 12 points and six rebounds. Koby Bales and Russ Martinez each had 11 points.
Tate Thoene had a game-high 21 points for Hartington Cedar Catholic (20-7).
Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 52, North Platte St. Patrick’s 39
The Bulldogs broke open at 18-all tie at the half with a torrid shooting third quarter where they made six of their first seven shots (four of them 3-point baskets) as the built a 37-29 lead and St. Pat’s could never get untracked.
Jacob Sjuts scored 12 points and Jett Spier added 11 for the Bulldogs (22-5), who were the Class D-1 champions in 2019. Jason Sjuts — plagued by first half foul trouble — had nine points and seven rebounds, while Ethan Keller had seven points and 12 rebounds for the winners.
HLFH and H-D split pre-tournament meetings with the Bulldogs winning early in the season 45-32 and the Jaguars winning the sub-district final 53-49.
Colby Condon had 16 points for the Irish to lead all scorers.
Howells-Dodge 76, Burwell 45
The Blake Sindelar Show rolled on Thursday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The 6-2 junior put together his second 30-point game of the tournament as the Jaguars rolled to the final 76-45 over previously unbeaten Burwell.
Sindelar scored 16 points in the third quarter as the Jags broken open a 28-27 halftime contest when they started the second half on a 14-2 run and Burwell never recovered. Gavin Nelson came off the bench for 14 points, Jacob Tomcak added 12 and RJ Bayer had 11 for Howells-Dodge (20-8).
Barak Birch has 12 and Carter Mann 11 for the Longhorns (25-1).
Blake Sindelar was a train that Burwell couldn't stop Thursday. Now the Jags (@HDJaguars) are in the Class D-1 state championship.
— Steve Marik (@Steve_Marik) March 11, 2021
Parkview Christian 62, O’Neill St. Mary’s 53
The Patriots (27-1) sprinted to a 10-0 lead to start the game and never looked back despite seeing the top-ranked Cardinals get within three points twice in the fourth quarter.
Jahiem Curry scored 20 points, including nine in the fourth quarter, for PCS who will play for their first state title in school history. Mark Lual added 18 points and Michael 10 for the Patriots.
Aiden Hedstrom had 17 points for St. Mary’s (23-3). They will play Humphrey St. Francis in the third place game.
Falls City Sacred Heart 60, Humphrey St. Francis 49
Falls City Sacred Heart will try to defend their 2020 title after they pulled away from Humphrey St. Francis in the second semifinal. The Irish have now won 10 of their past 11 games after starting the season 9-6.
The Irish led 26-23 at the half and then built the lead to 39-33 after three quarters. Brogan Nachitgal scored 19 points for the Irish, while Jake Flegner added 12 points and 12 rebounds. Jakob Jordan — Wednesday’s hero against Mullen — added 11.
Haustyn Forney scored 13 points to lead Humphrey St. Francis (21-5).