The 2021 boys state basketball tournament tipped off on Tuesday. Here is a roundup of Tuesday’s action.
Millard North 73, Millard South 46
Millard North had one of its patented runs that opened up a commanding lead. Millard South freshman Will Cooper kept the Patriots in the game early with two 3-pointers and eight points in the first eight minutes.
In the second quarter, Millard North senior Hunter Sallis came out firing. The 6-foot-5 guard connected on two triples and outscored the Patriots 8-5 himself in the quarter. Sallis finished with a game-high 24 points. Millard South hung around until halftime trailing only by seven (31-24). Mustang junior Jasen Green took over in the third, scoring eight of his 13 points in the quarter.
Millard South was led in scoring by Blake Stenger, Jack Cooper and Will Cooper all with 8 points.
Millard West 47, Lincoln Pius X 45
What a fourth quarter for Evan Meyersick.
The Millard West senior and Nebraska football walk-on signee caught a half-court pass at midcourt and barrelled his way to the hoop for the game-winning layup while falling to the floor as time expired to give the Wildcats a 47-45 win over Lincoln Pius X in a thriller Tuesday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Meyersick finished with eight points — six in the last eight minutes — while Millard West was led by Ryan Larsen, who scored 17 points. James Conway scored 10 points.
Both Sam and Charlie Hoiberg scored 10 points. Sam was the one who hit a game-tying 3-pointer with under five seconds to play, but Meyersick ruined the Thunderbolts’ comeback attempt.
Millard West advances to the Class A semifinals on Friday at 6:15 p.m. The Wildcats will play top-seed Millard North.
— Steve Marik (@Steve_Marik) March 10, 2021
Bellevue West 55, Lincoln East 47
The teams started this Class A quarterfinal slow but were able to pick it up as the first quarter came to a close. At the end of one Bellevue West led Lincoln East 10-9.
Coming out of the break West picked up the pace and started to pull away showing why it came into the tournament as the two seed. West hit its stride in the second going into half with a 28-16 lead. At half, Josiah Dotzler led West with 8 points.
Both teams came out of the half hitting nearly every shot they put up. The Spartans pulled within six points after strong buckets from Joe Marfisi and Brayden McPhail. At the end of the third, West led East 42-29.
Midway through the fourth West maintained its 13-point lead, up 48-35. West extended its edge to 15 points after five straight points from Nebraska-Omaha commit Frankie Fidler.
With just over a minute left in the fourth, up 54-44, West held a seven-point lead after McPhail hit a big 3-pointer. West held on the the win thanks to a strong 22-point performance from Fidler to secure a trip to the Class A semifinals, winning 55-47 over East.
Creighton Prep 64, Papillion-La Vista South 56
This one went right down to the wire.
These teams were on fire from the opening tip, trading 3-pointers followed by matching driving layups. Papillion-La Vista South was up early, 10-5. After four minutes, neither team was missing from beyond the arc and the game was tied at 15. At the end of one, Papio South led Prep 19-17.
To start the second quarter, Papio South and Prep continued trading 3s and the Titans went up 24-22. Turnovers started to become a problem for Prep and Papio South capitalized, hitting yet another 3. A.J. Rollins converted a tough and-one layup to pull Prep within three. After missing the free throw and getting his own rebound, Rollins threw the ball out to Casey O’Malley, who hit a game-tying 3, and it was all even at 27 with 3:20 to go in the half. After back-to-back triples from the Junior Jays and Titans, Prep led 32-30 at the half.
Coming out of the halftime break, Prep and Papio South continued to trade baskets, with both teams lighting it up from the floor. As the third quarter progressed both teams continued hitting a high percentage of their shots. With just over a minute left in the third, Daniel Brocaille hit a deep 3 to close the deficit to just three points. At the end of the third, Prep led Papio South 48-43.
Two minutes into the fourth the lead was just one after yet another deep 3 from Josiah Beckenhauer, only to be answered by Mai’jhe Wiley, who hit a 3 of his own. With the steal and monster dunk, Justin Sitti puts Prep up 59-54 with just two minutes left.
With 40 seconds to go, this became a game of fouling for Papio South and Luke Jungers was up for the challenge, hitting key free throws to seal the victory for the Junior Jays. With the 64-56 win over Papio South, Prep moves on to the Class A semifinal to take on two-seed Bellevue West.
Norris 62, Blair 46
Norris raced out to a quick 7-1 lead and never looked back. Blair finished the first half on a 10-2 run to cut the Norris lead to 10 at the half. A 3-pointer by Jacob Czapla pulled the Bears to within six (33-27) with 3:45 left in the third quarter. Norris would answer with another run to end the quarter and a 3-pointer by Brayson Mueller to end the third quarter gave Norris a 45-32 lead at the end of three.
Norris made seven free throws in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Mueller led the Titans with a game-high 18. Senior forward Trey Deveaux scored 13 and grabbed nine rebounds for the Titans. Junior guard Luke Ladwig led the Bears with 13 and Jacob Czapla scored 10.
Elkhorn 63, Platteview 48
Drew Christo scored a team-high 19 points while Dane Petersen added 18 to help lead the Elkhorn Antlers past the Platteview Trojans.
Platteview got a game-high 25 points from sophomore Connor Millikan while Alex Draper had 11. Both Millikan and Draper had three 3s in the game.
Elkhorn, the No. 5 seed, will play play No. 1 Norris on Friday at 1:30 p.m.