The boys state tournament quarterfinals rolled on Tuesday with two Class B games and four Class C1 games at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
No. 7 Waverly 41, No. 2 Omaha Skutt 40
Waverly got a morning of upsets started with a one-point win over the reigning class B champions thanks to some late heroics from senior Andrew Heffelfinger.
The teams went back and forth throughout the game, and Grant Dvorak gave the SkyHawks the lead on a put-back with 1:45 to go after Waverly had led most of the fourth. After a couple empty trip both ways, Waverly called timeout with 9.4 to set something up.
The Vikings got the ball in to Heffelfinger and he drove hard to his left, getting past his man and rising above the rotating help defender to give the Vikings the lead with 2.9 to go.
— Jacob Padilla (@JacobPadilla_) March 10, 2021
Skutt couldn’t muster up the same magic Millard West did on Tuesday night, however, as the deep pass got deflected out of bounds as time expired to seal the game.
Heffelfinger scored a game-high 14 points and led the Vikings with seven rebounds as well. Sophomore guard Preston marsh added nine points on 3-of-5 from deep.
After trading buckets in the first quarter, Waverly used a 7-2 run to pull ahead 19-14 in the second quarter. Skutt rallied to tie it up, but Cole Murray draw a foul just before halftime and split the free throws to make it 23-22 Vikings at the break.
Skutt scored five straight midway through the third quarter to pull ahead by four, but Waverly answered with five straight of its won. Sophomore JJ Ferrin knocked down a 3 (his second of the quarter) but Heffelfinger hit two triples to close out the quarter and give Waverly a 36-32 lead.
Waverly maintained its lead throughout the fourth until Skutt ratcheted up the defense and started forcing turnovers, fueling a 6-0 run capped by Dvorak’s put-back to take the lead. Cole Murray drew a foul and split the the free throws to cut the deficit to one, and three straight empty trips to the free-throw line later (two by Skutt, one by Waverly), Heffelfinger stepped up and delivered the winning play.
Skutt didn’t have a player in double figures as senior Charlie Fletcher and junior James Gninefou scored nine points apiece and combined for 10 rebounds and five steals.
Omaha Skutt: 7-15-10- 8—40
Waverly: 9-14-13- 5—41
OS: Charlie Fletcher 9, James Gninefou 9, JJ Ferrin 6, Grant Dvorak 4, Luke Skar 4, Sam Kudron 4, Mitch Scholl 4
W: Andrew Heffelfinger 14, Preston Harms 9, Hogan Wingrove 6, Riley Marsh 5, AJ Heffelfinger 5, Cole Murray 2
No. 6 Beatrice 49, No. 3 Elkhorn Mt. Michael 39
The Orangemen continued the upset theme, locking down the Knights on defense and picking them apart on the other end to set up a matchup of Nos. 6 and 7 seeds in Friday’s semifinals.
Both sides shrugged offensively in the first quarter, but Beatrice steadily pulled away in the last three quarters and held off a late comeback attempt to secure the victory. Mt. Michael had no answer for Beatrice senior forward Bennett Crandall as he scored 19 points on 7-of-9 from the field and 5-of-7 from the free-throw line with eight rebounds.
Mt. Micheal led 7-6 after the first quarter. Crandall scored the first two buckets of the second to give the Orangemen the lead and they never trailed again. Mt. Michael kept it close the rest of the half and senior Kaden Glynn set up Crandall for a bucket just before halftime to make it an 18-15 lead at halftime.
Mt. Michael opened the second half with a 3-pointer from senior Brad Bennett to tie it up, but the Orangemen responded with an 11-0 run including a pair of 3s from Devin Smith. Senior Kaleb Brink ended the run with a bucket inside and a trailer 3, but Beatrice took a 33-26 lead into the fourth quarter.
Smith opened the fourth quarter with a 3 to stretch the lead to 10. Senior point guard Airan Lopez tried to lead a comeback attempt, scoring all eight of his points in the fourth quarter, but five was as close as the Knights could get.
Beatrice moves on to face Waverly in Friday’s semifinal set for 4 p.m. The Orangemen blew out the Vikings 57-33 late in the season.
Elkhorn Mt. Michael: 7- 8-11-13—39
EMM: Airan Lopez 8, Brad Bennett 8, Kaleb Brink 7, Kuon Kuon 7, Joe Chouinard 6, Kyle Pelan 3
B: Bennett Crandall 19, Devin Smith 15, Tucker Timmerman 6, Kaden Glynn 4, Elliot Jurgens 3, Jace Pethoud 2
No. 1 Auburn 51, No. 8 Pierce 28
Auburn held Pierce to two field goals and six points in the first half and cruised to its 60th straight victory in the first C1 quarterfinal.
Auburn seniors Daniel Frary and Cam Binder outscored the Bluejays by themselves. Pierce had no answer for Frary inside as the 6-foot6 forward recorded a double-double with 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting and 11 rebounds (four offensive). Binder scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half, shooting 3-of-7 from 3, and he also dished out five assists.
Pierce’s top two scorers, sophomore Ben Brahmer (who holds a football offer from Nebraska) and senior Dawson Watts, both picked up two fouls in the first quarter and had to sit for part of the period. Auburn forced five turnovers and held the Bluejays to 1-of-5 shooting to take an 11-2 lead.
Pierce didn’t do much better in the second quarter, shooting 1-of-7 from the field and 2-of-4 from the free-throw line with two turnovers, and Auburn took a 21-6 lead into the locker room.
Pierce outscored its whole first half in the third quarter with eight pints, but Auburn senior Cade Patzel outscored the Bluejays on his own, accounting for the Bulldogs’ last nine points of the period to give his team a 20-point lead heading into the fourth. The Bulldogs didn’t miss a shot in the fourth with Frary scoring 10 points including a one-handed slam late.
Pierce: 2- 4- 8-14—28
A: Daniel Frary 18, Cam Binder 14, Cade Patzel 9, Ryan Bnder 5, Maverick Binder 3, Sky Roybal 2
P: Dawson Watts 9, Logan Moeller 7, Ben Brahmers 5, Shawn Rinkel 3, Chaden Roth 2, David Dale 2
No. 4 Omaha Concordia 66, No. 5 Milford 54
At the end of the first quarter, it looked like the Eagles were going to run the Mustangs off the court and cruise to their 27th straight victory. Then The Eagles shot 1-for-20 from the field in the second and third quarters as Concordia secured its first state tournament victory in its first appearance.
Junior forward Justin Otten nearly recorded a double-double with 19 points (9-of-11 from the field, 7-of-10 from the foul line), nine rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Karsten Mathsen shot 4-of-8 from 3 and scored 17 points while Zach Kulus added 15 points and seven rebounds.
Milford, one of three teams to enter the tournament without a loss, jumped out to a 20-11 lead after the first quarter. Seth Stutzman, Jaxon Weyand and Micah Hartwig sacred six points apiece.
The Milford stopped scoring. Concordia opened the second quarter with a 10-0 run to take the lead. Stutzman finally ended the run with a pair of free throws, but Concordia sacred five of the final six points to take a 26-23 lead at halftime. Milford shot 0-of-11 from the field.
Concordia scored the first nine points of the third quarter as well before a Stutzman bucket snapped a streak of 16 straight misses. However, Concordia continued to pull away, taking a 42-28 lead into the fourth quarter.
Milford finally got going again on offense, but Concordia continued to roll as well as the teams combined for 50 points in eight minutes.
Stutzman scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to finish with a game-high 26, but it was too little and too late to make a difference.
Omaha Concordia: 11-15-16-24—66
Milford: 20- 3- 5-26—54
OC: Justin Otten 19, Karsten Mathsen 17, Zach Kulus 15, Ian Groninga 7, Gage Kanzleien 4, Zach Alharithy 3, Elliott Wilson 1
M: Seth Stutzman 26, Jaxon Weyand 11, Micah Hartwig 10, Isaac Yeackley 3, Cabe Schluckebier 2
No. 7 Wayne 59, No. 2 Kearney Catholic 53
Kearney Catholic: 9-13-11-19—52
Wayne: 14-15- 6-24—59
KC: Brett Mahony 23, Logan O’Brien 11, Blake Thiele 5, Garrett Schmalerer 4, Dylan Merz 4, Turner Plugge 3, Kegan Bosshamer 2
W: Brandon Bartos 18, Tanner Walling 15, Colton Vovos 12, Daniel Judd 6, Jacob Phelps 4, Jacob Kneifl 2, Sedjro Agoumba 2
No. 3 Hastings Adams Central 63, No. 6 St. Paul 56, OT
Hastings Adams Central: 17-16- 8- 7-15—63
St. Paul: 18-13-13- 4- 8—56
HAC: Lucas Bohlen 18, Tyler Slechta 16, Cam Foster 15, Paul Fago 7, Dante Boelhower 5, Jacob Eckhardt 2
SP: Andy Poss 21, Tommy Wroblewski 19, Logan Vogel 7, Jaxson Klinginsmith 7, Eli Larson 2
- No. 1 Grand Island Central Catholic 58, No. 8 Tri County 29
- No. 5 Hartington Cedar Catholic 40, No. 4 Freeman 37
- No. 2 Yutan 63, No. 7 Chase County 43
- No. 6 BRLD 59, No. 3 Bridgeport 43
- No. 1 Burwell 53, No. 8 Central Valley 45
- No. 4 Howells-Dodge 68, No. 5 Walthill 49
- No. 2 Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 49, No. 7 Southern Valley 43
- No. 3 North Platte St. Patrick’s 59, No. 6 Ansley-Litchfield 47
- No. 1 O’Neill St. Mary’s 62, No. 8 Osceola 50
- No. 4 Lincoln Parkview 71, No. 5 Loomis 54
- No. 7 Falls City Sacred Heart 49, No. 2 Mullen 47
- No. 3 Humphrey St. Francis 49, No.6 Wynot 41
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.