The Heartland Events Center in Grand Island played host to the 14th annual Heartland Hoops Classic on Saturday with 16 teams from around the state — and the country — competing in two separate sessions.
The morning session featuring all Nebraska teams tipped off bright an early at 8 a.m.
Mullen 51, Loomis 46
Loomis surged ahead early in the fourth quarter after trailing for much of the game, but Mullen closed out the game strong to take home the win in the first game of the day.
Four starters scored in double figures for Mullen led by Clayton Moore’s 13 points. Brendan Walker added 12 points, five assists and three steals.
Loomis junior Quinn Johnson led all scorers with 21 points, shooting 5-of-11 from deep and 4-4 from the foul line while grabbing a game-high nine rebounds. Shay Swanson added 13 points and four boards.
Mullen did a great job of moving the ball against Loomis’ zone in the first half, recording 9 assists on 11 field goals in the first half Brendan Walker found Bryce McIntosh at the basket for a layup with a few seconds to go to give Mullen a 14-12 lead after one.
The Broncos pulled ahead by six a few different times in the second quarter, but Loomis had an answer each time to keep the Broncos from pulling away. Mullen led 30-25 at halftime.
Johnson scored inside on the first possession of the second half to pull Loomis within three, but Mullen answered with a 9-0 run to take its largest lead of the day at 38-27.
Then Johnson took over with a personal 8-0 run including a pair of triples. Swanson split a pair of free throws and Cristian Blincow converted a put-back to complete an 11-0 run and tie the game up at 38-all heading into the fourth quarter.
The lead exchanged hands a couple of times early in the fourth, and Loomis took a 45-42 lead on back-to-back buckets by Swanson. The offense dried up there for the Wolves, however, as Mullen closed the game on a 9-1 run including a pair of key stops late.
Loomis: 12-13-13- 8—46
Mullen: 14-16- 8-13—51
L: Quinn Johnson 21, Shay Swanson 13, Aden Lovitt 7, Cristian Blincow 3, Clay Meyer 2
M: Clayton Moore 13, Brendan Walker 12, Jaden Emerson 11, Trevor Kuncl 10, Bryce McIntosh 5
St. Paul 47, Elkhorn North 44
Elkhorn North had looks to take the lead and then tie the game in the final 30 seconds, but both shots missed as St. Paul held on to improve to 19-1 on the season.
Andy Poss scored 17 of his game-high 18 points in the last three quarters and came up clutch in the fourth, hitting both of his shots and a pair of free throws. He added six boards and three steals to his state line. Wyoming football commit Tommy Wroblewski had a double-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals.
St. Paul took a double-digit lead in the second quarter and held a 26-19 advantage at halftime, but the Wolves rallied to take a 34-33 lead at the end of three after a put-back by Luke Tillman beat the buzzer.
St. Paul pulled ahead 45-41 before Elkhorn North got a good luck from the corner for Jack Lusk. He missed, but the Wolves grabbed the board and swung the ball right back to Lusk in the same spot and he didn’t miss twice, cutting it to one with 48.3 to play.
Elkhorn North forced a turnover in the backcourt and worked the ball around a bit until Lusk got an open look from the right wing, but he couldn’t get it to fall. Pass hit two free throws with 5.4 to play (giving him St. Paul’s last six points), and Brandon Orgilbold’s leading 3 at the buzzer just missed.
Orgilbold was the only Wolf in double figures with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Saint Paul: 10-16- 7-14—47
Elkhorn North: 7-12-15-10—44
SP: Andy Poss 18, Tommy Wroblewski 14,Logan Vogel 7, Jaxon Klinginsmith 6, Eli Larson 2
EN: Brandon Orgilbold 14, Carson Ripley 8, Jack Lusk 8, Nathan Cunningham 6, Paxon Piatkowski 4, Luke Tillman 4
Logan View/Scribner-Snyder 60, Grand Island Northwest 56
Logan View/Scribner-Snider survived a flurry of fourth-quarter 3s from Northwest to pull out a four-point win.
Connor Larson, a 5-foot-11 senior guard, scored 17 of his team-high 21 points in the second half to lead the Raiders to victory. Larson shot 6-of-12 from the field (2-of-3 from deep) and 7-of-10 from the free-throw line, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out five assists.
Riley Hoetfelker added 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting (2-of-5 from 3) and 4-of-4 from the line. Garrett Kriete, a 6-foot-9 senior, chipped in 11 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.
Jed Walford went off for 27 points, the highest total of the session, while shooting 6-of-12 from deep. Alex Brandt added 12 points — all in the second half — and shot 4-of-6 from deep. Parker Janky did a bit of everything with nine points, nine rebounds (four offensive) and eight assists.
Northwest led 14-10 after one and pulled ahead 17-12 early in the second quarter, but the Raiders battled back to tie it at 19-19 and 20-20, then Larson found a pair of 3-point shooters on consecutive possessions to give Logan View/Scribner-Snyder a 26-20 lead at halftime.
The Raiders stretched their lead to to 43-34 at the end of the their quarter despite Brandt knocking down three triples. Logan View Scribner/Snyder opened the fourth with a 10-1 run including seven points by Walford to tie it up at 44-all.
Larson answered with a 3 and a layup, however, and that was enough of a cushion for the Raiders to hold on despite the Vikings hitting four 3s in the last three minutes.
Grand Island Northwest: 14- 6-14-22—56
Logan View/Scribner-Snyder: 10-16-17-17—60
GINW: Jed Walford 27, Alex Brandt 12, Parker Janky 9, Wyatt Jensen 5, Jacob Kaminski 3
LVSS: Connor Larson 21, Riley Oetfelker 14, Garrett Kriete 11, Kayl Francis 8, Jayden Korman 6
Grand Island 47, Elkhorn Mt. Michael 40
Mt. Michael kept grand Island star Isaac Traudt in check for much of the game and built up a double-digit lead early, but the lead slipped away in the second half and Traudt got loose for some big buckets in the fourth to boost the Islanders to victory.
Mt. Michael has a handful of long, physical, switchable defenders to throw at Traudt, and the 6-foot-9 junior shot just 5-of-13 from the field (3-of-9 from deep). But he knocked down all nine of his free throws and finished with a game-high 22 points and nine rebounds.
Senior Kaleb Brink had a double-double for Mt. Michael with 11 points and 15 rebounds while senior point guard Airan Lopez chipped in nine points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.
The Islanders led 7-6 after a rock fight of a first quarter. Mt. Michael stepped it up in the second quarter, ripping off a 17-3 run to take a 23-10 lead. A Traudt 3 was the only bucket for the Islanders during the stretch while the Knights got three tees from three different players.
Mt. Michael cooled off after that, however, and Grand Island closed the half on an 8-0 run to make it 23-18 at halftime.
Mt. Michael stretched the lead back to 10 at 30-20, but Grand Island closed the period on an 11-0 run to take a 31-30 edge into the final period. The teams traded buckets early in the fourth until Traudt got loose for a 3 from the top of the key then stole the ball and took it all the way for a slam to put Grand Island up 37-35, a lead the Islander would not relinquish.
Brad Bennett hit a 3 to cut the deficit to one, but Mt. Michael went ice cold after that as the Islanders held on thanks to a 3 from Aiden Klemme and some free throws from Traudt.
Grand Island: 7-11-13-16—47
Mt. Michael: 6-17- 7-10—40
GI: Isaac Traudt 22, Kytan Fyfe 9, Tyler Fay 5, Aiden Klemme 4, Riley Plummer 3,, Jacob Nesvara 2, Dylan Sextro 2
MM: Kaleb Brink 11, Airan Lopez 9, Brad Bennett 9, Joe Chouinard 4, Kuon Kuon 3, Parker Hottovy 2, Kyle Pelan 2
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.