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2023 Nebraska Boys State Basketball Roundup: Quarterfinal Thursday

March 09, 2023

The Nebraska Boys State Basketball Tournament continued on Thursday with the second half of the quarterfinal round featuring Class B, C2 and D2 games at Pinnacle Bank Arena and the Devaney Center.

If you missed any of the action on Wednesday, you can catch up here.

CLASS C2 QUARTERFINALS

No. 1 Freeman 52, No. 8 Gordon-Rushville 20

Carter Ruse capped an 11-point first quarter with a 3 at the buzzer to give Freeman an 18-4 lead after one and the Falcons never looked back en route to a 32-point victory.

Gordon-Rushville nearly played Freeman even in the second quarter but the Falcons opened the third period with a 15-2 run and cruised to victory.

Ruse finished with a game-high 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting (2-of-6 from 3) and 2-of-3 from the free-throw line, five rebounds and four steals. Taylan Vetrovsky added 15 points, five boards and three assists.

Logan Slama led the Mustangs with 10 pints on 4-of-8 shooting including 2-of-5 from deep. Jace Nelson corralled 15 rebounds and blocked two shots but the Falcons doubled and tripled him on almost every post touch and limited him to six points.

Freeman moves on to Friday’s semifinals.

BOX SCORE

Gordon-Rushville: 4-  9-  4-  3 — 20

Freeman:              18-10-15-  9 — 52

GR: Logan Slama 10, Jace Nelson 6, Keenan Schwarting 2, Carter Anderson 2

F: Carter Ruse 18, Taylan Vetrovsky 15, Carter Niles 7, Hudson Vetrovsky 3, Kellen Anderson 3, True Jennings 2 Hayden Jennings 2

Other Scores:

>> No. 2 Amherst 57, No. 7 Norfolk Catholic 49, OT: The Broncos held the Knights to 10 points in the last 12 minutes of game time, tying the game up in regulation then dominated the overtime period 10-2. Nolan Else scored a game-high 22 points while Tayje Hadwiger added 19 for Amherst. Norfolk Catholic had five plays score between eight and 12 points.

>> No. 6 Tri County , No. 3 Doniphan-Trumbull: Tri County outscored Doniphan-Trumbull 26-7 in the fourth quarter to pull off the upset. Carter Siems went off for 30 points while Caden Bales added 17. Freshman Jack Poppe led the Cardinals with 17 points.

No. 4 Hartington Cedar Catholic 59, No. 5 Elkhorn Valley 50

Elkhorn Valley turned the ball over 10 times in the first 10 and a half minutes and wasn’t able to dig itself out of the 20-point hole it dug early in the second quarter as the Trojans watched a couple of comeback attempts late.

Tyan Baller led the way for Cedar Catholic with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, accounting for four of the team’s five three pointers (and eight of its 10 attempts). Jackson Bernecker added 14 points and seven rebounds while Nolan Becker chipped in 10 points.

It took the Falcons, making their first ever state tournament appearance, nearly three minutes in each of the first two quarters to get a shot off against Cedar Catholic’s pressure defense. 

Elkhorn briefly settled in, using a 9-2 run to cut the deficit down to 13, but Cedar Catholic got the last bucket of the half to end the run then used a 9-0 spurt early in the third quarter to extend the lead out to 23 at 42-19.

Elkhorn Valley made one last run, cutting it all the way down to 10 in the first minutes of the fourth quarter thanks in part to three third-quarter triples from sophomore Kellyn Ollendick, but Cedar Catholic responded with a 7-0 run to put the game to bed.

The Falcons continued to battle, cutting it down to eight with 30 seconds to go, but they ran out of time.

Brendan Ollendick closed out his prolific Elkhorn Valley career with 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Dawson Hansen added 12 points on 5-of-6 from the field and 2-of-3 from the foul line with eight rebounds.

Cedar Catholic will take on top-seeded Freeman in Friday’s semifinals. Tipoff is set for 1:30 p.m. at the Devaney Center.

BOX SCORE

Elkhorn Valley:                        7-  9-15-19 — 50

Hartington Cedar Catholic: 17-14-12-16 — 59

EV: Brendyn Ollendick 13, Dawson Hansen 12, Kellyn Ollendick 10, Carter Werner 7, Korbin Werner 6, Drew Hansen 2

HCC: Tyan Baller 21, Jaxson Bernecker 14, Nolan Becker 10, Carson Arens 9, Andrew Jones 5

CLASS B QUARTERFINALS

No. 1 Omaha Skutt 56, No. 8 Bennington 40

JJ Ferrin opened the game with a pair of pull-up 3s to give Skutt an early lead the the SkyHawks’ defense did the heavy lifting from there.

Bennington missed 19 of its first 24 shots as Skutt extended a 10-point halftime lead out to 30-11 with a 9-0 run to open the third quarter.

Junior Gunnar Lym put the Badgers on his back from there, sparking a 19-9 run that cut the deficit down to nine midway through the fourth. Lym scored 12 of those 19 Badger points.

However, Jack Haley split a pair of free throws to push it back to double digits and sophomore Brock School knocked down a dagger 3 from the right corner with just under five minutes to play, recapturing the momentum for Skutt and pushing the lead back to 13.

Bennington played the foul game throughout the fourth and Skutt missed plenty (7-of-13 in the fourth quarter, 12-of-22 in the scorn half as a whole), but the Badgers cooled off and couldn’t take advantage.

Ferrin finished with 15 points on 5-of-8 from the field (2-of-4 from 3) and 3-of-5 from the foul line, six assists and four rebounds. South Dakota signee Jake Brack scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds. His frontcourt partner, fellow senior Jack Healy, matched him with 12 points while corralling six caroms.

Lym was the only Badger in double figures, finishing with 16 points on 6of-12 shooting (2-of-4 from 3). As a team, Bennington shot 28.9% from the field.

Skutt advances to the semifinals on Friday.

BOX SCORE

Bennington:    4- 7-13-16 — 40

Omaha Skutt: 9-12-14-21 — 56

B: Gunnar Lym 16, Trey Bird 6, Austin Kaiser 5, Isaac Conner 4, Dylan Carat 3, Easton Lapel 3, Gavin Hiatt 3

OS: JJ Ferrin 15, Jake Brack 12, Jack Healey 12, Brock Scholl 5, Kyle Cannon 5, Dylan Van Dyke 3, Wyatt Archer 2, Mitch Scholl 1, Gabe Edstrand 1

No. 5 Crete 66, No. 4 Elkhorn 61

After a back-and-forth first period, Crete used runs at the beginning of the second and third quarters to build up a 20-point lead then survived a fierce Antler rally in the fourth to advance to the semifinals.

Colin Comstock and Ethan Yungtum dropped 24 piece for Elkhorn but Crete’s offensive balance won out in a hectic game that featured nearly 40 combined turnovers and 24 missed free throws.

Aidan McDowell and Ben Ehlers scored 13 apiece on a combined 11-of-17 shooting including 2-of-3 from deep for Ehlers. Jabin Gardiner scored 10 point and caused chaos on defense with five steals. Trace Eggs and Justus Gardiner scored eight apiece off the Cardinal bench on a combined 7-for-10 from the field while Gardiner, a sophomore, chipped in three assists and two steals while knocking down a pair of triples.

Crete used a 7-0 run to pull ahead early but Comstock scored the last five points of the first quarter to tie it up at 13-all. 

Crete’s 1-3-1 defense caused plenty of problems for Elkhorn’s offense, however, as the Antlers turned it over five times in the first four minutes and the Cardinals opened the second quarter with an 8-0 run. The Cardinals continued to extend the lead throughout the period, taking a 36-23 edge into the locker room at halftime. Elkhorn had 13 first-half turnovers to just six for Crete.

The Cardinals opened the third quarter with a 9-2 run to extend the lead to 20 before Yungtum converted a four-point play for Elkhorn, triggering a 16-6 run spanning the end of the third and start of the fourth quarter to make it a 10-point game. 

The fourth quarter turned into a 40-minute, foul-filled free-throw fest that saw the teams shoot a combined 19-of-35 from the charity stripe. Elkhorn continued to chip away at it as Comstock scored 12 points and Yungtum scored nine in the fourth, but they ran out of time.

Comstock shot 8-of-13 from the field including 4-of-7 from deep and 4-of-7 from the foul line for the game.

Crete will face No. 1 Skutt in Friday’s semifinals. Tipoff is set for 1:30 p.m. CT at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

BOX SCORE

Crete:     13-23-12-18 — 66

Elkhorn: 13-10-12-26 — 61

C: Ben Ehlers 13, Aidan McDowell 13, Jabin Gardiner 10, Trce Egge 8, Justus Gardiner 8, Mason Crumbliss 7, Kenner Svitak 5, Drew Henning 2

E: Colin Comstock 24, Ethan Yungtum 24, Dylan Bertucci 5, Luke Howard 5, Nate Roberts 2, Charlie Lamski 1

No. 2 Platteview 60, No. 7 Norris 50

The young Norris Titans put up a heck of a fight, cutting and eight-point fourth-quarter deficit down to four with four and a half to go, but Class Bs all-time leading scorer simply decided his career wasn’t going to end.

Connor Millikan took over from there. Platteview responded to Norris’ push with a 10-2 run to stretch the lad out to 12 with just over a minute to play. Millikan had three layups and an assist and he also forced a turnover during he run. He then went on to go 4-for-4 from the line down the stretch.

Millikan finished with 36 points on 12-of-19 from the field (4-of-6 from 3) and 8-of-10 from the foul line, 10 rebound, four assists, three steals and two blocks. Trey Moseman scored 10 points including a tough layup to trigger the deciding run. Sophomore Reiman Zebert chipped in in points on 4-of-5 shooting.

The teams went back and forth throughout the first quarter until a 3 at the buzzer from freshman Macoy Folkerts, the hero from the Titans’ district final, put Norris up 17-14 heading into the second.

Platteview tied it up midway through the second on a Millikan pull-up 3, but Norris jumped back in front at halftime, 29-27.

After tying it up on a Millikan bucket to open the third, Platteview used a 7-0 run to take the lead for good. The Trojans extended the advantage out to seven on another Millikan 3 before Folkert’s got two points back at the free-throw line to make it 43-38 Platteview heading into the fourth and Millikan carried the Trojans home from there.

Freshman Chris Garner Jr. and sophomore Barret Boesiger scored 11 apiece for Norris while senior Dakota Klein chipped in 10.

BOX SCORE

Norris:         17-12- 9-12 — 50

Platteview: 14-13-16-17 — 60

N: Barret Boesiger 11, Chris Garner Jr. 11, Dakota Klein 10, Macoy Folkerts 7, Alec Small 5, Josh Bornschlegl 4, Wyatt Wubbels 2 

P: Connor Millikan 36, Trey Moseman 10, Reiman Zebert 9, Alex Draper 3, Ezra Stewart 2

No. 6 York 67, No. 3 Scottsbluff 54

A strong start and an even stronger finish from the Dukes propelled York into the semifinals. When it came down to winning time, York sophomore Ryan Huston answered the call. 

With York leading 59-54, Scottsbluff freshman Nate Kelley found a teammate open under the basket with a terrific pass to potentially make it a one-possession game, but Huston flew in from behind and blocked the shot, then secured the rebound and passed ahead to Ryan Seevers for a layup.

Then after a Scottsbluff turnover, Huston set up Austin Phinney for an and-one. Phinney missed the free throw but Huston grabbed the offensive rebound and got the ball to Garrett Ivey, who hit two bonus free throws. Then after a Bearcat miss, Huston grabbed the rebound and threw it ahead to Marshall McCarthy for a layup to put the finishing touches on an 8-0 run to end the game.

Huston led the Dukes with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting (2-of-2 from 3), seven rebounds, four assists and one big block.

Ivey was terrific running the show as well, finishing with 15 points, seven assists and four steals while hitting both his 3s and five of his six free throws. Barrett Olson added 14 points while Leyton Snodgrass chipped in 10 points and six rebounds off the bench.

York raced out to 16-9 lead thanks in part to Scottsbluff turnover issues and maintained a lead throughout the first half. Th Dukes pushed it to 10 before Scottsbluff scored the last two buckets of the half including a steal and score to beat the buzzer by Kellon Harris.

After shooting 3-of-13 from deep in the first half, the Bearcats hit four 3s in the third quarter as the lead exchanged hands five times. However, York closed the period on a 7-0 run to take a 49-44 edge heading into the final period.

York pushed the lead out to 11 midway through the period. Scottsbluff rallied to score six straight before Huston slammed the door shut.

Kelley led the Bearcats with 16 points on 6-of-10 from the field (2-of-5 from 3) and 2-of-4 from the line. Kaedon Powell scored 14 points on four 3-pointers. Harris chipped in 12 points, five boards and four assists. Scottsbluff converted at a 60% clip inside the arc (14-for-20) but int just 7-for-25 from deep.

York will face No. 2 Platteview in Friday’s semifinals, set for 3:15 p.m at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

BOX SCORE

York:            18-14-17-18 — 67

Scottsbluff: 13-13-18-10 — 54

Y: Ryan Huston 16, Garrett Ivey 15, Barrett Olson 14, Austin Phinney 6, Ryan Seevers 4, Marshall McCarthy 2

S: Nate Kelley 16, Kaedon Powell 14, Kellon Harris 12, Michael Mickey 5, Carter Reisig 5, Tyson Klein 2

CLASS D2 QUARTERFINALS

>> No. 1 Wynot 57, No. 8 Paxton 47: The top-seeded Blue Devils outscored the Tigers 30-18 in the middle two quarters to open up a double-digit lead heading into the final quarter and held on in the fourth quarter as the Tigers got their offense going. Zack Foxhoven led Wynot with 19 points including three triples while Chase Schroeder added 13. Isaiah Fox scored a game-high 22 points for Paxton.

>> No. 5 Sumner-Eddyville-Miller 62, No. 4 Osceola 54: Sumner-Eddyville-Miller took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter and made some big plays down the stretch to pull out a victory in the second game of the morning session at PBA. Jace Rosentreader matched Osceola’s Isaiah Zelasney with 25 points each. Kale Gustafson added 20 for the Bulldogs, but S-E-M got more from its supporting cast including 1 points from Kellen Eggleston.

>> 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.

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