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01/04/2009 - From the Press Box: Southwest emerges as one of Class A's best

Jeff Motz

Happy New Year!!  You've made your resolutions and now you have the task of following through with them as long as you can in 2009.  You could say the same thing for the Lincoln Southwest Boys Basketball team.  

After winning the Heartland Athletic Conference championship on Dec. 31st, the Silver Hawks emerged as one of the top five teams in the state and enter the new Union Bank Class A rankings as the No. 1 team in the state, ahead of new No. 2 Omaha Bryan.

You may think differently on the ratings and your questions and comments are welcome at  But after seeing the Heartland Conference tourney this past week, there's no doubt Lincoln basketball is back.

Southwest, Lincoln East, Southeast, Lincoln High and Northeast played exceptionally well in the tournament.  East High is one dangerous team that could get on a roll and build on success.  Southeast is tough on all fronts and Lincoln High, despite their 3-4 record, is very capable of bouncing back in the next two months.  Northeast, who is off to a surprising 5-3 start, still could be a tough opponent for the other Lincoln schools.

Sterling basketball broadcasts

For those of you down in Sterling and who frequent this site on a regular basis, we'll be back down there Tuesday, January 6th for a boys/girls doubleheader with Johnson-Brock and against Dorchester on January 8th.  

The Jets picked up two more quality wins over the weekend in winning the Humboldt Holiday Tournament by beating Pawnee City 46-40 Friday night and handing a loss to Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer 41-38.  While the Jets have struggled from the free-throw line, Sterling continues to be pretty scrappy with the basketball.

Quality wins over Falls City Sacred Heart, Bruning-Davenport and H-TR-S should help boost Sterling up the ratings ladder.

Girls Basketball

Top-ranked, undefeated and defending Class A state champion Lincoln Southeast won the Heartland Athletic Conference basketball title, but it didn't come easy against 7th-ranked Lincoln East.  Still, the Knights won out and are entering January on a strong note.  East and Southeast will face each other coming up January 28th, a game you can hear on Lincoln Prep

Class B girls have four undefeated teams in the top ten, topped by Crete, then Seward, Pius X and Waverly.  The Class B field will be a tug of war if these four teams are still undefeated at some point.  Waverly and Pius X will play each other on Tuesday night, which will leave three undefeated teams.  

Lincoln Prep's Final Broadcast from the historic Birdcage

When Lincoln North Star heads to 4th-ranked Omaha Creighton Prep on February 7th, it will be the last time we broadcast from the historic gym that Prep students have long called the "Birdcage".  Work is already underway to build a new gym that will be called the Birdcage and seat around 2,200.  

If they had to rename the gym or floor after someone, it could be after former Prep basketball coach Brother Mike Wilmot.  He was Prep's head coach from 1971 to 1993 and coached state championship teams in 1976 and 1981. Brother Wilmot is also credited for producing big time players like Kevin Kuehl, Dave Wesely, Ted Parks, Chris Salerno, Kerry Trotter, Vic Lazzaretti, David Allen, Curtis Marshall, Eric Mitchell and T.J. Pugh.
In covering two games up there in recent years, there's no doubt it's one of the toughest places to play in the state.

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