While one student went home happy after winning a date with Miss Nebraska in a raffle, the rest of the Lincoln North Star fans left with heartbreak.
Class A No. 7 Fremont crushed any hopes of a Gator upset early by scoring the game's first 10 points and cruising to a 52-33 boys basketball victory Friday night.
During the first six minutes, North Star committed turnovers on nine of 10 possessions and never recovered from the sloppy start.
North Star coach Tony Quattrocchi said he was hoping his players would start stronger and with more emotion following a senior night ceremony, but instead, Fremont controlled the game from the start.
"Unfortunately, we ended up turning the ball over a lot," Quattrocchi said. "You can't do that against a really good team like Fremont. Fremont played good defense the entire first half."
Brandon Kruse finally broke North Star's drought with a layup with 1:22 left in the first quarter, but the damage had already been done. Ian Nick responded with a three-pointer and the Tigers' lead never fell below double digits the rest of the game.
"This is a game where you want to come out, especially on the road, and have that kind of start gives you a little more of a comfort zone." Fremont coach Mark Williams said. "North Star likes to run patterns and certain sets, and we made them uncomfortable and weren't able to execute what they want to do."
Junior Alex Hamilton highlighted the opening quarter with a pair of three-pointers and several steals as the Tigers (16-4) made four of their first nine shots.
Connor Niehaus led the Tigers with 15 points, including 10 in the third quarter, which was highlighted by four points in the final three seconds. Hamilton added 11 points.
Creighton Morris paced North Star (9-12) with eight points, but the Gators' woes continued after the first period, as they finished with 23 turnovers and made just 10 of their 30 field-goal attempts.
"When you turn it over as many times as we did against that kind of defense, it makes it extremely difficult (to pull an upset)," Quattrocchi said. "Give credit to Fremont, they are a good team. They have an inside presence and an outside presence and they are going to be a force to reckon with."