- BOYS DISTRICT BASKETBALL: WIRTHELE HELPS STERLING PUNCH TICKET TO STATE
By Jeff Motz
Lincoln Prep Sports.com
WILBER---Sterling guard Jake Wirthele's stock keeps improving each game. The 5-11 junior scored 17 of his game high 22 points and hit crucial free throws in the final minute to help the Jets beat Giltner 60-55 to claim the D-2 District 1 title at Wilber-Clatonia High School Tuesday night.
The district title helps Sterling claim their second straight state tournament bid, their 23rd in school history, and a chance to defend their D-2 state championship.
After Sterling pulled ahead at halftime 25-22, the Jets started the quarter on an 11-0 behind three-pointers from Wirthlele, junior guard Klay Heusman, and a baskets from Zach Lempka and Connor Malone.
Giltner started to chip away halfway through the third quarter. Trailing 38-27, the Hornets went on a 15-0 run to finish the quarter thanks to back to back threes from Nathan Most and a three from Shay Hinrichs. Center Drew Ott converted on a three-point play to give Giltner a 41-38 lead.
The lead went back and forth in the early part of the fourth quarter. Lempka converted on a three-point play with under two minutes to go for a 54-51 Sterling lead. Hinrichs hit a basket on the next Giltner possession and Sterling stalled before Wirthele and Jese Salberg hit free-throws late in the game to seal the win.
Hinrichs finished the game with 21 points for Giltner, while Most scored 15 and Ott finished the night with 11 points.