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03/02/2015 - BOYS C1-2 DISTRICT BASKETBALL: Christian Uses OT To Earn Trip To State

By Jeff Motz

CRETE---Lincoln Christian knew Wilber-Clatonia was fresh off an upset win over Milford last Thursday night.  

After all, the Crusaders the same night shocked Lincoln Lutheran to advance to Monday night's Class C1-2 district championship.

Still, Christian managed to go overtime and beat the Wolverines 43-39 in front of a near capacity crowd at the Haddix Center on the Doane College campus.

The win for the Crusaders (11-14) put them automatically in the Class C1 boys state basketball tournament next week, with a possible first round matchup with Wahoo Neumann.  

Dalton McGerr had another big night for Christian, scoring a team-high 12 points, including two baskets in the crucial overtime period, after it was a 36-36 game at the end of regulation. One came on a layup to start the overtime period, before Wilber-Clatonia' Carter Zlab responded with a baseline jumper.

Two possessions later, an offensive foul on a rebound sent Christian center Phil Grothaus to the free throw line, where he connected on both to give a 40-38 lead with 1:27 left.

Wilber-Clatonia (14-9) managed to get one of two free throws from guard Alec Munro with 1:18 left.  Then McGerr found a crease and drove to the basket for another layup with 49 seconds to play.

After drawing a foul off a rebound, Isaac Olsen made the second of two free throw tries with seven seconds left to seal the win for the Crusaders.

Munro's desperation shot was off the mark as time expired.

Jared Bubak was the other Christian player in double-figures with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting and grabbed six rebounds.  Grothaus had nine points and a game-high eight rebounds.

Zlab led all scorers with 13 points and Jacob Sykes added 10 points in the loss for the Wolverines.

The Crusaders had a 31-27 third quarter lead, after holding for a 22-19 advantage at halftime.

From the line, Christian shot a dismal 35%, while Wilber-Clatonia was 9-of-13 for 69%, which made up for their 29% from the field.

Stay with for more on this story. 

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