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12/30/2017 - BOYS BASKETBALL: 35-Point 2nd Half Propels East To Third Straight HAC Title

By Jeff Motz

Lincoln East was battle tested early, but a late first half, early second half run proved to be the difference for the Spartans in capturing their third-straight Heartland Athletic Conference boys basketball title.

East outscored Lincoln North Star 35-14 in the second half to earn a 60-35 win over the Navigators Saturday night at the East Gym to improve to 10-0 heading into the new year.

North Star falls to 7-3, but gave the Spartans a run for their money in the second quarter.  Sam Juracek hit a three-pointer that put the Gators up 19-14 with 4:10 left in the first half.

East took over from there after taking a time out.  The Spartans finished the first half on an 11-2 run for a 25-21 halftime lead. 

The assault continued in the third quarter, as East outscored North Star 20-6 in the period.  Connor Rieckenberg hit back to back three-pointers to open up the half, as part of his 11 points.   Then Wayne State commit Jordan Janssen converted on a three-point play to give the Spartans a 45-27 lead.

Sam Griesel, the South Dakota recruit, led East with 21 points while Janssen chipped in 13.  North Star sophomore guard Donovan Williams, who scored 43 points Thursday against Fremont and 12 against Grand Island on Friday, led the Gators in scoring with 10 points.

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