By Jeff Motz
Lincoln Prep Sports.com
OMAHA---One thing after another, things simply were not going Lincoln High's direction.
A miscommunication on who was the home team and Grand Island's athleticism and transition game proved to be trouble for the Links, as the Islanders won 63-37 Saturday night in the semifinals of the A-2 Boys District Basketball Tournament at Omaha Central High School.
The win puts Grand Island in the district championship game Monday night against Central, who put a 95-44 thumping on the fourth-seed Lincoln East in the other semifinal.
Before the game could tip off, there was a 30-minute delay over who was the home team. Both Lincoln High and Grand Island wore dark colored uniforms, where the Islanders retreated to the locker room to change into their home uniforms. But tournament officials determined that since Lincoln High was listed on the top part of the bracket, despite their No. 3 seeding, they had to be the home team.
The Links returned to the court with nine players wearing white uniforms, while the Islanders reverted back to their dark uniforms. For Lincoln High, the rest of the game wouldn't be the same.
Grand Island sprinted out to a 16-9 lead in the first quarter and extended to 33-17 at halftime. Travis Scheuler scored a game high 16 points for the Islanders (14-8), while an athletic Max Ayoub added 11 points. Grand Island's transition game caused problems for the Links in taking care of the ball.
Lincoln High picked up two technical fouls late when head coach Dan Noble put in seniors Nate Matz and Micah Thiessen, both wearing their dark uniforms after giving their other jerseys to two starters. That resulted in some late free-throws from Schueler and Cory Foland and Grand Island with possession of the ball.
Deondre White scored 17 points to lead Lincoln High, who finishes the season at 12-12. John Harris added nine points for the Links before fouling out.
OMAHA CENTRAL 95, LINCOLN EAST 44
Barely three minutes into the game, Central had a 17-2 lead and never looked back. The Eagles finished the first quarter with a 27-10 lead. Then a 49-25 halftime advantage and led 70-37 heading into the fourth quarter.
Reserve Deshun Roberts led Central (22-3) with 18 points, while Darian Barrientos-Jackson scored all 17 of his points in the first half. TraDeon Hollins finished with 15 points for Central.
East (3-21) was led by Jordan Newman's 18 points.