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03/13/2014 - BOYS STATE BASKETBALL: Southeast Struggles At The Line, Falls To Westside

By Jeff Motz

Free throws make a difference in basketball games.

Case and point, Class A quarterfinals Thursday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Lincoln Southeast struggled at the free throw line and Omaha Westside took advantage by hitting 21-of-29 charity tosses while earning a 63-56 victory in the NSAA Boys State Basketball Tournament.

The Warriors (20-5) move on to play top-seed Omaha Benson in the Friday 7pm semifinal at Pinnacle Bank Arena.  Southeast ends their season at 20-6.

The Knights were only 11-of-25 at the line, which hurt late in the game.  Westside's Michael Herrmann, who scored a game-high 24 points, hit a free throw with three minutes remaining in the third quarter that tied the game at 35 and sparked a 12-2 Warrior run for a 46-37 advantage in the final period.

Southeast trailed 25-24 at the half and took their first lead in the second half on a basket from BJ Day.  The Knights had control of the game at 35-34 in the third quarter on a basket from Luke Gifford before Westside rallied and held off Southeast the rest of the game.

Day led Southeast with 17 points, while Gifford scored 16 points.   Clayton Peterson scored all 11 of his points in the first half before fouling out late in the game.  Peterson hit three 3-pointers in the first half, as Southeast trailed 16-11.

Westside's Kevin Metoyer added 12 points in the win. 

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