Finally. The stage has been set.
Forty-eight girls basketball teams will converge on the state's biggest stage to find out which six teams are Nebraska's best for 2016-17.
Of those 48 teams, seven are from within the Lincoln metro area, five of them are city teams, four are in Class A.
Which brings up the point of how girls basketball is flourishing in Lincoln more than it has in four decades since the NSAA held the first girls state tournament 40 years ago, in 1977.
Northeast, Southwest, East and Pius X make up half of the Class A field, which may be a first in tournament history. Traditionally, Omaha metro schools make up a majority of the teams that make the Class A field. Since the break up of the highly popular (and sometimes hotly contested) Lincoln district in 1995, more than one or two city teams can have an opportunity to reach the Class A tournament.
Seeing more than one or two Lincoln teams in the same eight-team bracket wasn't that unusual for the boys over 20 years ago. Even the teams I played on at Northeast that twice won at state, Southeast and Lincoln High were usually the other Capital City teams that competed, too.
For Steve Bartek (Northeast), Jeff Rump (Southwest), Dennis Prichard (East) and Bill Rice (Pius X), I want to commend you for the fine work you have put together with your teams and help make Lincoln shine as a girls basketball mecca, if you will.
I offer the same praise toward Norris coach Mark Hagerman, Lincoln Christian coach Nick Orduna and Malcolm coach Trudy Samuelson. All of you should be thanked for what you have done to put girls basketball onto center stage in our area.
This should be a fun week to go see great basketball. I'm looking forward to it with anticipation!
NO MORE DISTRICT HOOPS FOR THE SEASON ON LINCOLNPREPSPORTS.COM
With the busy stretch of games coming up for the girls tourney, I figure I'd let Kellan Heavican, Matt Rigby and Michael Dixon rest their vocal cords the rest of the boys districts.
District finals on Monday night will be covered through our radio partners, KFOR FM103.3/1240AM and KLMS ESPN 1480AM.
Once the boys pairings are set for the state tournament, LincolnPrepSports.com and LincolnMetroSports.com will be front and center for all of the play-by-play action.
DID SOMEONE SAY BASEBALL IS AROUND THE CORNER?
In the midst of all of this basketball hoopla, I'm still finalizing the 2017 baseball broadcast schedule. Don't worry, it will be up soon. We'll continue to have plenty of games for you to checkout this spring! First game is March 16!