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12/29/2017 - BOYS BASKETBALL: Gators Survive Islanders Comeback To Advance To HAC Championship

By Jeff Motz

Balanced scoring and tough defense helped Lincoln North Star earn a gutty 47-41 win over Grand Island Friday night in the semifinals of the Heartland Athletic Conference Boys Basketball Tournament.

The Navigators (7-2) will play 9-0 Lincoln East in Saturday's 7:15pm championship game at the East Gym.

Unlike the night before when he scored 43 points in an overtime win over Fremont, North Star sophomore guard Donovan Williams managed to only score 12 points in the win over the Islanders.

But Grand Island (5-3) sprinted to an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 36-34 with 6:18 left in the game.

Williams came through after a North Star timeout by nailing a three-pointer for a 39-34 advantage.  Grand Island closed the gap off a Much Biel basket to 41-39, but then couldn't convert on another shot the next possession.

North Star guard Alex Goll was found and hit both ends of the 1-and-1 with 37 seconds left to extend the Gator lead to four.  Brock Johnson later hit one of two free throws for a five point lead.

Johnson added 11 points for the Gators, while Goll finished with nine and Sam Juracek only had eight first half points.

Grand Island's LeBeck Warren scored a game-high 25 points, while Biel added 13 points in the loss.  The Islanders play for third place against Lincoln High Saturday at 5:30pm.
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