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02/17/2018 - BOYS BASKETBALL: Milestones Set As East High Ends Drought Against Norfolk

By Jeff Motz

Lincoln East's boys basketball team achieved two major milestones on Senior Night Saturday.

First, the Spartans ended their drought of not winning against Norfolk with a 67-41 victory at the East Gym.  The last time East beat the Panthers was 2009, the same year the Spartans last qualified for the Class A State Tournament.

Secondly, with the win on Saturday night, the Spartans broke a school record for wins in a single season.  The 22-1 mark is the best in school history to this point. 

Only the 1980 Class A runner-up team had the most single wins in a season (21-2), a record that stood for 38 years.

Still, East had some unfinished business with defending Class A champ Norfolk and it didn't take long to finish it.

A 9-0 start put the Spartans in charge for the entire game.  Norfolk didn't get on the scoreboard until a pair of free throws from Connor Clayton with 1:45 left in the first quarter.  The Panthers didn't hit their first field goal with 20 seconds left in the period off a three-pointer from Matt Hagedorn, who led Norfolk in scoring with 14 points.

East led 28-17 at the half, but Norfolk rallied and got as close as ten points, 36-26, when junior guard Luke Kluver hit a pair of free-throws with 2:47 in the third quarter.

The Spartans quickly distanced themselves, as Connor Rieckenberg sank three straight three-pointers in the final two minutes to extend the lead at 47-31.

East then outscored Norfolk 20-10 in the final quarter to hold on for the win.

South Dakota commit and 6-6 senior Sam Griesel led the Spartans with 14 points, while Rieckenberg scored 10 and senior post player Gage Pohlmeier came off the bench and chipped in 11 points.

Kluver added 10 points in the loss for Norfolk, who dropped to 12-11.
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