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CURRENT ARTICLE
03/11/2018 - From The Press Box: Plenty Of Drama And Excitement In Boys State Tourney

From The Press Box

In nearly 41 years of existence, I've seen a lot of state tournaments that were full of excitement and drama.

This year's NSAA boys state basketball tournament may have reached the pinnacle of dramatics and excitement with the numerous overtime finishes and upsets.

Thursday night's triple overtime thriller for Omaha Creighton Prep and Lincoln Pius X was by far the best game I had seen all season---perhaps the most heart racing game I've seen in years.

Consider Prep had a 71-68 lead with 2.6 seconds left in regulation when Pius X's Thomas Robertson inbounded the ball to Charlie Easley, who took a few dribbles past half court and sank a 28-foot bank shot at the buzzer to send it to the first overtime.

The Pius X faithful and the Lincoln media folks, like myself, on press row all went bonkers.  If you want to hear how my call sounded on KFOR FM103.3/1240AM, click here

At this point, a lot of us thought Prep would dictate the first overtime and hold on for the win.  But Pius X didn't go away and kept hanging in through the first and second overtimes, before the Junior Jays took control and wore out Pius X in triple OT.  We were close to going to four overtimes, but Austin Jablonski's shot bounced off the rim and Prep came away with the win in an instant classic.

Millard South, the No. 8 seed and wildcard entrant to state, upset top seed Omaha Central 75-65 in OT in the quarterfinals.  Lincoln East's magical season came to an abrupt end when Tre Crawford's three at the buzzer lifted Omaha Bryan to a 50-48 win in the final game of Thursday's quarterfinal round.

In Class B, York survived overtime to beat Crete 69-67 on Thursday, while in C1, Broken Bow upset Boone Central/Newman Grove 66-64 in another OT thriller.

Friday night, Bellevue West advanced to the Class A championship with a 66-64 buzzer-beater over Millard South. 

The excitement rolled over to Championship Saturday, where Wahoo edged Winnebago 70-66 in overtime.  So, you get the idea how this may have been one of the better boys basketball tournaments in a long time.

Nebraska City Lourdes captures their third straight Class D1 title, York goes double overtime to beat Omaha Skutt for the Class B crown.

Class C2 belongs to Ponca, while Prep took control in the fourth quarter to beat Bellevue West for the Class A championship (the Junior Jays' 13th basketball title) and Falls City Sacred Heart wins D2 over Riverside.

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EAST, PIUS X, CHRISTIAN HAD GREAT RUNS

The season that was for Lincoln East, Lincoln Pius X and Lincoln Christian showed signs of promise, but no guarantees.

The Spartans, who won a school record 24 games, suffered the heartbreaking loss to Omaha Bryan Thursday night.  They lose seniors Sam Griesel, Jordan Janssen, Hayden Barrett, Tath Dak, Gage Pohlmeier, Anthony Marfisi, Jordan Stoehr and Christian Wilke, all of whom played significant roles on East's success.

What lies ahead for East next season may be a regrouping of sorts, but other players who were on the team that saw some playing time and contributed at various points of the year. This year's group of Spartans were fun to watch. 

For Pius X, next season looks promising.  Charlie Easley and Joe Dworak, two key players in this year's post-season run, will return.  They will need to replace Thomas Robertson and Joe Burt, who will graduate.  Austin Jablonski returns next season, along with Kolbe Rada, who offered big time shooting off the bench.

As for Christian, coach Gary Nunnally does return players like Creighton Kuszak, Caleb Canfield, Justin Bubak and Ashton Carlson, all of whom contributed heavily to the team this year.

Pius X and Christian may be two Lincoln teams to keep an eye on for next year.

BASEBALL SEASON STARTS THURSDAY

LincolnPrepSports.com for the 14th season will bring you coverage of high school baseball in Lincoln.  

We're the only broadcast media outlet in town that will devote time to bringing you coverage of the city's top baseball teams from the start of the season all the way through the State Tournament in mid-May.

The 2018 starts Thursday at 5pm at Sherman Field, as Lincoln Northeast hosts Waverly.

Click on this link, Broadcast Schedule, to see the list of games we're planning to cover.  Schedule is subject to change.

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