Falls City Sacred Heart hoping to sweep Class D2 state basketball titles

FALLS CITY – After watching the girls basketball team win their second-straight Class D2 championship on Saturday, the Falls City Sacred Heart boys team is itching to play in their first state tournament game since 2015.

The Irish qualified for the Nebraska School Activities Association State Basketball Championships via a wildcard after being stunned by Mead in the D1-2 district final, 40-39, on Feb. 27.

Sacred Heart led the entire game until the final buzzer when the Raiders hit a three-point shot to capture the district crown and a spot in their third-straight state tournament. Doug Goltz, coaching in his 32nd season, says you can’t give good teams an extra chance to win a game.

“We’ve relived and practiced those last six seconds quite a few times about how we could have done things a little differently. Having the wildcard, obviously that’s nice. We think we have a good team, a team that’s deserving to be playing in the state tournament.”

The boys team attended all three state tournament games to cheer on the girls team. Goltz hopes the players being in the tournament atmosphere and seeing the girls have success will be a positive for them this weekend.

This will be the 20th trip to the boys state tournament for the Irish. They have eight state titles in school history and have finished third twice.

Sacred Heart (22-3) dropped a spot to #2 in the latest News Channel Nebraska rankings, but still earned the top seed in the Class D2 tournament. They will open with #8 Cody-Kilgore (12-8) at Lincoln Southeast High School on Thursday. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 a.m. and the game will be carried on B103 (103.1 FM, b103.fm).

2018 NSAA Boys State Basketball Championship Brackets

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NCN State Tournament Coverage Plan (1st Round)

C1: #2 Winnebago vs. #7 Syracuse

When: 3:45 p.m. Thursday

Where: Bob Devaney Sports Center

Radio: 103.1 FM, B103.fm

D1: #2 Paxton vs. #7 Lourdes Central Catholic

When: 9 a.m. Thursday

Where: Lincoln Northeast High School

Radio: 1600 AM, 105.5 FM, ncn21.com

D1: #3 West Holt vs. #6 Johnson-Brock

When: 10:45 a.m. Thursday

Where: Lincoln Northeast High School

Radio: 103.1 FM, B103.fm

D2: #1 Falls City Sacred Heart vs. #8 Cody-Kilgore

When: 9 a.m. Thursday

Where: Lincoln Southeast High School

Radio: 103.1 FM, b103.fm

D-2 boys state basketball tournament scouting reports

Cody-Kilgore Cowboys (12-8)

Coach: Steve Fay

W-H ranking: none

Averages: 50-47.5

Top scorers: Garrett Egger, 12.1

Top rebounder: Egger, 6.2.

Tournament history: First appearance since 2003 and fifth overall. Won Class D-2 in 2002.

Did you know? The Cowboys played one game between Feb. 2 and Feb. 22, losing two to weather and one to a forfeit in subdistricts.

Falls City Sacred Heart Irish (22-3)

Coach: Doug Goltz

W-H ranking: 2

Averages: 53.2-35.8

Top scorers: Tyler Witt, 13.0; Drew Bippes, 11.4.

Top rebounder: Witt, 6.9.

Tournament history: First appearance since 2015 and 20th overall. Won D-1 in 1989, 1990, 1999, 2001 and 2004 and D-2 in 1990, 1991 and 2008. Finals record 8-2.

Did you know? Sacred Heart is one of five schools to win four consecutive state titles.

Giltner Hornets (19-6)

Coach: Jordan Ortmeier

W-H ranking: 7

Averages: 55-41.1

Top scorers: Josh Hinrichs, 11.9.

Top rebounder: Hinrichs, 5.1.

Tournament history: First appearance since 2016 and 18th overall. Won Class D-2 in 2011 and 2012.

Did you know? The Hornets and Sacred Heart are Class D-2’swild-card qualifiers.

Mead Raiders (11-12)

Coach: PJ Quinn

W-H ranking: 4

Averages: 40.2-41.6

Top scorers: Josh Quinn, 18.1.

Top rebounder: Quinn, 4.7.

Tournament history: Class D-2’s runner-up the past two years is making its third consecutive appearance and 24th overall. Won Class F in 1926, B in 1932 and 1935 and D-1 in 2009.

Did you know? The Raiders got to state by winning one game in triple overtime and the next two on buzzer-beaters.

Mullen Broncos (19-5)

Coaches: Rusty and Justin Moore

W-H ranking: 3

Averages: 56.7-39.3

Top scorers: Tell Spies, 13.3; Luke Christen, 12.2

Top rebounder: Spies, 9.2.

Tournament history: Defending champion is making its 15th appearance overall.

Did you know? Last year’s title run was the first time the Broncos won in the tournament since 1923.

Riverside Chargers (23-2)

Coach: Joe Imus

W-H ranking: 1

Averages: 64.8-43.9

Top scorers: Tredyn Prososki, 18.8; Joe Bloom, 16.9; Riley Swerczek, 11.6.

Top rebounder: Bloom, 8.2

Tournament history: Has qualified for state all four years of existence. Lost in semifinals the past three years.

Did you know? Riverside is trying for a football-boys basketball title sweep.

Wilcox-Hildreth Falcons (19-7)

Coach: Matt Nelson

W-H ranking: 6

Averages: 54.2-43.6

Top scorers: Lantz Grauerholz, 12.7; Caleb Springer, 12.0.

Top rebounder: Grauerholz, 9.4

Tournament history: First appearance since 2015 and second overall.

Did you know? The Falcons defeated Giltner 58-45 in the district final only to be paired against the Hornets in the first round.

Wynot Blue Devils (14-9)

Coach: Lee Heimes

W-H ranking: 9

Averages: 51.7-44.6

Top scorers: Justin Lange, 10.7; Nate Wieseler, 10.3; Landon Wieseler, 10.0

Top rebounder: Lange, 7.0.

Tournament history: Third consecutive appearance and eighth overall. Class D-2 champion in 2013.

Did you know? The Blue Devils’ first appearance at state was in 1990.

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