Johnson-Brock excited to earn trip to state after two years of bad breaks

JOHNSON – During boys state basketball week the last two years, Johnson-Brock was beginning track and field practice after just missing a spot in the Class D1 tournament.

The track spikes will have to remain in the closet for another week this season.

The Eagles qualified for the 2018  Nebraska School Activities Association State Championships for the first time since 2013 with a 55-48 win over BDS in the Class D1-1 district final on Feb. 27.

Second-year head coach Lucus Dalinghaus says the excitement level at the high school and town has been elevated, but the Eagles know they have to “get down to business and get to work” to accomplish their goal of winning the school’s third championship.

“We’ve had people say, ‘congratulations on the state tournament birth,’ ‘at least you made it to the state tournament.’ That’s something to be proud of, but we want more. We want to finish the deal. We’re three wins away. Not every team gets to this point and has this opportunity. We don’t want to see a wasted opportunity go by.”

Dalinghaus in no stranger to state tournaments. He made three appearances at the Kansas state tournament with Bern High School and Axtell High School. He led Axtell  to a state championship.

This will be the eighth trip to the state for the Johnson-Brock. They have won two titles, in 1997 and 1998, and are one of four schools in the class to win consecutive state championships (Falls City Sacred Heart – 1988 and 1989, Spencer-Naper – 2002 and 2003, and Lourdes Central Catholic – 2016 and 2017).

Before Johnson and Brock consolidated, Johnson attended the tournament seven times and Brock went once. Neither school won a state championship.

The Eagles (22-5) are ranked #6 in the latest News Channel Nebraska rankings and are the sixth-seed at this week’s tournament. They will play #3-seed West Holt (20-3) in the first round. Tip-off at Lincoln Northeast High School is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. Thursday. The game will air live on B103 (103.1 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,

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

When: 9 a.m. Thursday

Where: Lincoln Northeast High School

Radio: 1600 AM, 105.5 FM,

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

When: 10:45 a.m. Thursday

Where: Lincoln Northeast High School

Radio: 103.1 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,

Class D-1 boys state basketball tournament scouting reports

Fullerton Warriors (20-4)

Coach: Richard Plumtree

W-H ranking: 7

Averages: 61.7 offensive-45.8 defensive

Top scorers: Brandon Rasmussen, 16.2; TJ Dubas, 9.6.

Top rebounder: Brent Wetovick, 6.5

Tournament history: First appearance since 2014 and 19th overall. Runner-up in B in 1953 and 1958 and C in 1961.

Did you know? The Warriors are on a 10-game winning streak.

Heartland Huskies (20-3)

Coach: Clark Ribble

W-H ranking: 9

Averages: 62.6-42.8

Top scorers: Lane Huebert, 24.6; Connor Boehr, 11.3

Top rebounder: Huebert, 5.4

Tournament history: Repeat qualifier is making fourth appearance. Henderson was 3-3 in finals; Bradshaw was 2-5 at state.

Did you know? The Huskies qualified as a wild card after losing to Fullerton in the district finals. They went 4-3 after a 16-0 start.

Johnson-Brock (22-5)

Coach: Lucas Dalinghaus

W-H ranking: 6

Averages: 60.5-43.7

Top scorers: Ty Hahn, 17.0; Kaden Gyhra, 14.9; Cole Fossenbarger, 11.6

Top rebounder: Ben Bohling, 6.9.

Tournament history: First appearance since 2013 and seventh overall. Won D-1 in 1997 and 1998.

Did you know? Hahn is a sophomore who was an all-state wide receiver and Glenn is a freshman.

Kenesaw Blue Devils (26-0)

Coach: Jack Einrem

W-H ranking: 1

Averages: 61.9-41

Top scorers: Tyson Burr, 14.5; William Gallagher, 13.8

Top rebounder: Gallagher, 8.0

Tournament history: First appearance since 2016 and 21st overall. Class E runner-up in 1920.

Did you know? Kenesaw is the only undefeated team this season.

Nebraska City Lourdes Knights (18-8)

Coach: Joe Tynon

W-H ranking: 4

Averages: 50-40.7

Top scorers: Quinten Vasa, 15.3; Brandon Friedrichs, 10.3; Thomas Ragland, 10.3

Top rebounder: Vasa, 9.6

Tournament history: Two-time defending champion is making third consecutive appearance and sixth overall.

Did you know? Vasa is 6-foot-8, Friedrichs 6-6 and John Funke 6-3.

Osmond Tigers (22-3)

Coach: Todd Schulze

W-H ranking: 3

Averages: 60.7-43.2

Top scorers: Keaton Timmerman, 18.4; Alex Kumm, 14.0

Top rebounder: Timmerman, 10.6

Tournament history: First appearance since 1999 and ninth overall. Won Class H in 1918 and Class G in 1928 and was C-2 runner-up in 1994.

Did you know? Osmond’s losses are to Class C-1 or C-2 teams.

Paxton Tigers (22-1)

Coach: Jody Rhodes

W-H ranking: 2

Averages: 62.8-31.4

Top scorers: Blake Brewster, 16.4; Ryan Fox, 11.3.

Top rebounder: Brewster, 8.1.

Tournament history: First appearance since 2015 and 23rd overall. Class D-1 champion in 1995 and 2000 and is 2-4 in finals.

Did you know? Seven opponents have scored fewer than 20 points against the Tigers.

West Holt Huskies (20-3)

Coach: Todd Hale

W-H ranking: 5

Averages: 64.7-42.4

Top scorers: Bryce Kerkman, 16.0; Payton Williams, 10.4.

Top rebounder: Williams, 4.7.

Tournament history: First appearance since 2016 and fourth overall. It won Class C-1 in 1988. Atkinson won Class J in 1923 and E in 1927.

Did you know? West Holt qualified as a wild card after losing its first subdistrict game to Boyd County, which it had beat twice during the season.

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