FRIEND – The look of shock, disbelief and speechlessness from the Lourdes Central Catholic fans quickly changed to a celebration in the middle of the Friend High School gymnasium floor.
They couldn’t believe what they just saw.
The No. 15 Knights boys basketball team, who were 1-11 on Jan. 15, just upset No. 2 Overton, 49-28, in the Class D1-2 District Final Monday night.
The win secures a spot for Lourdes in the Nebraska School Activities Association State Basketball Championships for the fifth time in six seasons and a chance to win their fourth-straight Class D1 title, March 7-9 in Lincoln.
Freshman Blake Miller led the Knights with 19 points and 9 rebounds. Senior Colter Fulton added 12 points. Lourdes shot 47% from the field and 44% from three.
Their defense shut down two of the top scorers in the class and stopped an Eagles’ offense that scores 67 points per game.
Seniors Morgan Wallace and Braden Kizer, two of the top scorers in Class D1, were held to 12 and 5 points. Both average over 20 points this season and have scored over 1,000 career points. Kizer also grabbed 10 rebounds.
Knights Head Coach Joe Tynon calls Monday’s defensive effort the best they’ve had all season.
“They just finally did a good job of communicating and knowing where people are at; short, choppy steps and keeping the ball in front of them. We’ve been preaching about that all year long. We can’t get into a chase game with people and be flying around. We have to do a good job recognizing shooters, then closing out and keeping the ball in front. If we do those things, defensively, it becomes a lot easier so we’re not chasing around.”
Nebraska City Lourdes improve to 8-16 (7-5 since Jan. 15) and are projected to be the No. 8 seed at the state tournament next week. The assumption is they would play No. 1 Elm Creek at 9 a.m. Thursday at Lincoln East High School. Official brackets will be released on Tuesday.
Overton, who defeated Elm Creek in the D1-9 Sub-District Championship last week, finishes the season 20-3.
Programming note: News Channel Nebraska will have coverage of Lourdes Central Catholic, Auburn, Johnson-Brock and Falls City Sacred Heart at the state tournament on B103 or Otoe County Country
Follow Hunter on Twitter: @TheBurnRadio