Syracuse’s trust in the process and in each other lead to first state birth in nine years

SYRACUSE – The Syracuse boys basketball team’s journey to their first state tournament since 2009 didn’t come without it’s challenges throughout the season.

Head Coach Mark Hrabik installed a new offense at the beginning of the year, there were things players had to give up and senior point guard Trevor Brinkman didn’t play until Jan. 19 due to a knee injury he suffered in football.

The 26-year head coach, who led the team to a state championship in 2005 – the team’s last win at state, kept telling the Rockets “we’re going to get better at this, it’s going to be more comfortable and you’re still going to have the ability to make plays.”

“They guys have learned to trust what we are doing, the process of it (how it’s all played out at the end of the year), and especially each other. I think you’ve seen that with teammates stepping up at different times. Ben (Nannen) kicking the ball out to Sam (Goering) out in the corner to hit that big three in overtime (vs. Auburn in the district final on Feb. 26).”

Syracuse has developed into a team where the players know everybody is critical and they trust each other, according to Hrabik.

The seventh-seed Rockets (17-9) will play #2 Winnebago (20-6) in the first round of the Class C1 Nebraska School Activities Association State Basketball Tournament on Thursday at 3:45 p.m. The game will be played at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln and 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 C-1 Nebraska boys state basketball tournament scouting reports


Coach: Justin Harris

W-H ranking: Fifth

Averages: 58.8 offense-51.9 defense

Top scorer: Dylan Gentrup, 16.2

Top rebounder: Jessie Sullivan, 9.5

Tournament history: First appearance since 2014 and third overall. Runner-up in 2013. Record: 2-2.

Did you know? The Cardinals beat three ranked teams (O’Neill, Broken Bow, Winnebago)to get to state.


Coach: Nate Olson

W-H ranking: Seventh

Averages: 57.2-45.3

Top scorers: Padyn Borders, 13.2; Joshua Harvey, 10.2

Top rebounder: Kevin Linn, 8.2

Tournament history: First appearance since 1999 and 22nd overall. Runner-up in Class E in 1923. Record: 10-21.

Did you know? The Indians’ 22 wins are a school record.


Coach: Tino Martinez

W-H ranking: Second

Averages: 56.1-42.8

Top scorers: Mayra Almayra, 16.9; Jack Goering, 12.4

Top rebounder: Almayra, 7.4

Tournament history: First appearance since 2015 (third place) and 17th overall. Won Class C-1 in 2000 and was C-2 runner-up in 2008. Record: 12-16.

Did you know? The Crusaders defeated first-round foe Lincoln Christian 64-56 in December.


Coach: Gary Nunnally

W-H ranking: Fourth

Averages: 61-51

Top scorers: Justin Bubak, 16.6; Caleb Canfield, 11.7

Top rebounder: Bubak, 6.2

Tournament history: First appearance since 2015 and 15th overall. Won C-1 in 1999 and C-2 in 1988, 1991 and 2011. Four runner-up finishes. Record: 20-10.

Did you know? Former Husker Andrew Drevo is an assistant coach.


Coach: Jason Glenn

W-H ranking: Not ranked

Averages: 56.7-60.7

Top scorers: Cameron Raffaeli, 13.4; Adam Kroeger, 11.5; Clayton Murphy, 10.2

Top rebounder: Raffaeli, 8.8

Tournament history: First appearance since 2004 and 22nd overall. Runner-up in A in 1955 and 1958 and B in 1992. Record: 9-21.

Did you know? The Indians’ last win at state, in the 1992 semifinals, ended Wahoo’s state- record 114-game winning streak.


Coach: Mark Hrabik

W-H ranking: 10th

Averages: 57.7-52.3

Top scorers: Ben Nannen, 17.8; Will McCoy, 14.6

Top rebounder: Nannen, 5.5

Tournament history: First appearance since 2009 and 26th overall. Won Class B in 1959 and 1960, Class C in 1954 and C-1 in 2005. Record: 21-21.

Did you know? In the district final against Auburn, the Rockets trailed by five late in regulation but won 64-60 in overtime.


Coach: Kevin Scheef

W-H ranking: First

Averages: 70.4-50.5

Top scorers: Brendan Lacey, 16.5; Cameron Quick, 10.6; Winston Cook, 10.0

Top rebounder: Will Shanahan, 6.0.

Tournament history: Repeat qualifier is making 37th appearance overall. Ten titles: C 1926; B 1988-1991, 1993-1994; C-1 1996, 1998, 2013. Record: 50-26, 10-4 in finals.

Did you know? Wahoo has been in two of the past four C-1 finals.


Coach: Jeff Berridge

W-H ranking: Sixth

Averages: 70.7-55.4

Top scorers: MaNaPe Cleveland, 17.9; D’Von LaPointe, 16.8

Top rebounder: Cleveland, 5.7.

Tournament history: Fourth consecutive appearance and 15th overall. Won Class B in 1940 and C-1 n 2015; third place the past two seasons. Record: 15-12.

Did you know? Winnebago gave Class C-2 No. 1 Ponca its only loss, going 1-2 in the season series.

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