Everything you need to know about Class C boys state basketball teams

Class C-1

Grand Island Central Catholic (18-7, No. 5 ranking): Since a 58-57 loss at No. 1 Wahoo, the Crusaders have won six in a row. Jack Goering, a 6-foot senior, leads coach Tino Martinez’s team with a 15.3 scoring average. A repeat qualifier, GICC is making its 18th appearance. Its only state title was in 2000.

Auburn (21-3, No. 9): Sophomore guard Cameron Binder set the Bulldogs’ record with 40 points in the district final against Fort Calhoun, boosting his season average to 20.6. Josh Lambert, a 6-7 junior, averages 14.7 points and 8.8 rebounds for veteran coach Jim Weeks, who has Auburn in the field for the first time since 1985. There are no seniors on the team.

Wahoo (23-3, No. 1): Undefeated in its class, the defending champion has won 17 in a row and is favored to be in the finals for the 16th time (and the third in a row) and win its 12th title. Coach Kevin Scheef’s Warriors, averaging 72 points a game, are powered by Winston Cook (20.2 ppg) and Blake Lacey (16.8).

Boys Town (19-7, No. 4): The Cowboys recovered from a subdistrict upset by Fort Calhoun to knock out Kearney Catholic in the district final. Chrishaun Henry (12.1 points, 7.5 rebounds) and Uzziah Freeman (10.5, 9.5) lead the frontcourt attack for coach Tom Krehbiel. Boys Town is at state for the 26th year and is seeking to add to its seven titles, the most recent in 2012.

Ogallala (26-0, No. 2): Staying undefeated has included a couple of close calls for new coach Andy Gillen and the Indians, most recently a 66-62 win over Hershey in the subdistrict semifinals. This is a vastly improved team, averaging 74 points a game, over the one Wahoo blitzed in the first round last year. Carter Brown (15.9), Evan Allen-Mader (11.0) and Cameron Raffaeli (10.4) are their top scorers. Ogallala is making its 23rd appearance and was a state runner-up in 1955, 1958 and 1992.

Milford (21-5, unranked): A 58-35 win over Cozad gave the Eagles their first state berth since 2012 and their 17th overall. Coach Tony Muller, whose team gives up only 43 points a game, has Nathan Mensik averaging 14.4 points and Bragan Meyer 12.5. The school won Class I in 1920 and was runner-up in D in 1926 and C-1 in 1998.

North Bend (23-3, No. 8): A pair of 1,000-point career scorers, Tanner Wietfeld (15.8 ppg) and John Emanuel (15.0), lead a physical team, coached by John Baehr, that returns to Lincoln for the first time since 2016. The Tigers are making their 11th appearance, but only the fourth since 1927, and look for their first semifinal since then.

Adams Central (17-7, No. 3): The Patriots earned their first trip back after they reached the 2016 finals by beating Ashland-Greenwood 72-49 in districts. Coach Zac Foster’s team has an inside-outside presence with 6-9 junior Haggan Hilgendorf averaging 16.5 points and 6.3 rebounds and guards Nolan Sughroue and Thomas Hunt at 12.7 and 10.5 points, respectively.

Class C-2

Sutton (24-2, No. 2): A 47-45 win over Centura ended a five-year absence at state for coach Jon Ladehoff’s Mustangs, whose only losses are to state qualifiers Centennial and Milford. They’re allowing only 39.5 points a game. Garrett Nuss, at 11.4 points per game, leads balanced scoring. Sutton has four state titles, the last in 2003, and has been runner-up three times.

Yutan (21-5, No. 5): Coach Justin Petersen’s Chieftains earned a return trip to state — they were fourth last year — by blasting Tri County 54-25 in districts. Their top three scorers will be back next year — juniors Trey Knudsen (15.9) and Colby Tichota (12.5) and sophomore Brady Timm (11.3). After a Class E title in 1924, Yutan was runner-up in D in 1973 and C in 1979.

Ponca (22-4, No. 4): The two-time defending champion defeated high-scoring Laurel-Concord-Coleridge twice — in the subdistrict and district finals — to earn its 17th berth and keep alive hopes of a fourth title since 2007. Junior forward Carter Kingsbury is their top scorer and rebounder (18.5, 5.5) and Brandon Kneifl averages almost 10 points a game.

Bridgeport (23-2, No. 6): With only losses to state qualifiers Alliance and Ogallala, the Bulldogs come east with a 16-game winning streak. They beat Battle Creek 58-47 in districts. Drake DeMasters averages 14.4 points and 9.4 rebounds, Kaleb Lussetto 12.9 points and Logan Nichols 10.1 points. Coach Nick Broz’s team is at state for the 12th time and first since 2015. Bridgeport was C-1 champion in 1990.

BRLD (24-1, No. 1): Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur has lost only to its first-round opponent, Howells-Dodge, and got a payback win three games later. It turned back a young Hastings St. Cecilia squad 48-41 in districts. Coach Cory Meyer, whose team is a repeat qualifier, has a scoring core of sophomore point guard Lucas Vogt (13.2 ppg), Dylan Beutler (12.4) and Darwin Snyder (10.7).

Howells-Dodge (18-9, No. 10): A 45-41 upset of Freeman at districts has the Bobcats, who lost to Wakefield in subdistricts, at state for the first time since 2014. Their first appearance was in 2013 when they won Class D-1. Coached by Kevin Janata, Blake Sindelar averages 11.5 a game and Josh Brester 11.1.

Centennial (23-2, No. 3): A victory at state will be the first in six tries for the school. Coach Cameron Scholl’s Broncos last were there in 2017 and are trying for a sweep of C-2’s football and boys basketball titles. Jackson Hirschfeld, who scored the eight winning points in overtime in Memorial Stadium, averages 20.6 points, and his quarterback, Cooper Gierhan, is next at 13.6.

Wakefield (20-3, No. 9): Back at state for the first time since 2006, a year after it made the C-2 finals, the Trojans are there for the 17th time and seeking their first title since 1948 and fourth overall. Coach Joe Wendte’s team has 6-6 senior Solomon Peitz averaging 15 points and 8.5 rebounds. Justin Erb is next at 11.2 and 6.6.

C1: Auburn vs. Grand Island CC

When: 9 a.m. Thursday

Where: Bob Devaney Sports Center

TV: News Channel Nebraska

D1: Lourdes Central Catholic vs. Elm Creek

When: 9 a.m. Thursday

Where: Lincoln East High School

Radio: KNCY 1600 AM, 105.5 FM, ncnsportsnow.com

D2: Johnson-Brock vs. Humphrey St. Francis

When: 9 a.m. Thursday

Where: Lincoln Northeast High School

Radio: B103 (103.1 FM, b103.fm)

D2: Falls City Sacred Heart vs. Blue Hill

When: 10:45 a.m. Thursday

Where: Lincoln Northeast High School

Radio: B103 (103.1 FM, b103.fm)

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