Eagles Qualify for Third Consecutive State Tourney; Undefeated Howells-Dodge Is Thursday’s Night Foe
On Tuesday night, Feb. 26, the Eagles defeated BDS 55-40 to qualify for their third consecutive state tournament appearance. Johnson-Brock will play in the Class D-1 state tournament after qualifying in Class C-2 the past two years.
Coach Krenk’s Comments
Johnson-Brock Head Coach Nick Krenk said, “We have really had things come together for us over the past week and half, but I knew we had this run in us if a few things went our way. We got off to a tremendous start on Tuesday night, holding BDS scoreless in the first quarter and to only 6 points by halftime. We held Ryan Tegtmeier of BDS, a two-time All-Stater, to only 2 points at half.
“We were able to further extend our lead in third through ball-control and back-door cuts against BDS pressure. In the 4th quarter, we got a little sloppy with our ball-handling and BDS cut the lead to 11 points on a couple of occasions. However, the boys righted the ship, knocked down our free-throws and extended the lead back to 18 before a late 3-pointer by BDS.
“We played a 1-3-1 defense, which forced BDS a bit out of their comfort zone. We stayed in 1-3-1 the whole game, as they never really figured out a way to attack the zone defense,” he commented.
Scoring by quarters:
District Finals Statistics
In the district final, four Eagles scored in double figures. Behrends and Wenzl each tallied 11 points, while Niedermeyer and Stahl scored 10 points apiece. Others getting into the scorebook were Dontavious Sturgeon-Rieger with 8 points and Lukas Buchmeier 5.
The Eagles shot 16 of 28 (57%) from two-point range. They were led by Stahl who went a perfect 5 for 5, Sturgeon-Rieger at 4 for 7, Niedermeyer with 3 for 5, and Wenzl with 2 for 4.
Johnson-Brock also made 2 of 6 treys (33%) and 17 of 24 free throws (71%).
BDS made 11 of 34 buckets (32%), 2 of 15 treys (13%), and 12 of 14 free shots (86%).
Eagles rebounders: Niedermeyer 8; Stahl 4; Behrends, Buchmeier and Sturgeon-Rieger 3.
Most assists: Behrends 6; Stahl 4, and Buchmeier 2.
Steals: Stahl 4; Behrends 1.
Niedermeyer blocked two shots and Stahl blocked one BDS try.
Buchmeier drew a charge.
Buchmeier and Niedermeyer finished with four personal fouls apiece, while Sturgeon-Rieger had three.
Most team statistics were closer than the final score indicates. Johnson-Brock outrebounded BDS 26 to 24, had two more turnovers 16 to 14, and was whistled for six less fouls 14 to 20.
State Tournament Details
The first round pairing for Johnson-Brock on Thursday, March 7, is Howells-Dodge (26-0) at 7 p.m. at Lincoln North Star High School, 5801 N. 33rd St.
Also in the Class D-1 State Tourna ment field are: High Plains (21-4), O’Neill St. Mary’s (21-4), Arapahoe (24-4), Paxton (25-0), Kenesaw (23-1) and Burwell (24-2).
The Johnson-Brock/Howells-Dodge winner will play the Kenesaw-Burwell winner Friday, March 8, at 8:45 p.m. at Pershing Center.
Saturday, March 9, the Class D-1 championship will be at 8:30 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The third place game is at 2 p.m. at Lincoln High School.
Howells-Dodge’s undefeated season has included wins by both wide and the narrowest of margins. The Jaguars won the Guardian Angels Central Catholic Holiday Tournament and the East Husker Conference Tournament before claiming the subdistrict and district championships. They dominated Aquinas Catholic School of David City 61-27 and Logan View School 61-28, both opponents with winning records, and a struggling Neligh-Oakdale School 72-31.
Some of the Howells-Dodge’s closest wins have been 57-56 over (19-6) Bancroft-Rosalie, 53-52 over G.A.C.C. in the subdistrict finals and 49-46 over (19-5) Randolph in the district finals.