LINCOLN — LCC players had seen plenty of big games before, so they weren’t nervous when they squared off against topseeded and only twice beaten North Platte St. Patrick’s in Friday’s Class D1 State semifinal game at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
Noah Schutte nailed a pair of charity shots just 15 seconds into the game to take the early lead, but a layup by the Irish’s Dolan Branch soon knotted it up at 2-2.
The Bears never let the highly rated western Nebraska team get near the lead after that as they popped in back-to-back jumpers from Ty Erwin and Evan Haisch just over two minutes into the game to take control.
Another Haisch jumper and a Schutte basket and foul shot quickly built the lead to 10-2 before the North Platte team called a time out to try and regroup.
The two teams played evenly the rest of the first quarter as they both hit for 10 points to finish with the Bears ahead 20-12 at the close of the opening frame.
The Irish were able to work their offense in the second frame, as they put up 17 points, compared to 18 for the Orange and Black to trail by nine points at the break — 38-29. It looked as through the Irish would end the frame with the scoring advantage but Ty Erwin bounced a shot in as time expired.
At times, the contest looked more like football than basketball as several players ended up on the floor. The refs tried to maintain con
The refs tried to maintain control with their foul calls. This put St. Patrick’s in foul trouble early as they racked up their seventh team foul with just under five minutes left in the first frame, allowing the Bears to begin a long day from the freethrow line.
The Irish were whistled for their 10th team foul with just over three minutes left in the first frame, giving the Bears two foul shots each time a North Platte player was whistled for the rest of the first half.
LCC ended the game taking 40 freethrow shots, and hitting on 25 of them, while St. Patrick’s made 16-27.
The referees called the game tight the entire game as three starters, two for St. Patrick’s and one for LCC, ended up fouling out of the game. The Irish were able to pull
The Irish were able to pull within three points early in the second half, 42-39, thanks to a Jack Heiss 3-pointer and a Corby Condon reverse layup.
The Bears answered back quickly, to stop the Irish’s momentum as Schutte nailed a trey at the 4:11 mark and that’s all the closer they could get as the Bears continued to pound away, outscoring North Platte 14-5 in the fourth quarter for the 65-49 win.
Freethrow shooting was again key in the final frame as the Bears hit 10 charity shots in the fourth quarter.
As he has all season long, Noah Schutte had another big game for the Bears, with another double-double. He pumped in 28 points and 14 rebounds. Ty Erwin also hit for double figures, knocking down 14 points.
LCC 20 18 13 14 — 65
N Platte St Pats 12 17 15 5 — 49
FG 14-23 ---
3PT 4-13 ---
FT 25-40 ---
Reb 38 ---
TOs 8 ---
LCC - Noah Schutte, 28; Ty Erwin, 14; Evan Haisch, 9; Cael Hartung, 6; Evan Schmitt, 5; Austin Hall, 3. NPSP - Jack Heiss, 16; Dolan Branch, 10; Joseph Heirigs, 7; Corby Condon, 6; Logan O’Malley, 5; Alex Davies, 4; Charles Aufdenkamp, 1. REBOUNDS
REBOUNDS LCC - Noah Schutte, 14; Austin Hall,
LCC - Noah Schutte, 14; Austin Hall, 7; Cael Hartung, 6; Ty Erwin, 4; Evan Haisch, 4; Evan Schmitt, 2; Jake Rath, 1.
LCC - Ty Erwin, 4; Noah Schutte, 4; Evan Schmitt, 2; Cael Hartung, 1.
LCC - Noah Schutte, 2; Wilton Roberts, 2; Evan Haisch, 1; Ty Erwin, 1; Cael Hartung, 1.