LINCOLN — Wynot sent an RSVP in for the Class D2 boys basketball finals at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln with a 53-50 win Friday over Sumner-Eddyville-Miller.
With the victory over the SEM Mustangs in the semifinals, the Blue Devils earned their first trip to the State championship game since 2017 and a chance for its first title since 2013.
“Our goal is to get to the finals,” Wynot coach Lee Heimes said. “But our number one goal is to win the game we’re playing, this is the game we were playing today and we won it — now we move on to the finals.”
It was a close game throughout as the biggest lead of the game went to the Blue Devils at eight points after a long three from Zack Foxhoven with 1:45 left in the third frame.
Wynot had a chance to make it double-digits on the next possession after stealing the ball, but the Blue Devils missed a layup and the lead remained at eight.
Chase Schroeder converted one-of-two free throws with 14.1 seconds left in the third, but the Mustangs hit in the paint at the end of the period to close the gap to five.
The lead grew back to eight with a little under three minutes left in the contest when Carson Wieseler stepped under the SEM defense for a layup to make it 48-40, but with a couple of free-throw misses by the Blue Devils and a couple of Mustang buckets, the lead was cut in half.
“We missed a few free throws, but we knew we had to just hold it together,” said Wynot’s Dylan Heine. “We needed to just keep shooting and trust in each other and keep pressuring the ball.”
Heimes called a timeout with 21.8 seconds left and the Blue Devils up by four and ready to take possession of the ball.
The coach sent Schroeder deep from the other end of the court, he grabbed the ball and took it in for the lay-in to push the lead to six, 53-47. SEM nailed a three-pointer and then fouled Wynot with 9.1 seconds.
The Blue Devils missed both free throws and the Mustangs had one last heave for the tie.
The shot was off and Wynot was headed for the finals at Pinnacle Bank Arena this past Saturday night.
“It was what you expect in a semifinals to play for a State title,” Heimes said. “You have to earn your way there; they don’t give free passes.”
Wynot 8 19 14 12 — 53 SEM 9 15 12 14 — 50
Wynot - Zack Foxhoven, 12; Chase Schroeder, 12; Dylan Heine, 9; Colin Wieseler, 8; Andrew Haberman, 6; Carson Wieseler, 4; Kason Koch, 2. SEM - Kellen Eggleston, 12; Jason Guthard, 11; Noah Eggleston, 10; Jace Rosentreader, 10; Creyton Line, 5; Colt Schroeder, 2.