NORFOLK — The Cedar Catholic boys were bounced into the consolation bracket at the MidState conference tournament at the hands of the third-seeded Wayne Blue Devils in semifinal action Friday night at Northeast Community College.
A fast pace and quick strikes early on, capped by a picturesque steal and subsequent coast-to-coast layup by Trojan senior Brady Steffen helped set the stage for Cedar in the first quarter.
The Trojans were left to fend off Wayne’s attacks without the help of sophomore Carter Arens as he found himself in a bit of foul trouble early on in the first frame. The Trojans also controlled the tempo on the other side of the court allowing only nine points by the Blue Devils, ending the first quarter up 12-9.
The second quarter picked up right where the first left off. Cedar, donning a 2-3 zone defense, and a stingy half court press unrelentingly gave up only 12 second-quarter points. That, paired with an excellent display of offensive prowess and an 18-point performance, sent the Blue Devils to the locker room trailing 30-21.
Returning from the break with their heads held high and all the momentum on their side, the Trojans allowed Wayne to claw back into it with a 9-0 scoring run on the heels of a 20 point effort by Wayne senior Shea Sweetland, who would make history as he crossed the 1000 career point mark with his performance. After Wayne tied the game up early in the third, Cedar Catholic would storm right back with three consecutive 3-pointers at the hands of Myles and Tate Thoene shifting the momentum back to Cedar to end the third period.
Things fell apart for the Trojans in the final frame as Sweetland immediately knocked down another trey, followed by a hard contested shot from Wayne senior Cody Rogers, giving Wayne their first lead of the evening. The Blue Devils then rode the charity stripe down the stretch and would not relinquish the lead back to the Trojans, finally culminating in a 59-52 victory for Wayne.
The loss puts Cedar Catholic in a match with Battle Creek for third place, which will be played in Rice Auditorium at Wayne State College on Saturday at 4:15 p.m.
Cedar 12 18 11 11 — 52
Wayne 9 12 17 21 — 59
Cedar — Myles Thoene, 17; Tate Thoene, 14; Charlie Schroeder, 8; Carter Arens, 7; Jaxson Bernecker, 4; Brady Steffen, 2.
Wayne - Shea Sweetland, 22;Tanner Walling, 11; Tyrus Eischeid, 11; Cody Rogers, 10; Josh Lutt, 5.