HARTINGTON — Things didn’t exactly go as planned at the start of Cedar Catholic’s District title game with Wakefield Monday.
Cedar was able to eventually turn things around to earn a 56-45 win over Wakefield and advance to next week’s boys C2 State Basketball Tournament in Lincoln. The action will begin Wednesday. As of press time, the seedings had not been released yet but based on NSAA power points, Cedar is likely to earn the fifth seed.
The Trojans put up nothing but bricks for much of the first eight minutes Monday night at the Msgr. Werner Activity Center.
Cedar finally got on the board when Carson Arens nailed a 3-pointer at the 6:45 mark.
Luckily, Wakefield’s offense struggled just as mightily in the early going as they weren’t able to find the net until Blake Brown nailed a trey with 3:15 left in the first frame to knot the game at 3-3. He then put his team up 5-3 with a steal and layup one minute later.
Both offenses continued to struggle the rest of the way, and that’s the way the first frame ended.
Cedar Catholic Coach Matt Steffen said he was a bit worried when nothing would fall early on, but knew senior stand-out Myles Thoene had the ability to turn things around for the team.”
“We just keep telling them to be patient. He (Myles) is such a good shooter, eventually he’s going to make his shots,” Steffen said. “When it is tight, the bottom line is, somebody just has to make the shot.”
Both teams shook off their funk in the second frame. Myles Thoene and Carson Arens both hit from downtown in the second frame and Carter Arens hit a pair of jumpers and a freethrow to give the Trojans a 12-11 scoring advantage to trail by one, 16-15, at the halftime break.
Cedar began to take control in the second half.
Carson Arens hit two more from downtown and a jumper to lead the charge in the third quarter. Myles Thoene chipped in with a 3-pointer and a lay-in, while Jaxson Bernecker made good on three jumpers to send the Trojans on a 20-11 third-quarter run.
Blake Brown, who ended the night with a gamehigh 31 points, refused to call it quits, though. He connected for 17 of his team’s 27 second-half points. He also did his best to disrupt the Cedar Catholic offense, collecting four steals on the night.
The Trojans sealed the win in the final frame with a 21-18 outburst.
Tate Thoene said the Trojans went into the game knowing they would have a battle on their hands, but they also knew they’d been there before.
“We learned last year that we had trouble with the atmosphere. It was really intense,” he said. “We need to be ready this year. It’s been big for us.” Cedar was led in the contest by three double-figure scorers. Carson Arens finished with a team-high 18 points, while Myles Thoene and Jaxson Bernecker both hit for 14.
Wakefield was led by Blake Brown’s 31-point effort.
This marks the Trojans 20th trip to the State Tournament and the first time Cedar has been in Lincoln since 2015.
This also marks the first time since 2011 that both the Cedar Catholic boys and girls basketball teams have advanced to State Tournament action in the same year.
Wakefield 5 11 11 18 — 45
Cedar Catholic 3 12 20 21 — 56
Cedar - Carson Arens, 18; Myles Thoene, 14; Jaxson Bernecker, 14; Carter Arens, 8; Mack Kuehn, 1; Tate Thoene, 1. Wakefield - Blake Brown, 31; Justin Erb, 7; Cade Johnson, 4; Nick Arenas, 2; Logan Bokemper, 1.
Cedar - Jaxson Bernecker, 8; Carter Arens, 5; Carson Arens, 5; Dagan Joachimsen, 4; Myles Thoene, 4; Tate Thoene, 2; Hunter Thoene, 1.
Cedar - Tate Thoene, 4; Myles Thoene, 2; Carson Arens, 2; Mack Kuehn, 1; Carter Arens, 1; Jaxson Bernecker, 1.
Cedar - Myles Thoene, 4; Degan Joachimsen, 4; Tate Thoene, 3; Carter Arens, 1.
Cedar Catholic boys State Tny Appearances
Third Place-C2/2012, C2/2013
1976-Omaha Ryan W51-41, Holdrege L30-51
1979-Elkhom Mt. Michael L46-60
1980-Lexington W71-58, Sidney W71-47, Aurora W79-74
1983-GI Northwest W61-49, Mount Michael Benedictine L38-43
1984-Lexington W62-54, Lincoln Pius X W52-49, Mount Michael Benedictine W47-42
1988-Seward W59-56, Wahoo L47-62
1991-Mitchell W70-54, Wood River W67-49, Bishop Neumann L54-60
1992-Sandy Creek L58-77
1993-Columbus Scotus W48-47, Northwest (Grand Island) W54-50, Wahoo L42-74
1994-Lincoln Christian L43-46
1995-St. Paul L48-49
1997-Omaha Father Flanagan L58-62
2010-Archbishop Bergan L59-62
2012-Stanton W37-35, Ravenna L50-79, North Platte St. Patrick’s W69-51
2013-North Platte St. Patrick’s W56-49, Sutton L42-57, Freeman W55-49
2015-Hastings St. Cecilia L50-67
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