Eagles Win District; No. 1 Seed At State

Published on Wednesday, 11 March 2015 13:29
Written by thenebraskasigna

By GREG SCELLIN
Signal Editor

After playing to a virtual standstill after one period, Bruning-Davenport/Shickley outscored Lourdes Central Catholic 17-7 in the second quarter to take a commanding 25-14 lead into halftime of the D1-1 District final at Doane College last Tuesday.
A solid start in the third stanza and outstanding team defense made sure the Eagles were going to maintain their No. 1 point standing going into this week's D-1 State tournament and make sure the Knights weren't going to be cutting down the nets again in Crete.  BDS won the contest on March 3, 45-35.
Eagle Cody Garland was deadly from beyond the 3-point arc early for BDS.
"We figured they would come out in a triangle defense and some different players would have the opportunity to score for us," Eagle head coach Fred Kluck said.  "Cody's shooting for us was huge because they didn't play the triangle...he shot the ball really well tonight."
Garland finished the night with 12 points and Jayden Otto came in off the bench to add seven points.
"That's just us," Kluck said.  "Any of a number of players can have a big scoring night for us.  It seems this year everyone has had a turn.  And, that's a difficult thing for our opponents to prepare for... Who's going to have their turn tonight?"
The Eagles were able to maintain a double-digit lead throughout the second half with strong rebounding, crisp passing, seven 3-pointers and a bend-don't-break defensive plan against the post height of Lourdes CC.
"They (the officials) let things go tonight and that's okay, because we can be physical," Kluck said.  "We played physical with their big guy and he didn't hurt us to bad. Our goal tonight was to put pressure on their guards because they can shoot well when left alone."
Knight post Noah Vasa was limited to just 13 points in the contest.  The Lourdes CC big man also snagged 13 boards.  The game's point difference could have been much greater if not for several Eagle misses on front end's of one-and-one free throws.
"Yeah, that wasn't good," Kluck said.  "It really does depend on who's shooting them for us...it's hard to simulate this kind of pressure in practice."
Grant Norder was a go-to player in the second half and the senior guard netted a team-high 13 points in the win, which sends BDS to Lincoln as this year's No. 1 seed in Class D-1.  Chris Rohr scored six points for the winners and Kamron Ficken added three.  Sam Christensen added a bucket and Riley Tegtmeier and T.J. Krupicka scored a point.
As the top seed, the Eagles will square off with eight seeded Sutherland (11-13) to begin things at 9 a.m. on Thursday morning at Lincoln Southeast.  The Friday semi-finals and Saturday State final also tip-off at 9 a.m. in Class D-1.
"Winning this game and being the No. 1 seed was important to these kids," Kluck said.  "And, the 9 a.m. start will be consistent schedule for us if we keep winning.  We're happy about that... I know Sutherland doesn't have that great of a record but they're on a roll right now and they've played a lot of bigger schools...I know we're going to get everyone's best shot."
With a win Thursday morning, BDS will face the 24-1 Clearwater/Orchard (ranked first in the state newspaper polls) and Humphrey St. Francis (21-4) winner on Friday at 9 a.m. at the Devaney Sports Center.  The Class D-1 State final begins at 9 a.m. at the Pinnacle Bank arena this Saturday morning.
Clearwater/Orchard features a three-headed lethal scoring attack led by 6-foot, 8-inch big man Andy Kerkman.  The junior center is averaging 17.8 points and 14.6 rebounds a contest this season.  Cyclone 6-1 junior forward Trevor Mlnarik is scoring 14.7 points per game for the green, silver and black and 6-1 senior guard Jagger Smith adds 13.7 points per contest for Clearwater/Orchard.  The winner of this projected contest appears the favorite for the state title.