E-M Makes State As Wildcard

Published on Wednesday, 11 March 2015 13:30
Written by thenebraskasigna

Despite falling in its district final, Exeter-Milligan was rewarded for its body of work this season and earned the second wildcard invitation to this week's NSAA Class D-2 State Tournament.
A dismal shooting performance did the 18-7 Timberwolves in against 20-6 Falls City Sacred Heart last Tuesday in Beatrice.  E-M converted on just 15 percent of its 3-point attempts (3-for-19) and shot an ice cold 30 percent from the field (15-for-49) for the entire contest.  The Irish, on the other hand, shot nearly 50 percent from the field (17-for-35) and held a 18 to 9 advantage on made free throws.
The Timberwolves got off to a great start at the Beatrice High School gym on March 3 and led the D2-1 District final 13-10 after one period.  A FCSH rally had the Irish up for good 26-23 going into halftime.  FCSH outscored E-M 16-7 in the third period to all but put the game away.
Kyle Jensen was a bright spot in the Timberwolf offense scoring 21 points on 8-for-14 shooting and also hauling in six rebounds and swiping three steals.  Both Sam Zeleny and Jarett Maxson added six points for E-M, while Derek Luzum chipped in five points.  Luzum also snagged a team-high seven boards.
Trevor Luzum and Broc Mueller both added a bucket for the Timberwolves.  Dalton Zelenka dished out four assists in the loss.  Dusty Axline grabbed two rebounds and tallied one steal.
E-M came into the D2-1 District final on an eight game win streak and hadn't lost to a Class D-2 team all season long.  The Timberwolves previous six losses were 18-6 state-rated D-1 Deshler, D-1 State-qualifying High Plains 23-2 (twice) and Bruning-Davenport/Shickley 24-3 (twice). E-M also dropped an early season game against C-1 8-13 Centennial.
The seventh-seeded  Timberwolves will tangle with 24-2 Wilcox-Hildreth in the opening round of the D-2 State Tournament on Thursday morning.  Like E-M, the second-seeded Falcons only loss to a Class D-2 team was in their district final.  W-H opened its 2014-2015 campaign with 14 straight victories before falling to 16-6 D-1 Axtell by three points.  The Falcons would go one to win 10 more straight games before falling to 19-7 Riverside in their district final by 12 points.
W-H owns a pair of four-point wins over 16-9 D-1 Kenesaw this season.  The Falcons biggest win of the year would be their 17-point triumph over D-1 State qualifier Amherst (23-3) this season. W-H also beat the Broncos by eight points this season in overtime to hand Amherst two of its three losses.
E-M owns big wins over D-1 State qualifiers Heartland, 21-3 second seed, and BDS, 24-3 top-seeded.  The match-up with the Falcons is scheduled to tip-off at 10:45 a.m., this Thursday at Lincoln Northeast High School.  With a win, the Timberwolves would face the 21-2 Minatare and Paxton (23-2) winner in the D-2 semi-finals at 2 p.m., at the Devaney Sports Center on Friday afternoon.