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BDS Fourth At State Basketball

The first-year co-op squad of Bruning-Davenport/Shickley was able to make some noise in its inaugural trip to the NSAA Class D-1 Boys State Basketball Tournament.

Unfortunately for the 23-6 Eagles, all the racket happened in the opening round and fourth-seeded BDS was unable to get past a pair of quality foes in the semi-finals and consolation contest in Lincoln last weekend.

The Eagles raced past fifth-seeded Overton, 70-61, on Thursday at Lincoln North Star High School. Eventual State Champion West Point Central Catholic never relinquished an early advantage and defeated BDS 50-42 in the semi-finals at Pershing Auditorium on Friday night. Pawnee City proved defeating a good team three times in a season is truly difficult, as the Indians squeaked past the Eagles 31-29 in the third-place game Saturday afternoon at Lincoln High.

Behind an outstanding scoring performance by Derek Swartzendruber and clutch free-throw shooting from Ryan Tegtmeier and Luke Christensen, BDS defeated 19-5 Overton 70-61 in its opening round contest on March 10.

Swartzendruber finished the roller-coaster game with 21 points. The senior post netted 17 of those points after intermission. Tegtmeier enjoyed an outstanding all-around performance with 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Christensen netted eight points and teammate Tanner Ahrens muscled in 12 points.

"Derek really came up big for us down the stretch of this one," Eagle coach Fred Kluck said. "He played physical and yet shot the ball well which isn't always easy to do.

"Ryan and Luke both came up big in the clutch to help us hold on."

BDS parlayed a 20-7 second quarter perfect-shooting performance to lead the other Eagles 33-24 at halftime. BDS was also solid in the third stanza and held a 50-36 advantage heading into the final period on Thursday.

Overton mounted a furious rally mid-way through the final quarter and used a 14-0 run to cut the Eagles' lead to just four points at 60-56. A 12-for-14 performance at the charity stripe from Tegtmeier and Christensen helped allow BDS to advance to Friday.

The Eagles shot an uncanny 62 percent from the field (23-of-37) for the contest. A shoot-around at Nebraska Wesleyan University prior to the 3:45 p.m. tip-off may have bolstered this percentage.

"Offensively, this was certainly one of our better games," Kluck said. "Defensively, up until about the four-minute mark, we really played well, too."

Michael Houchin added six points for the victors and Kendrick Holeman and Jeremy Row each had a bucket. Houchin snagged six rebounds and also dished out five assists in the win.

"Michael (Houchin) shot the ball well the first half," Kluck said. "He also held Overton's best post to eight points. Tanner (Ahrens) really did a nice job of getting open all night and scored well for us. Jeremy (Row) played nice physical defense inside as well."

WPCC proved worthy of the tournament's top-seed the next night, as Bluejays parlayed their overall team speed and height advantage to an eight-point win over BDS.

Tegtmeier enjoyed another fine all-around game for the Eagles, as the sophomore point guard scored 14 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out four assists and swiped four steals against WPCC.

"Ryan did a nice job of keeping his head and didn't let their pressure get to him," Kluck said. "He scored well and found the open man when he was doubled."

A cold shooting performance coupled with a flurry of blocked shots combined to see WPCC lead 23-11 at intermission.

"This was almost exactly the same game we played against Overton only in reverse," Kluck said. "We fell behind early and made a nice run late, but ran out of time in the end."

Three-point shots from Holeman and Swartzendruber allowed the Eagles to chip into the Bluejay lead on several occasions. Christensen also shot the ball well down the stretch. A 33-percent shooting performance (16-for-48) coupled with a huge free-throw advantage for WPCC—3-for-8 compared to 16-for-27 were impossible to overcome.

Swartzendruber was also in double figures for the Eagles with 10 (seven rebounds). Christensen netted eight points and Holeman had six. Tyler Lauenstein and Houchin both scored two points.

Playing Pawnee City for a third time in the Consolation Final on Saturday afternoon at Lincoln High, the third-seeded Indians finally turned the tables on BDS and won the low-scoring affair 31-29.

The game was close throughout with the Eagles clinging to a 16-14 advantage at halftime. Pawnee City eeked out a slim advantage in the third period. The Eagles had several chances to win or tie the contest in the final minutes, but their efforts all fell short.

"We basically just ran out of gas in this one," Kluck said. "Both teams were tired and we both shot poorly. The kids gave a great effort all three days."

Tegtmeier netted 11 points on March 12 to bring his point total in Lincoln to 44 for the tournament. The sophomore guard also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out two assists.

Swartzendruber scored 10 points against Pawnee City and snagged seven rebounds. Holeman netted eight points on Saturday and Christensen was credited with two steals.

Both teams combined for just seven made free throws and BDS shot just 34 percent from the field (11-for-32). The Indians held a one rebound advantage (27-26) in the win and both teams combined for 28 turnovers.