Hurrdat Sports

↓ The Local Coverage You Need ↓

Hail Varsity
Mavericks All Access
Bluejay Breakdown
NEB Preps
NEB Pros

2024 Boys Basketball State Tournament Championship Roundup

by Mar 9, 2024Preps Boys Basketball

2024 Boys Basketball State Tournament Championship Roundup
Photo Credit: Mac Johnson

Saturday marked the final day of the high school basketball season as Nebraska crowned its six state champions at the Boys Basketball State Tournament.

The Hurrdat Sports crew posted up at Pinnacle Bank Arena to bring you coverage of all six championships.

Previous Coverage: Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

CLASS D1: No. 2 Johnson-Brock 52, No. 4 Ainsworth 45

Johnson-Brock built a 17-point lead and fended a pair of Ainsworth rallies to secure its second straight state championship with a 28-0 season, the first undefeated campaign in school history.

“It’s great,” Coach Lucas Dalinghaus said. “Johnson-Brock went back-to-back in ’97 and ‘98. That, I’m sure, brought a lot of community pride, and then for us to win in ’19, we had a great group then. Last year was probably kind of a surprise. We’ve been building this group for a long time, this core group. This one is the one that we thought we could get. Last year, we wanted to get to the state tournament and get a feel for it, and then we went on a run and it was a magical run …

“We never really talked a lot about the undefeated season. These guys are good about just taking it one game at a time and I don’t feel like we ever felt the pressure of repeating. These guys are just gamers and it doesn’t matter how big, how fast, it doesn’t matter what the opponent was, the kids just went and played our game.”

Sophomore Brody Koehler led the way for the Eagles with 19 points, seven rebounds and seven steals. Junior Camden Dalinghaus went 9-for-10 from the foul line in the second half (and 10-for-12 overall) to finish with 15 points.

The Bulldogs scored the first seven points of the game, but it was all Eagles the rest of the way as Johnson-Brock earned its second straight state title.

Ainsworth jumped out to a 7-0 lead two and a half minutes in, but Johnson-Brock’s 2-3 zone defense settled in and ratcheted up the activity, which in turn provided transition opportunities going the other way. The Eagles put together a 19-2 run to take a 10-point lead, then pushed it to 12 before a late Carter Nelson bucket.

The Eagles held the Bulldogs to seven points in the last thirteen and half minutes to take a 24-14 lead into halftime.

Johnson-Brock opened the third quarter with a 10-3 run to double up Ainsworth, 34-17. The Bulldogs didn’t fold, however. With some fantastic rim protection from Nelson and some big shots from senior Trey Appelt, Ainsworth put together a 13-2 run to trim the lead down to six. Nelson went down with an apparent ankle injury at one point but had the trainer tape it up and returned to the game to make a big impact.

Johnson-Brock took a 38-30 lead into the fourth and kept Ainsworth in check for over four minutes before back-to-back 3s from Traegen McNally made it a three-point game with just over two minutes to play. However, Camden Dalinghaus hit a pair of free throws then Koehler stole the ball and took it the other way for an and-one to give the Eagles enough of a cushion to close it out.

Appelt led the Bulldogs with 17 points on 50% shooting and five boards. Nelson, the Nebraska football commit, finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.


CLASS C1: No. 5 Wahoo 49, No. 2 Auburn 42, OT

Senior Marcus Glock celebrates after cutting down the net for Wahoo. Photo by Mac Johnson.

Marcus Glock put a bow on his prolific Wahoo career with a terrific performance in his final game, leading the Warriors to their first state championship since 2018.

Wahoo built a big lead early, fell behind late then pulled it out in overtime to hand the Bulldogs their only loss of the season.

“We got off to the great start and Auburn is just such a great team,” Wahoo coach Kevin Scheef said. “Coach [Jim] Weeks, there’s nobody better; he does a great job and you and you knew they were going to make a run. We got down seven and things were not looking good at all. But the one way I’ve described this team all year long is resilient. They’re a resilient bunch. We didn’t put our head down and didn’t start feeling bad for ourselves. We just kept plugging away and got back in it and I’m just so proud of these guys for having that mental fortitude to stay with things. This is a special group. It’s been a really amazing year.”

The Warriors lost in a district final during Glock’s freshman year. Fort Calhoun pulled off a big upset over the Warriors in the first round at state his sophomore year. Last year, Auburn sent Wahoo home in the first round. Now as a senior, Glock and his classmates finally earned an opportunity to cut down the nets and hoist the trophy.

“It just felt so good,” Glock said. “All the hard work we put in, the coaches, even the community, all the players, we put in so much work for this and it’s something you dream of as a kid. It took me four years to get it but it’s the best way to go out.”

Glock finished with a game-high 23 points, five rebounds and three steals. Junior Dylan Simons added 17 points, seven rebounds, three steals and three blocks.

Glock and Simons are two of five current Warriors whose dads won state titles at Wahoo when they played for the Warriors.

“We talked about it a ton, especially when I was growing up, just about how much would it mean to bring one back for Wahoo,” Simons said of conversations with his dad. “He just said how important it always was for the community to see them being great and winning, and so I’m hoping they see us the same way.”

The Bulldogs opened the game with a 3, but Wahoo created all kinds of havoc defensively from there, ripping off a 15-0 run to end the quarter fueled by six Auburn turnovers. They added a free throw to open the second quarter, but the Bulldogs turn the tables at that point thanks to Mav Binder.

The Bulldogs held the Warriors to two points the rest of the half to tie it up at the break. Binder was responsible for all 15 Skutt points, scoring 10 himself, assisting a Payton Boden 3-pointer and recording a steal that triggered a fast break for a Cam Leslie layup. Binder hit a deep 3 at the buzzer to make it 18-18 at the break.

Binder continued to make plays in the third as Auburn opened with a 7-0 run then closed out the quarter with another Binder 3 to make it 33-26 Bulldogs heading into the fourth.

The Warriors got back to getting stops in the fourth, however, holding Auburn without a point for the first four and a half minutes. They tied it up with a 7-0 run then pulled ahead 38-37 on a Glock 3-pointer from the college line with two and a half to play. Dylan Simons added a free throw to make it a two-point game, but Cam Leslie tied it up with a put-back.

Wahoo held for the final shot and got two looks at it with a 3 from Glock and a put-back jumper from Simons, but they didn’t go down.

Glock scored first in overtime with a layup a minute in and the Warriors continued getting stops, adding to the lead with four free throws and a layup before Binder hit a 3 for Auburn’s first and only points of overtime with 20 seconds to go. Glock tacked on two more foul shots to close out the half.

Binder led Auburn with 19 points while shooting 4-of-9 from deep. Glock and Binder have competed with and against each other over the years, and closing out their high school careers on the same court was a fitting end for two of C1’s best.

“It’s crazy, it’s just such a surreal moment because we played freshman year summer team together and even before that, and we obviously played last year and he got the best of us,” Glock said. “But he’s a great player, great person, he’s got a great family. He’s such a great player. It obviously sucks losing the state championship, but he had a great career and I have nothing but the best say about him.”


CLASS B: No. 4 Omaha Skutt Catholic 70, No. 63

Omaha Skutt Catholic junior Brock Scholl scores two of his game-high 22 points in the Class B state championship. Photo by Mac Johnson.

The SkyHawks shot lights out in the second half and put together a knockout blow in the fourth quarter to win their second straight Class B title despite losing four starters from the 2023 champion.

The lone returning starter, junior Brock Scholl, went from role player as a sophomore to star as a junior, breaking Skutt’s single-season scoring record to lead the SkyHawks to victory. He finished with 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting and 12 rebounds and averaged better than 20 points for the season.

“It means a lot to now I have my name on the record board, but I couldn’t do it without my teammates and especially without Coach,” Scholl said. “He just pushes me all summer and constantly tells me to come in early and shoot.”

Skutt shot 66.7% from the field in the second half and dropped 43 points to stay in front of a talented Titans team that never quit.

Junior Dylan Van Dyke scored 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting (3-of-3 from 3). Will O’Doherty, the lone senior in the starting lineup, scored 14 points, shot 4-of-8 from deep and dished out four assists. Junior Kyle Cannon, who broke the program’s single-season assists record in the semifinal win over Crete, chipped in 13 points on 4-of-7 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. Skutt shot 57.4% from the field and 44.4% from 3 for the game.

Skutt jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead before Norris rallied to pull ahead 14-11 thanks to a 3-pointer from sophomore Macoy Folkerts at the end of the period.

However, the SkyHawks knocked down a flurry of 3s early in the second quarter to take the lead, which they maintained throughout the second half. The SkyHawks pushed the lead to 10 early in the fourth quarter before the Titans made their run.

Norris scored nine straight points — including five from freshman Evan Greenfield — to pull within one at the four-minute mark. Greenfield capped the run with a steal he took the other way for a layup.

Skutt settled things down on the next possession and got the ball inside to the 6-foot-8 Scholl, and he converted in the post to get Skutt going again. Van Dyke followed with a 3 and a put-back then Cannon finished a three-point play to give the SkyHawks their largest lead of the game at 66-55 with just under a minute to play, slamming the door shut on the comeback attempt.

“Norris is a fantastic team,” Jurgens said. “They have great young players, they’re well coached. We knew it was going to be a battle; it was. It felt like early in the game blows were going back and forth. We were able, in the second half, obviously, to stretch it to 10, but they weren’t going to go away, as they didn’t. So a huge credit to our guys. We had to hang in the last two days, coming from behind.

“In this instance, when they cut it to one and we called a timeout, we had to trust and bear down a little bit and fight back, and to our guys’ credit, we did. We found a way to get a few baskets and a few stops and make free throws down the stretch. I’m just very proud of this group and where they’ve come throughout the year. It’s always fun when you feel like as a coach, you’ve got to the point where you’re playing your best basketball down the stretch, and I think we were.”

Greenfield led the Titans with 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting including an and-one, nine rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Chris garner Jr. a sophomore, matched him with 15 points to go with six boards and two blocks. Junior Barret Boesiger added 14 points. All five Titan starters will return next season after a 24-3 campaign and runner-up finish.


CLASS C2: No. 1 Amherst 59, No. 6 Lincoln Lutheran 54, OT

Amherst senior Tayje Hadwiger celebrates one of his five 3s in the championship game. Photo by Mac Johnson.

Senior Tayje Hadwiger carved his name into Amherst history during his three days in Lincoln, leading the Broncos to their first state championship and breaking a record along the way.

Hadwiger saved his best for last, going off for 32 points on 10-of-15 from the field (5-of-9 from 3) and 7-of-9 from the free-throw line, seven rebounds and four assists. That topped his 30 points from the semifinals, which vaulted him to the top of the program’s career scoring chart.

“It’s just awesome,” Hadwiger said. “I had two great games at the end and it’s just an amazing feeling, hitting those shots. It’s just nothing you’ve ever experienced before.”

Amherst made it to the final last season before coming up short against Freeman, and they used that feeling to fuel them for another run this year.

“After leaving here last year, being in the other interview room, we had an unsettled stomach, all of us,” Amherst coach Eric Rippen said. “That feeling just wasn’t very fun, kind of the driving force for these three seniors and the guys that were coming back to kind of push through this year. We battled some adversity in the first round with some foul trouble and whatnot, battled some foul trouble today and whatnot, but I just couldn’t be couldn’t be more proud of these guys.”

The Broncos had to play without Hadwiger for much of the first half as he picked up two fouls in the first four and a half minutes. Austin Adelung picked up the slack with three 3s in the first period to put Amherst up 16-11, but the Warriors locked in defensively from there.

Amherst scored just two points in the second and none in the last six minutes as Lutheran closed the half on a 7-0 run to take a 19-18 lead. The scoring drought continued for another two minutes after halftime as Lutheran built a 23-18 lead before a deep Hadwiger 3, and the teams went back and forth the rest of the way.

Ryan Hager put the Warriors up by two with a minute to play, Hadwiger answered with a jumper with 20 seconds to play and the Broncos got a stop on the final possession to send it to overtime tied at 41-41.

Hadwiger put the team on his back in the extra period, opening with a personal 8-2 run to put the Broncos ahead by six at the midway point. Lutheran had multiple chances to tie the game up down the stretch but couldn’t take advantage, and Amherst hit enough free throws to seal it.

“I had it going on and I kept it going and I wasn’t going to let us lose today,” Hadwiger said, “Last game ever playing on basketball court and I just didn’t want it to go out bad.”

Hager finished with a team-high 22 points on 50% shooting while Jacob Duitsman added 17 points on 6-of-11 from the field and nine rebounds for the Warriors, who qualified for the state tournament for the second time and made their first championship appearance this season and will return four starters next year.


CLASS A: No. 1 Bellevue West 57, No. 2 Millard North 48

Bellevue West senior Jaden Jackson sizes up his defender. Photo by Mac Johnson.

The Thunderbirds avenged their only loss of the season to finish 27-1 and claim the program’s seventh state title and second in a row.

Bellevue West improved to 3-2 in the five-year streak of Bellevue West and Millard North squaring off in the final and won its first with former Doug Woodard assistant Steve Klein as head coach.

The preseason-No.1 Thunderbirds lost on their home court to Millard North during the second week of the season then proceeded to rip off 25 straight wins to end the season where they began — at No. 1.

“I’m just really proud of this group,” Klein said. “They’ve been fighting all year long. They started out as preseason No. 1 and they kind of got hit in the mouth a little bit early in the year in December and this Millard North team beat them. They really took that to heart and realized that ‘You know what? We’ve got to come to practice every day, we’re going to work hard, we’re going to get better every day,’ and it really took to heart our motto, which was ‘Be 5% better.’”

After a grinder of a first half, Bellevue West’s offense came alive with 23 points in the third quarter as senior Jaden Jackson took over to turn a seven-point halftime deficit into a four-point lead heading into the fourth. Jackson scored 19 of his 21 points after halftime including 12 during a 15-2 start to the third for the Thunderbirds. He also added a couple of steals during that run as Bellevue West’s defense fueled its offense.

“Our whole team is defense, that’s what we preach day in and day out,” Jackson said. “So we know if shots are not going in, our defense is our savior. So just trying to play as much defense as we can, not giving up easy baskets. That’s what I think separated us in the second half was just playing defense and then the shots were going in, so that was a double positive.”

The teams combined to shoot 2-for-25 from 3 in the first half, but Bellevue West knocked down five straight in the third — two apiece from Jackson and Jadyn Cascio Jensen and one from Isaiah McMorris, who saw extended playing time after starter Steven Poulicek went down with an apparent head injury early in the second quarter.

Millard North pulled within one possession twice, but Bellevue West’s senior guards answered both times. First, Jackson scored five straight including another 3 to push the lead back to seven mid-way through the period.

Then, after Millard North pulled within three with just under two to play, Eldon Turner converted a tough bucket at the rim late in the shot clock, ripped down a contested rebound on defense, grabbed another rebound on offense to get the Thunderbirds a new shot clock then sank two free throws with 21.4 to go to slam the door shut. Turner finished with seven points, seven assists and four rebounds.

“That is exactly what Eldon is for us,” Klein said. “He’s our bulldog and I’m so proud of him. Pretty much all his life he’s been smaller than everybody else but man, you don’t ever give up on that kid because he fights and fights and fights. I was really hard on him at halftime last night because I didn’t think was playing very well in the first half. He came out in the second half and had a huge, huge half for us and got us a win last night, and then came out again tonight. He just does the dirty work. He rebounds, he gets the ball to the right places, gets us into stuff and did a huge job, and I’m really proud of him.”

Senior Elijah Gaeth and junior Derek Rollins scored 13 points apiece while senior Neal Mosser chipped in 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists, but Millard North shot 3-of-23 from deep.


CLASS D2: No. 1 Shelton 54, No. 2 Maywood-Hayes Center 42

After barely squeaking by in a triple-overtime semifinal Friday night, the top-seeded Bulldogs won in convincing fashion Saturday to capture their first state title since 1919.

The Bulldogs made it to the state tournament the previous two years as well but came up short. This season, they finished the job, sending their prolific senior class out on top.

“The mindset changed a lot,” senior Riley Bombeck said. “That first year we were just happy we made; it took a lot of grinding. Last year we wanted to compete for a title and we came up short. So then this year we knew it was our last chance and we went and got it.”

Bombeck, the program’s all-time leading scorer, had to sit on the bench and watch his teammates compete in three overtime periods with Wynot after fouling out late in regulation. That meant his legs were plenty fresh on Friday night and he took over in the fourth quarter to close out the game, scoring 10 points with two boards and two assists to finish with 16 points, nine dimes and five rebounds.

Ashton Simmons, who only trails his teammate on the career scoring chart, led the team with 17 points and nine rebounds while shooting 5-of-9 from deep after dropping 34 points in the semifinal.

However, it was the others who swung the game as Gerry Romero chipped in 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting (3-of-4 from 3) and five rebounds and Ben Myers added eight points and ix caroms while handling a tough defensive assignment.

“Jerry is one of our guys that can score,” Shelton coach Will Reutzel said. “We don’t have two guys that can score; we have a bunch of guys. We have guys on the bench that can step in and hit shots if we need it … We have a lot of guys who can shoot. We have these two guys that get a lot more of the touches and shots, but we have plenty of other guys who can score.”

The teams traded blows in the first half with a tight first quarter followed by a pair of big runs in the second. After taking a three-point lead into the second, the Bulldogs scored 10 straight including a pair of Simmons 3s to take a 21-10 lead mid-way through. However, the Wolves shut them out the rest of the half, closing the quarter on an 8-0 run to trim the deficit back down to three at the break.

The Bulldogs shot 4-for-7 from 3 in the third quarter with two apiece from Simmons and Romero, but the Wolves hit a couple as well to remain within striking distance heading into the fourth at 39-33.

The teams traded layups to open the final period of the season, but Shelton delivered the knockout blow starting with an incredible hustle play.

An errant pass went into the backcourt, but Simmons leaped after it and threw it back to a teammate to prevent the turnover. He then ran back into the play to knock down a 3 from the left wing. Bombeck followed with a pull-up jumper, then stole the ball and took it the other way for a layup. The lead went from six to 13 in 50 seconds, and that was enough for Shelton to cruise to the finish.

“It was a good save; lucky we didn’t turn it over there and have a change of possession and maybe a little momentum change,” Reutzel said. “But hitting shots and getting some layups was big, just to get a little momentum going our side and get guys fired up on the defensive side.”

Maywood-Hayes Center stars Jeremiah Ingison and Haydn Farr combined for 33 points, but Shelton held them to 11-of-31 shooting while the rest of the team combined for nine points.

You May Also Like

Adidas 3SSB Chapter I Notebook

Adidas 3SSB Chapter I Notebook

The grassroots season has arrived and Adidas was the first of the three major shoe circuits to get going last weekend as every 3SSB team made the voyage to the Iowa West Fieldhouse in Council Bluffs for Chapter I of three spring 3SSB stops.   A jam-packed weekend saw...

NCAA Tournament Provides Homecoming for Nebraska Natives

NCAA Tournament Provides Homecoming for Nebraska Natives

NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday is a time of celebration for coaches, players and fans across the country, but this year’s show provided an extra bit of excitement for some. Drake and South Dakota State were among the teams placed at the Omaha site for the first...

Nebraska Natives in 2024 NCAA Basketball Tournaments

Nebraska Natives in 2024 NCAA Basketball Tournaments

The NCAA released the brackets for the 2024 Division I men's and women's NCAA basketball tournaments on Sunday, and 28 former Nebraska prep standouts qualified for the Big Dance with their college teams. Here's a list of every Nebraska native in this year's...