Auburn, Johnson-Brock among six champions from Nebraska boys state basketball tournament

Auburn, Johnson-Brock among six champions from Nebraska boys state basketball tournament
Ethan Arnold for News Channel Nebraska

LINCOLN — First-time title winners and familiar faces claimed championships Saturday during the Nebraska high school boys state basketball tournament at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Omaha South, Lincoln Pius X, Auburn, BRLD, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family and Johnson-Brock all won state titles.

Ty Griggs’ steal and layup in the closing seconds lifted the Packers to a 58-56 win over Omaha Central on Saturday night in the Class A final. South won its sixth title and first since 2016.

The Thunderbolts held Omaha Roncalli scoreless in the second overtime to post a 71-59 victory in the Class B final. It was the third straight overtime game for Roncalli, the first school in state tournament history to accomplish that feat.

The first 30 minutes of Saturday’s Class C-1 state title game was forgettable for Cam Binder. But the final two? Those are ones the sophomore guard — and the town of Auburn — will remember for years after Binder’s deep 3-pointer with three seconds to play gave the Bulldogs a 30-29 win over No. 9 North Bend Central for Auburn’s first state basketball championship.

One final defensive gem helped Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur earn its first title with a 54-42 victory over Yutan in the Class C-2 final. The third year co-op limited the Chieftains to 36.2 percent shooting from the field (17 of 47) and outrebounded Yutan 31-24.

Humphrey-Lindsay Holy Family made 12 of 14 free throws in the final 2:30 Saturday to earn a 61-46 victory over Fremont Bergan. It was also the first title of any kind for the 6-year-old co-op. “I’ve said all weekend that this group is special,” Bulldog coach Joe Hesse said.

Johnson-Brock completed a football-basketball state championship sweep Saturday with a 67-54 victory over Osmond in the Class D-2 championship. Sophomore Kaden Glynn led the 24-4 Eagles with 25 points

Nebraska boys state basketball all-tournament teams


Charlie Easley, Lincoln Pius X (captain)

John Tonje, Omaha Central

Ta’Vion Anderson, Omaha South

Jay Saunders, Omaha South

Jack Dotzler, Omaha Roncalli

Class A

Jay Saunders, South (captain); Ta’Vion Anderson, South; John Tonje, Central; Chucky Hepburn, Bell. West; Donovan Williams, Lin. North Star.

Class B

Charlie Easley, Lincoln Pius X (captain); Austin Jablonski, Pius; Jack Dotzler, Roncalli; Baylor Scheierman, Aurora; Tyson Gordon, Skutt.

Class C-1

Cam Binder, Auburn (captain), Josh Lambert, Auburn; Tanner Wietfeld, North Bend; Winston Cook, Wahoo; Carter Brown, Ogallala.

Class C-2

Lucas Vogt, BRLD (captain); Dylan Beutler, BRLD; Brady Timm, Yutan; Carter Kingsbury, Ponca; Jackson Hirschfeld, Centennial.

Class D-1

Grant Frickenstein, Fremont Bergan (captain); Bret Hanis, Jacob Sjuts, Humphrey/Holy Family; Blake Brewster, Paxton; Trey Miner, Elm Creek.

Class D-2

Kaden Glynn, Johnson-Brock (captain); Ty Hahn, JB; Merrix Denn, Osmond; Tredyn Prososki, Riverside; Drew Bippes, Falls City SH.

Tough loss for North Bend

North Bend, making its first state final appearance since 1926, saw its dream of a first state title crushed by Auburn sophomore Cam Binder.

His 3-pointer in the final seconds boosted the Bulldogs to a 30-29 victory. That came shortly after the Tigers had taken the lead with 17.7 seconds left on a short jumper by Breckin Peters.

North Bend coach John Baehr kept his composure at the postgame press conference, but you could tell he was hurting. He said his team couldn’t have done anything more to prevent Binder, who averages 20.6 points, from getting off the winner.

“Sometimes a great shot happens,” the coach said. “He made a great shot.”

Sportsmanship awards

The Nebraska Coaches Association’s tournament sportsmanship awards went to Lincoln North Star in Class A, Aurora in Class B, Boys Town in C-1, Centennial in C-2, Fremont Bergan in D-1 and Johnson-Brock in D-2.


This year’s reported attendance was 102,626, about 3,400 less than in 2018. The six finals drew 21,087.