Bears Advance To D1 Finals, Eliminate Top Seeded Irish

LINCOLN – After securing their first-ever state tourney win, the Laurel-Concord-Coleridge Bears went back to work in the Friday semifinal round of the 2020 NSAA boys state basketball championships.

From the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, #4 LCC battled with #1 North Platte St. Patrick’s in the morning session of the Class D1 bracket.

Both teams combined for 66 foul shots as LCC took the early advantage and the game got as close as three points late in the second half which saw the Bears pull away and win 65-49. Laurel-Concord-Coleridge wins their seventh straight improving to 25-5 and will appear in their first-ever state championship game. The top-seeded Irish will see their eight-game winning streak come to an end at 23-3.

The Bears took the early 20-12 lead in the opening quarter before extending their lead by a point thanks to an 18-17 second. At the break, LCC led 38-29. After North Platte St. Patrick’s cut into the deficit with a 15-13 third quarter, the fourth was all Laurel-Concord-Coleridge outscoring the Irish, 14-5. Final again favored LCC 65-49.

Noah Schutte posted a team-high 28 points (9-13 FT) followed by Ty Erwin with 14 points (6-10 FT). Evan Haisch fouled out with nine points,  Cael Hartung added six points, Evan Schmitt tallied five points and Austin Hall finished with three points.

LCC shot 25-40 from the foul line including 11-15 in the opening quarter and 10-16 during the fourth.

The Irish leaders were Jack Heiss with 16 points as Dolan Branch who fouled out with 12 points.

The Irish finished 14-26 from the charity stripe.

Closing out the second D1 semifinal, #6 Southern Valley defeated #2 Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family, 47-39. 

The Bears will next face Southern Valley at 9 a.m. in the Class D1 championship game from the Pinnacle Bank Arena while Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family will face North Platte St. Patrick’s in the consolation game at 11 a.m. from Lincoln Northeast HS Saturday.