LINCOLN – It was back to the state championship game for #1 Ponca in search of defending their title. The Indians took on #3 Hastings St. Cecilia Saturday late afternoon from the Pinnacle Bank Arena.
After three champions were crowned, it was time for Class C2 to take the stage during the 2018 NSAA Boys State Basketball Tournament.
It was the third different location in three days for #1 Ponca and #3 Hastings St. Cecilia.
Ponca opened the game on an 8-0 run before leading after the first quarter, 13-8. Both teams scored 14 points in the second to see Ponca lead 27-23 entering the locker room. Hastings St. Cecilia picked up an 8-7 third quarter while the Indians came out in the fourth quarter to win 16-9. Final found #1 Ponca winning back-to-back state titles with a 50-40 victory over #3 Hastings St Cecilia which marked the 15th straight win for Ponca who ended the year at 30-1. St Cecilia had an 18-game winning streak snapped and fall to 24-4.
Ponca was led in scoring by senior Max Masin with 16 points and a team-high five rebounds followed by an 11-point performance for sophomore Carter Kingsbury. Senior Logan Kingsbury finished with nine points.
The Indians shot 13-31 (41.9%) from the floor, 4-13 (30.8%) from the three-point line and 20-27 (74.1%) from the free throw line. Ponca recorded five assists to four turnovers while picking up three blocked shots and five steals.
Senior Trevor Leach paced Hastings St. Cecilia on 8-17 shooting from behind the arc with 24 points. Senior reserve Myles Furman recorded a team-high eight boards.
The Bluehawks shot 15-42 (35.7%) from the field, 9-31 (29%) from behind the arc and 1-2 (50%) from the charity stripe. St. Cecilia recorded 12 assists to 14 turnovers while adding two steals.
For Ponca, during their 16th state tournament appearance, it marked their second straight trip to the championship game, fourth overall in program history.
Hastings St. Cecilia was competing in their 23rd state tournament and ninth championship game.
Other games still to come on Championship Saturday from the Pinnacle Bank Arena:
Class D1: #7 Lourdes Central Catholic (Nebraska City) won their third straight title over #1 Kenesaw, 32-25
Class B: #1 York defeated #2 Omaha Skutt Catholic, 61-56 in double overtime
Class A: #2 Creighton Prep defeated #5 Bellevue West, 56-46
Class D2: #1 Falls City Sacred Heart defeated #2 Riverside, 59-42
Consolation schedule from Lincoln East:
Class C2: #5 Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur defeated #2 Yutan, 73-62
Class C1: #5 Lincoln Christian defeated #3 Broken Bow, 68-49
Class D1: #6 Johnson-Brock defeated #4 Heartland, 63-54
Class D2: #3 Mullen defeated #4 Giltner, 57-51