LINCOLN — First, Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur did its damage by hitting five 3-pointers in the first quarter. Then the top-seeded Wolverines turned to their defense to make history.
The third-year co-op program held Centennial without a point for 14:34 — including the entire third quarter — and no field goals for 17 minutes as BRLD won 54-25 at the Devaney Center.
“I’m proud of the way our kids played,” BRLD coach Cory Meyer said. “They played so well as a team. Everybody had their part, and I couldn’t be more proud of our boys.”
No. 1 BRLD was to play Yutan in its first championship appearance at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. BRLD defeated Yutan 73-62 in the third-place game at state last season.
“It was our goal at the beginning of the year,” BRLD sophomore guard Lucas Vogt said. “We got this far last year and we lost to Ponca (in the semis). … This year we made it all the way (to the final). We’re going to go finish that.”
Vogt made his case as one of the best players in Class C-2. He finished with game-highs of 18 points, six assists and five steals. He also pulled down five rebounds and even blocked a shot.
“I’ll say this time and again: he is a kid who doesn’t need to score any points and still be the best player on the team,” Meyer said. “His rebounding, his defense, the way he gets the ball, he just makes everybody better. It’s just an added extra bonus when he can score points for us.”
The opponent concurred.
“The Vogt kid is as good of a guard in the state, all-class,” Centennial coach Cam Scholl said. “He’s a tough matchup for everybody.”
Along with the 5-foot-11 Vogt, sophomore Dylan Beutler had eight points and six rebounds, junior Darwin Snyder hit three first-quarter 3-pointers for nine points, and junior Jaxon Johnson had a game-high seven rebounds.
The Wolverines finished 41.3 percent (19 of 46) from the field, including 9 of 25 from 3-point range, while they held the Broncos to 7 of 36 field goals for 19.4 percent.
“If they were going to shoot the ball like they did, we were going to have a hard time staying with them and their size and their athleticism,” Scholl said.
BRLD led the entire game after Vogt set the tone with a quick pass to 6-foot-4 Beutler, who drilled a 3-pointer 10 seconds after the opening tip. That sparked an 11-2 run to begin the game.
“It was just one play that was hurting us,” Meyer said. “They hit three 3s off of that and the kids realized that, ‘Maybe I can’t just stand there. Maybe I have to move a little bit quicker.’ That was it for that.”
Meyer was right.
After a Beutler free throw, Vogt scored five points in 30 seconds to give the Wolverines a 25-18 lead with 2:13 left in the half. BRLD would score the game’s next 23 points, taking a 42-18 advantage after five straight points by Vogt to begin the fourth quarter.
Centennial (24-3)........9 9 0 7—25
BRLD (26-1)..............17 8 12 17—54
C: Jackson Hirschfeld 2, Wyatt Ehlers 8, Jacob Bargen 6, Cooper Gierhan 7, Nate Hanneman 1, Joel Bargen 2.
BRLD: Devin Hegge 5, Micah Henschen 1, Will Gatzemeyer 2, Dylan Beutler 8, Lucas Vogt 18, Darwin Snyder 9, Nick Ronnfeldt 2, Jaxon Johnson 2, Brayden Anderson 4, Luke Kramer 2.