The Bulldogs took a 13-point lead before the end of the first quarter and never let up in the program’s first state tournament game.

“It’s huge,” Humphrey/LHF coach Joe Hesse said. “It’s weird for us never having been down here, because our kids don’t act that way. … This group is just special. They’re good players, but they’re on a mission right now.”

Freshman Jason Sjuts, who scored eight points in the final 3:19 of the third quarter including a turnaround putback just before the buzzer, hit 7 of 9 shots from the field to finish with a game-high 17 points.

“To be the first team in HLHF history to win a tournament game and get down here, that’s pretty special,” Sjuts said. “We have a really good team, and our team chemistry is like no other. We’ve bonded really well, and we want to keep it going.”

Humphrey/LHF (21-6)......................25 15 12 4—56

Hartington-Newcastle (16-10)..........15 11    3  7—36

HLHF: Bret Hanis 9, Turner Beller 8, Dylan Hanzel 5, Jason Sjuts 17, Tyler Sjuts 7, Jacob Sjuts 4, Ethan Hanzel 6.

HN: Shaye Morten 10, Jake Peitz 3, Zachary Burcham 1, Lincoln McPhillips 9, Sam Harms 9, Matthew Meisenheimer 4.

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