Grand Island Central Catholic’s defense never gave Central City a chance to get anything going during Tuesday’s Class C-1, Subdistrict 9 semifinals at Northwest.

The Crusaders held the Bison to 10 points below their season low and 18.9 percent shooting in a smothering 42-22 victory.

GICC coach Tino Martinez said limiting Central City’s 6-foot-4 post Jordan Paup was the focus of the Crusaders’ defense. Paup led the Bison (8-13) with eight points on 4-for-8 shooting with the other starters were a combined 2-for-21 (9.5 percent).

“It was effort and execution, really,” Martinez said. “I thought we really did a good job of taking away their tendencies.

“Paup is such a load in there. We definitely can’t guard him with one guy. We had to guard him with five, and I thought that most of the time our kids executed that. A couple of times we lost him because he’s so big and strong.”

Central City entered the postseason averaging 50.5 points per game but never got into double digits in any quarter. The Crusaders (12-12) held the Bison to four points in both the first and final periods.

“They’re very scrappy,” Central City coach Alan Duerksen said. “We knew coming in that defensively they would be all over us. We had to do a better job taking care of the ball. We had a few good drives. We’ve been telling the kids to drive, and sometimes it just doesn’t go your way. You’ve got to keep playing, keep trying.”

GICC improved to 11-0 when scoring at least 40 points in regulation. A quick 11-0 start to the game sent the Crusaders on their way to reaching that mark.

Mayra Almayra, who had a game-high 12 points, and Aidan Anspauch each scored twice during the early run. Central Catholic was able to hurt the pressing Bison with some transition baskets.

“We thought we could get some easy baskets if they pressed us, and we were able to,” Martinez said. “We handled that with confidence. It was our Achilles heel early in the season and maybe still in the middle. We just worked on it every day.

“Our kids not only handled it with confidence and broke it, but they made them pay on the other end with layups.”

Duerksen said that although the Bison had battled back from deficits before, going down so quickly in a postseason game made things even more challenging against GICC.

“This time of year, it’s tough,” he said. “But I felt that the kids fought back. We closed it there for a little bit. We got into a groove and got some shots to fall.”

After trailing 19-4, Central City got to within 21-12 before the Crusaders started extending the lead the rest of the way.

GICC next faces No. 10-rated Boone Central/Newman Grove, which dominated St. Paul 72-34 in the first semifinal. Thursday’s subdistrict final tips off at 7 p.m.

“It’s definitely a challenge,” Martinez said. “Boone Central is very big and athletic. They can score points in a hurry. They were on pace to score 100 at one point in the first half (against St. Paul). They got 72 points with a running clock.

“They’re dangerous. We’re definitely going to have to control the pace, take care of the ball, keep them off the boards and defend the paint.”

GICC 42, Central City 22

GICC (12-12)

Goering 2-6 0-0 5, Almayra 6-12 0-0 12, Anspauch 4-13 0-0 8, Wenzl 3-6 0-0 6, Toner 4-5 0-0 8, R. Bernal 0-1 0-0 0, N. Bernal 1-2 0-0 2, J. Herbek 0-1 1-2 1, A. Herbek 0-0 0-0 0, Anderson 0-2 0-0 0, Bales 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-48 1-2 42.

CENTRAL CITY (8-13)

Beck 0-1 0-0 0, Wagner 1-9 0-0 3, Carlson 1-8 3-4 5, Ohlman 0-3 1-4 1, Paup 4-8 0-1 8, McReynolds 0-0 0-0 0, DeBoer 0-0 0-0 0, Nelson 1-4 1-2 3, Drage 0-0 0-0 0, Fuelberth 0-4 2-4 2, Hamer 0-0 0-0 0, McNeff 0-0 0-0 0, Heins 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 7-37 7-15 22.

GICC 17 8 9 8—42

Central City 4 8 6 4—22

3-point field goals—GICC 1-7 (R. Bernal 0-1, Goering 1-4, Anspauch 0-2), CC 1-7 (Nelson 0-1, Wagner 1-3, Carlson 0-3, Fuleberth 0-1). Fouled out—none. Rebounds—GICC 29 (Almayra, Wenzl 7), CC 32 (Ohlman 7). Assists—GICC 7 (Anspauch 3), CC 2. Turnovers—GICC 7, CC 15. Total fouls—GICC 16, CC 8. Technicals—none.

Boone Central/NG 72, St. Paul 34

No. 10-rated Boone Central/Newman Grove set the pace it wanted right from the beginning against St. Paul during the Class C-1, Subdistrict 9 tournament.

The Cardinals raced out to a 27-2 lead late in the first period before coasting to a 72-34 victory Tuesday.

It was just the kind of start that coach Justin Harris was looking for.

“We like to play up-tempo and we feel like we can push the ball against a lot of teams,” he said. “We thought we could do that well and our pressure could give them a lot of problems, so that was the focus. I thought the kids did a good job of that, especially in the first quarter.”

Eleven different players scored for the Cardinals (15-7), who shot 50.9 percent (29-for-57). Cody Nelson came off the bench to put up a game-high 16 points, including four 3-pointers.

Keaton Henry added 13 points and 11 rebounds while Dylan Gentrup chipped in 10 points.

“We shot the ball well,” Harris said. “We got some good looks and were able to knock them down. We needed to take care of the ball a little better than we did, but overall I thought that we played the way that we needed to.”

The big early lead allowed Boone Central/Newman Grove to regularly rotate players in and out of the game.

“It was nice to not play our (starters) the entire game or anything,” Harris said. “We got a lot of guys some rest and got some guys into postseason play for the first time. That’s good for them, too.”

Miles Griffith had nine points and 10 rebounds for St. Paul (4-17).

Boone Central/NG 72, St. Paul 34

ST. PAUL (4-17)

Wroblewski 3-10 0-0 7, Allen 1-9 0-0 2, Griffith 4-15 0-0 9, Jacobs 1-4 0-0 2, Morgan 2-7 0-0 4, Klinginsmith 1-7 0-0 2, Placke 0-3 0-0 0, Turek 0-0 0-0 0, Howard 1-3 1-2 3, Harrahill 2-3 0-0 5, Maus 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-63 1-2 34.

BOONE CENTRAL/NG (15-7)

Backus 1-4 0-0 3, Ketteler 2-3 1-2 5, Kramer 1-4 4-4 6, K. Henry 6-9 0- 213, Gentrup 4-6 1-1 10, Nelson 6-8 0-0 16, Stuhr 2-7 0-1 4, Dyer 0-1 0-0 0, Schafer 0-3 0-0 0, Berger 1-1 0-0 2, C. Henry 0-1 1-2 1, Wagner 3-3 0-0 6, Ranslem 0-2 0-0 0, Sullivan 3-5 0-0 6.

St. Paul 4 13 7 10—34

Boone Central/NG 27 16 15 14—72

3-point field goals—SP 3-21 (Wroblewski 1-3, Allen 0-3, Placke 0-2, Harrahill 1-1, Griffith 1-10, Jacobs 0-2), BCNG 7-17 (Nelson 4-6, Backus 1-3, Dyer 0-1, Schafer 0-2, Kramer 0-2, K. Henry 1-1, Gentrup 1-2). Fouled out—none. Rebounds—SP 39 (Griffith 10), BCNG 51 (K. Henry 11). Assists—SP 6 (Klinginsmith, Allen 2), BCNG 19 (Backus 5). Turnovers—SP 10, BCNG 12. Total fouls—SP 7, BCNG 5. Technicals—none.

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