LINCOLN — It was the All-Star basketball game that wouldn’t end.
But when it finally did, the Blues posted a 116-107 double-overtime victory over the Reds on Monday night at the annual Nebraska Coaches Association game at Lincoln North Star.
“Both teams made plays,’’ Blues coach Luke Olson said. “These were two evenly matched teams, so I guess this doesn’t surprise me.’’
Olson, the head coach at Bennington, said the outcome was secondary to the event.
“The kids enjoy being here, and so do the coaches,’’ he said. “It’s a great experience for everyone.’’
The Reds, coached by Scott Lamberty of York, led 25-24 after the first quarter and 53-51 at halftime. They opened that advantage to 76-71 after three quarters before the Blue squad rallied in the fourth.
Mason Hiemstra of Alliance scored the Blues’ first nine points of the fourth quarter to help his team rally. But a pair of late free throws by Connor Riekenberg of Lincoln East forced the first overtime with the game tied at 96.
The Blues led by five in the first four-minute OT, but the Reds rallied once again. A layup and a late 3-pointer from the corner by Wes Dreamer of Lincoln East tied it at 103 and led to a second overtime.
A steal and layup by Wahoo’s Winston Cook put the Blues ahead, and this time, Olson’s squad wouldn’t give up that lead. Cook added a layup, and then a 3-pointer by Bennington’s Karson Gansebom and a basket from Lincoln North Star’s Josiah Allick extended that advantage to nine.
The Reds never got closer than seven the rest of the way.
Cook, who finished with a game-high 24 points, said he was getting a little tired by the end.
“I wish we could have won it in regulation,’’ he said. “But the game was a lot of fun and I’m glad that we won.’’
Jaden Horton of Lincoln High scored 21 for the Blues while Allick had 20 points and 14 rebounds.
Dreamer led the Red squad with 22 points. Bellevue West’s Nico Felici and York’s Brady Danielson each had 20.
Felici, a Missouri Western recruit, pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds.
Olson said it was a well played game despite the limited preparation time.
“We practiced twice on Sunday and had a short one (Monday) morning,’’ he said. “That’s not a lot, but I think both teams gave the fans an entertaining game.’’
Blues..... 24 27 20 25 7 13—116
Reds...... 25 28 23 20 7 4— 107
Blues: Mason Hiemstra 9, Blake Lacey 3, Jaden Horton 21, Winston Cook 24, Grant Frickenstein 7, Jack Goering 8, Carson Schwarz 4, Tanner Wietfeld 6, Karson Gansebom 14, Josiah Allick 20.
Reds: Jackson Hirschfeld 3, Cade Reichardt 4, Drew Bippes 6, Brady Danielson 20, Jake Kudron 4, Connor Reikenberg 8, Keyshawn Jenkins 12, Gage Delimont 8, Nico Felici 20, Wes Dreamer 22.
Hannah Kelle scores 21; Reds girls beat Blues
LINCOLN — The Red squad raced to a 19-0 lead and never trailed to post the victory in the girls All-Star game.
Hannah Kelle of Lincoln Southwest led the way with 21 points and nine rebounds. She scored nine in the first quarter as the Reds built their double-digit advantage.
“I hit some shots early, and that helped,’’ she said. “We didn’t expect to come out that hot, but we were having a lot of fun.’’
The Reds led 24-9 after the first quarter and 42-20 at halftime. The Blue squad closed to 12 points in the second half but could get no closer.
“We hit our shots and played good team basketball,’’ Reds coach Tyler Shaw said. “Everything just fell into place.’’
Shaw, the head coach at Sidney, said he knew the Blues would make a run at his team.
“They’ve got some very good players,’’ he said. “But we were able to pull away a little after they got close.’’
Kelle will play collegiately at Illinois State, where she’ll be teammates with South Sioux City standout McKenna Sims. She had nine points for the Blues.
“We didn’t really run any smack at each other before the game,’’ Kelle said. “She’s my roommate, so we wanted to support each other.’’
Kayla Luebbe of Seward scored 14 points for the Reds while Omaha Skutt’s Sydney McDermott added 13.
Blues coach John Cockerill of Waverly said his team just couldn’t overcome that slow start.
“They made their shots and we forced it a little,’’ he said. “And then every time we got close, they’d hit a 3.’’
It also didn’t help the Blues that Oakland-Craig’s Dacey Nelson, who averaged 27 points per game, watched from the bench while nursing a knee injury.
“We definitely could have used her tonight,’’ Cockerill said. “But I think the main thing is that the girls made a lot of great memories tonight.’’
Carlie Wetzel of West Holt led the Blues with 16.
Blues..... 9 11 20 23—63
Reds..... 24 18 13 23—78
Blues: Averie Lambrecht 5, Carlie Wetzel 16, Sierra Kile 9, McKenna Sims 9, Abigail Clarke 2, Gracie Borer 5, Maggie Brahmer 7, Kloee Sander 10.
Reds: Meaghan Ross 6, Olivia Kastens 2, Brooklyn Minzel 7, Allison Bauer 5, Haley Kempf 4, Josey Ryan 6, Hannah Kelle 21, Kayla Luebbe 14, Sydney McDermott 13.