Can they do it again, but away from home?
Based on my projections for Class A’s districts (pairings are official Tuesday), Lincoln Southeast, Elkhorn South and Lincoln Southwest will be playing teams in Saturday’s first round that they’ve beaten this season. But all three rematches will be road games for them as lower seeds.
Southeast appears headed to Norfolk in the Nos. 14-vs.-15 game; it beat the Panthers 56-48. Elkhorn South goes to Lincoln High in the 10-vs.-19 game; it set a school scoring record in its 100-85 win over the Links. Southwest travels to Millard North in the 9-vs.-20 game; it beat the Mustangs 56-45 opening night.
The top seven seeds, which would host district finals, are Bellevue West, Gretna, Omaha Creighton Prep, Kearney, Omaha Central, Omaha Westside and Omaha South. All but Gretna are ranked in the top six in Class A.
Gretna hosts Lincoln Northeast, a 5-17 team that has wins over Southeast and Southwest in the same week. Should the Dragons win, they would play the winner of Millard West’s game at Papillion-La Vista South.
Here are the projected pairing for Saturday with point standings:
District 1: No. 28 Fremont at No. 1 Bellevue West; No. 15 Lincoln Southeast at No. 14 Norfolk
District 7: Lincoln Northeast at No. 2 Gretna; No. 16 Millard West at No. 13 Papio South
District 3: No. 26 Omaha Northwest at No. 3 Prep; No. 17 Grand Island at No. 12 Omaha Bryan
District 4: No. 25 Omaha Benson at No. 4 Kearney; No. 18 Omaha North at No. 11 Lincoln North Star
District 5: No. 24 Papillion-La Vista at No. 5 Central; No. 19 Elkhorn South at No. 10 Lincoln High
District 6: No. 23 Millard South at No. 6 Westside; No. 20 Lincoln Southwest at No. 9 Millard North
District 7: No. 22 Bellevue East at No. 7 South; No. 21 Omaha Burke at No. 8 Lincoln East
If all home teams — the higher seeds — win, next week’s finals would be Norfolk at Bellevue West, Papio South at Gretna, Bryan at Prep, North Star at Kearney, Lincoln High at Central, Millard North at Westside and Lincoln East at Omaha South.
Only three games would be rematches. Kearney beat North Star 57-51, South beat Lincoln East 62-55 and Central downed Lincoln High 77-68.
A note: Class B’s first-round district tournament games Monday will not affect Class A’s point standings, which had Saturday as a cutoff, for district seedings.
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The last thing needed Saturday will be snow, which is in the early forecast, because there will be 54 boys district games — Class A’s first round and district finals in the other five classes.
Upward of 20 schools from Class C-1 down also will have had their girls teams in district finals Friday night. Even with neutral sites, there’s going to be some six- to eight-hour round trips for some.
Consternation could break out like the flu, but let’s see how this new format that a majority of schools requested plays out for at least two years. Volleyball did fine but didn’t face the possibility of slick roads (this year). And only some in C-1 and C-2 were coming off a playoff football game the previous day.
My only suggestion would be to start Class A Friday, which is the best night for attendance in the large schools, and schedule all of its finals on the same night, either the following Monday or Tuesday. No other class has that latitude.
Class B outlook
Class B subdistricts are Monday and Tuesday night, and Elkhorn Mount Michael is in contention with Alliance and Hastings for the coveted eighth seed and the last home berth available for Saturday’s winner-take-all district finals.
Mount Michael can clinch with a win at 8 p.m. Monday against Elkhorn in the B-2 subdistrict at Omaha Skutt and a Lexington win over visiting North Platte in B-7 or a York win over Hastings in B-6 at Aurora.
Blair, which plays Omaha Roncalli in B-3, is 16th.
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Front row, from left: Whitney Brown, Grand Island Northwest; Lauren West, Millard North; Jayme Horan, Millard South; McKenna Sims, South Sioux City; Morgan Maly, Crete. Back row, from left: Chucky Hepburn, Bellevue West; Charlie Easley, Lincoln Pius X; Akol Arop, Omaha Creighton Prep; Baylor Scheierman, Aurora; John Tonje, Omaha Central.
From left: Shereef Mitchell, Omaha Burke; Payton Brotzki, Platteview; Kanon Koster, Kearney; McKenna Sims, South Sioux City; Brady Heiman, Platteview; Dariauna Lewis, Omaha North; Akol Arop, Omaha Creighton Prep; Brooke Carlson, Elkhorn; Sam Griesel, Lincoln East; and Quinn Weidemann, Omaha Westside.
Sitting, from left: Jaden Wrightsell, Omaha Northwest; McKenna Minter, Lincoln Northeast; Teddy Allen, Boys Town. Standing, from left: Chloe Dworak, Lincoln Christian; Quinn Weidemann, Omaha Westside; McKenna Simms, South Sioux City; Aguek Arop, Omaha South; Ed Chang, Papillion-La Vista; Kanon Koster, Kearney; Ayo Akinwole, Papillion-La Vista.
Front from left: Quinn Weidemann, Omaha Westide; Aguek Arop, Omaha South; Grace Berry, Lincoln East; Caleal Walker, Omaha South; and Skyler Snider, Kearney. Back from left: Ed Chang, Papillion-La Vista; Rylie Cascio Jensen, Fremont; Nate Schimonitz, Omaha Creighton Prep; Ryan Williams, Fremont; and Chloe Akin-Otiko, Bellevue West.
Front from left: Jay Bridgeman, Omaha Westside; Kianna Ibis, Omaha Benson; Jessica Shepard, Fremont; Maddie Simon, Lincoln Pius X; Jaycee Bradley, Norfolk. Back from left: Tyler Hagedorn, Norfolk; Adam Dykman, Fremont Bergan; Justin Patton, Omaha North; Drew Homa, Omaha Creighton Prep; Malik Hluchoweckyj, Bellevue West.
Top from left: Chatrice White, Shelby-Rising City; Khyri Thomas, Omaha Benson; Jessica Shepard, Fremont. Front from left: Mitchell Hahn, Fremont; Malik Hluchoweckyj, Bellevue West; McKenzie Brown, Grand Island Northwest; Tre'Shawn Thurman, Omaha Central; Maddie Simon, Lincoln Pius X; Kevin Metoyer, Omaha Westside; Kianna Ibis, Omaha Benson.
Front from left: Alexa Kastanek, Lincoln Southeast (wearing rainbow hat); Tra-Deon Hollins, Omaha Central (holding book); Lauren Works, Lincoln Southwest (wearing fedora); McKenzie Brown, Grand Island Northwest (holding basketball and balloon). Middle from left: Brett Dougherty, Papillion-La Vista (wearing marching band hat); Jessica Shepard, Lincoln Southeast (holding bear); Akoy Agau, Omaha Central (holding trophy); Kianna Ibis, Omaha Benson (waving towel). Back from left: Cam Williams, Omaha South (holding pom poms); Connor Lusso, Millard West (wearing birthday cake hat).
Front from left: Akoy Agau, Omaha Central; Jessica Shepard, Lincoln Southeast; Josiah Gustafson, Millard North; Brianna Rollerson, Omaha Central; Beth Bohuslavsky, Seward; Mike Gesell, South Sioux City. Back from left: Chelsea Mason, Bellevue West; Dylan Travis, Omaha Gross; Jalen Bradley, Norfolk; Brianna Craig, Lincoln Northeast.
Front from left: Hailey Mandelko, Lexington; Galen Gullie, Omaha Bryan; Emily Cady, Seward; Mike Gesell, South Sioux City. Middle from left: Akoy Agau, Omaha Central; Chelsea Mason, Bellevue West; Jalen Bradley, Norfolk; Alexis Akin-Otiko, Bellevue West. Back from left: Jayla Hobza, Bellevue East; CJ Carter, Omaha Benson.
Clockwise from top left: Alexis Akin-Otiko, Bellevue West; Jordan Hooper, Alliance; Deverell Biggs, Omaha Central; Dwight Smith, Ralston; Elliott Eliason, Chadron; Austin Kaczor, Ewing; Mike Gesell, South Sioux City; Nicole Arp; Kearney; Sarah Nelson, Omaha Westside; Emily Cady, Seward.
Bottom from left: Austin Kaczor, Ewing; Isiah Gandy, Boys Town; Elliott Eliason, Chadron; Jarrell Crayton, Bellevue East; Greg Smith, Ralston. Top from left of page: Marissa Kastanek, Lincoln Southeast; Emily Hauder, Bellevue West; Jordan Hooper, Alliance; KK Houser, Lincoln Southeast; Sarah Nelson, Omaha Westside.
From left: Antoine Young, Bellevue West; Jordan Hooper, Alliance; Josh Jones, Omaha Central; Marissa Kastanek, Lincoln Southeast; Wes Eikmeier, Fremont Bergan; KK Houser, Lincoln Southeast; Jarell Crayton, Bellevue East; McKayla Knudson, South Sioux City; Jesse Carr, Ainsworth; Nicole Brungardt, Norfolk Catholic.
Clockwise from top left: Kellie Nelson, Omaha Westside; Dominique Kelley, Lincoln Northeast; Kelsey Woodard, Bellevue West; Amber Hegge, Crofton; Jesse Carr, Ainsworth; Josh Jones, Omaha Central; Wes Eikmeier, Fremont Bergan; Antoine Young, Bellevue West; Mitch Albers, Papillion-La Vista; Jasmine Johnson, Omaha Central.
From left: Antoine Young, Bellevue West; Brooke Delano, Bellevue West; Matt Hill, Lincoln Southeast; Dominique Kelly, Lincoln Northeast; Yvonne Turner, Bellevue East; Andrew Bridger, Lincoln Northeast; Tyler Bullock, Lincoln North Star; Katie Frank, South Sioux City; Samantha Schuett, Millard West; Avery Tyler, Omaha Bryan.
From left: Samantha Schuett, Millard West; Katie Frank, South Sioux City; Matt Culliver, Omaha Bryan; Andrew Bridger, Lincoln Northeast; Matt Hill, Lincoln Southeast; Katie Smith, Omaha Skutt; Zach Potter, Omaha Creighton Prep; Yvonne Turner, Bellevue East; Megan Neuvirth, West Point GACC, Josh Dotzler, Bellevue West.