Wausa isn’t scoring 90 points a game, as the Vikings did during the 1968-69 season.
This team, though, is the first at Wausa since then to own the No. 1 ranking in its class.
“The talk around the town is the same thing, that (1968-69) was the last time,” coach Tylor Fincher said. “(I’m told) that team could score without putting the ball on the floor. Everyone knew where the others were to be.
“I see some of those things in our team, but we have things to work on.”
Wausa (14-1) takes over the No. 1 ranking in Class D-2 from Falls City Sacred Heart, which drops to fourth after losing to Class D-1 Pawnee City for the second time this season.
Also moving up in D-2 are defending champion Giltner into second and Wynot — its only loss was to Wausa — into third.
Wahoo in Class C-1, Sutton in C-2 and Paxton in D-1 remain No. 1 in their classes.
Wausa, which is averaging 66 points a game, brought high expectations into the season after returning all but one player from last season’s 18-7 team.
“There are great attitudes with the boys,’’ Fincher said. “They’re a bunch who love the game and want to work hard.
“We’re a running team and in pretty good shape. We want to keep pushing the ball, but are learning to be more under control in when to push it and when to take really good shots.”
Marcus Claussen, a 6-foot-3 senior guard, leads the Vikings with a 15-point scoring average. He made the Eight Man-2 all-state team as a defensive back.
Austin Conn, a 6-3 junior point guard, and 6-3 senior power forward Trevor Wakeley have 10-point averages.
Fincher, who was a second-team Class D-2 all-stater on the 2003 Wausa team that was the Vikings’ last to qualify for state, is in his first full season as head coach. He said the Vikings are becoming better defenders, part of his coaching philosophy.
“They’re buying into the man-to-man rotation and talking a lot more on the court. That’s helping out,’’ he said.
Wausa’s only loss was 71-70 in overtime to Creighton (13-3), which returns this week to the Class C-2 ratings. The Vikings have a strong opponent Thursday night in Class D-1 Clearwater/Orchard (11-2), then have a week to prepare for their quarterfinal in the Lewis and Clark Conference tournament on Jan. 31.
“We’re playing pretty good,’’ Fincher said. “Right now, keeping them motivated is the main goal.”
One for the thumb: Burwell won its fifth consecutive Goldenrod Conference tournament championship, scoring the first 14 points in Saturday’s final to defeat league newcomer Lindsay Holy Family 56-41. The Class D-1 No. 4 Longhorns now are 16-0 this season.
“Our goal is to hold people to 40 points, and they got 41,” Longhorns coach Garrett Mann said.
Burwell’s five straight titles equal Greeley’s run from 1998 to 2002 for the longest in Goldenrod Conference tournament history. Greeley’s co-op team with Wolbach then won the 2003 title.
All-time teams: Tuesday is the last day to weigh in as to which Metro Conference school, past or present, has the best all-time five (restricted to those who played in the Metro’s holiday tournament.)
Review the teams at NEPrepZone.com, then send your submissions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax to 402-444-1238 or letter at 1314 Douglas St., Suite 700, Omaha, NE 68102. Sorry, no voting by phone.
Top games this week:
Class C-1—Tuesday: David City at Yutan, Gibbon at Kearney Catholic, O’Neill at Norfolk Catholic. Friday: McCook at Kearney Catholic, Falls City at Southern, Milford at Wilber-Clatonia.
Class C-2—Tuesday: O’Neill St. Mary’s at Creighton, Freeman at Elmwood-Murdock, Sutton at Sterling. Thursday: Logan View at Twin River. Saturday: Southern at Freeman.
Class D-2—Tuesday: Bancroft-Rosalie at Winnebago, Southern at Falls City Sacred Heart. Thursday: Clearwater/Orchard at Wausa. Friday: Minatare at Leyton, Norfolk Catholic at Humphrey St. Francis, Hartington Cedar Catholic at Wynot, Lewiston at Sterling. Saturday: Humphrey SF at Norfolk Lutheran.
Conference tournaments—Capitol: Semifinals Thursday and final Saturday at Arlington. Centennial: Semifinals Friday and final Saturday at Lincoln Christian. Central: Semifinals Friday and final Saturday at Aurora. Crossroads: Semifinals Thursday and final Friday at York City Auditorium. Frontier: Final Saturday at SECC-Lincoln. Republican Plains: Final Saturday at Cambridge. Sandhills: Semifinals Thursday and final Friday at Dunning. Southwest: Final Saturday at North Platte High School.
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