Papillion-La Vista South wasted no time doing away with Lincoln Northeast on Monday night, punching its ticket to the Class A state tournament with a 78-53 District A-2 final win.
After falling behind 7-6 early in the first quarter, the Titans, largely powered by the full-court defensive attack of guards Jared Mattley and Ryan Winkler, were able to put pressure on the Rockets for easy transition baskets to pull away to a 42-20 halftime lead.
“My mindset is to always make the other team uncomfortable," Mattley said. "I always want to keep the opponent on their heels.”
Papillion-La Vista didn’t let up in the second half as senior forward Lok Wur’s 30 points — 18 in the second half — and Mattley’s 21 points grew the advantage before cutting down the nets.
”We were just trying to stay aggressive coming out of the half," Wur said. "I wasn’t at my best in the second half, but we really turned it up as a team in the second.
"It was a great feeling cutting down those nets, realizing we accomplished one of our goals. I’ve always dreamed of playing at (the state tournament) and this is a dream come true.”
Lincoln Northeast never got in rhythm offensively, unable to keep pace with Papillion-La Vista’s attack on both ends. Carson Busch had 10 points and Kobe Schejbal had nine for the Rockets.
Sign up for daily headlines from NEPrepZone
Get a daily roundup of game recaps, player features and more in your inbox.
“As soon as that final buzzer sounded, I was extremely excited," Mattley said. "All of the hours of preparation and work that went into this whole season is paying off and it’s an incredible feeling.”
The Titans are headed to their first Class A state tournament since 2013.