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Pospisil: Wahoo Neumann overcomes Allen, contender Boys Town

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On a Thursday night in a cozy Class B gym in north-central Omaha, the Class C-1 boys state tournament began.

History will show that it was only for a subdistrict title, but Wahoo Neumann’s 66-53 win over Boys Town eliminated what would have been a prime challenger in Class C-1 two weeks from now in Lincoln.

“To knock them off and know we don’t have to see them again is really nice,” junior forward Reid Jurgensmeier said.

If No. 5 Boys Town (15-9) had won and gone on to the district championship, chances were good that No. 1 Neumann (22-2) would have played the Cowboys again at state.

“There’s not many chances you get with other great teams to knock them out early,” Cavaliers coach Mike Weiss said. “The fact Teddy Allen didn’t play before Christmas meant they didn’t have a wild-card chance. They’re definitely one of the top two, three, four, whatever you what to say, so it was a big win and our kids knew that.

“You could tell the way we played. If we relaxed any bit, we wouldn’t have won the game.”

Allen, who has a body like a baby Charles Barkley and a much better jump shot, scored 30 of Boys Town’s first 49 points before fouling out with 1:33 left. He had the Cowboys’ first 10 of the final quarter, including a double-pump, off-balance 3 that had the full house of 1,100 in Omaha Roncalli’s gym in disbelief.

“He can make everything as you saw, making 35-footers,” Jurgensmeier said. “So we had to guard him hard. Help defense was a real big thing tonight. So was rebounding.”

Jurgensmeier had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Brandon Bruenig nine points and seven rebounds in support of Jaxon Simons, who had 15 of his 21 points after halftime.

Boys Town’s junk defenses slowed down the Cavs’ guard trio of Jaxon Simons, Ben Simons and Noah Vedral in the first half. Jaxon had two 3s, but the other two went scoreless from the field as Boys Town got to halftime with a 27-26 lead.

Vedral had defensive duty much of the time on Allen, as he had in the regular season when the Boys Town junior got only 16 points in a 68-47 loss.

Neumann started the second half with a 12-1 surge for the only double-digit lead of the game as Jaxon Simons made two 3s and Ben Simons one. Boys Town twice cut it to three in the fourth quarter, the last at 51-48 on a basket by Rodney Rosier with 3:34 left after a steal by Malik Jackson.

“They’re a championship team and they stepped it up to another level,” Boys Town coach Tom Krehbiel said. “Our kids are learning still what that’s about. We’ve come a long way. I might not have had another team come as far as this one has, but we’re still not there. We still needed another game or two like that to be there.”

The Cowboys had hit the wall — from facing a tough opponent and a tougher life situation following the death this week of senior Larry McBryde on campus.

“What a credit to these kids, what they’ve gone through and how they’ve handled themselves to our community,” Krehbiel said, fighting back tears. “I’m proud of how they acted like men in a tough, tough situation.

“They could have so easily laid down the other night to Wahoo and they could have easily had every excuse to lay down in this game. They didn’t and fought to the very end.”

Neumann salted away the win and a date with Logan View/Scribner-Snyder in Monday’s 7 p.m. district final at Midland University in Fremont by going on an 11-1 run for a 62-49 lead as Allen exited to a standing ovation — the second of the night for a Boys Town student.

Carlos Sanders, called out of the stands, sang the national anthem when Roncalli officials couldn’t get recorded music to work, and he nailed it. Beaming, Sanders got congratulations from the three-man refereeing crew and a hug from Roncalli’s appreciative athletic director, Jim Meister.

Boys Town (15-9) .................................. 15 12 7 19—53

Wahoo Neumann (22-2) ....................... 9 17 14 26—66

BT: Teddy Allen 30, Khuoth Gathouth 7, Trey Harrell 7, Rodney Rosier 6, Dashawn Bates 2, Malik Jackson 1.

WN: Jaxon Simons 21, Reid Jurgensmeier 17, Ben Simons 9, Brandon Bruenig 9, Noah Vedral 7, Sean Dailey 3.

Services set for McBryde

Boys Town will hold a memorial services for Larry McBryde at 10 a.m. Friday. His funeral will be Sunday in Dunn, North Carolina.

McBryde is survived by his mother, Emily McBryde of Dunn; father Terry Bethea, also of Dunn; brothers Maurice and KriShawn McBryde; and sister Ciaja McKoy.

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