- CLASS B BOYS BASKETBALL: Pius X Holds On In OT To Edge Skutt
By Jeff Motz
Another instant classic involving the Lincoln Pius X boys basketball team at the NSAA State Tournament.
The Thunderbolts a year ago went triple overtime before falling to eventual Class A state champ Creighton Prep 83-80, but in Friday's Class B semifinal Pius X came out on the other side and held on for a 62-59 overtime win over Omaha Skutt at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Pius X will play in Saturday's 1pm Class B championship against Omaha Roncalli, who won in double-overtime 75-66 over Aurora on Friday afternoon.
The Thunderbolts (26-2) found themselves down 53-51 with 1:48 to play in regulation, after Skutt's Andrew Merfeld hit one of two free throws. Austin Jablonski grabbed an offensive rebound, drew a foul and hit two free throws to tie it up at 53 with 1:31 left.
Missed shot attempts from both teams happened in the final 30 seconds of regulation, including a baseline jumper from Pius X's Charlie Easley and teammate Mitch Sebek's point-blank put back attempt as time ran out.
Easley converted on free throws to the 'Bolts back up 57-56 and Jablonski tipped in a missed basket from Easley with 1:11 left in overtime to extend the lead to three.
Skutt responded with a three-pointer from Tyson Gordon with 40 seconds left in OT. Pius X then had the ball and held it for the final shot, where Easley found 6-4 forward Holton Harman, who was fouled going up to the basket.
Harman hit one of two free throws and off the miss, Jablonski tiped the ball out to the baseline, where Easley grabbed it and passed to Harman who was fouled with 0.6 seconds left. Harman hit both free throws to seal the win.
Easley led all scorers with 20 points for Pius X, while Jablonski had 13 points, Kolbe Rada added 12 points and Harman ended up with 11.
Skutt was led by Charlie Fletcher's 18 points, while Jake Kudron had 16 and Gordon wound up with 15 in the loss.