ARLINGTON, Neb. — Lucas Lazure’s buzzer-beater has Fort Calhoun playing for the Capitol Conference boys basketball tournament championship.
The Pioneers hadn’t made a basket in more than 7½ minutes before the 5-foot-10 senior nailed a 19-foot jump shot to beat Raymond Central 63-61 in Thursday night’s semifinals.
“If we could, we were going to look for Lucas at the top of the key and get out of his way,’’ Fort Calhoun coach Ron Coughlin said. “He was supposed to drive, but they had three in the lane so there was no way he was going to get there.”
Fort Calhoun’s opponent in Saturday’s 6 p.m. final at Arlington High School’s gym will be Class C-1 No. 1 Wahoo (16-0), which rolled past Ashland-Greenwood 54-29 in its semifinal.
“Now we get the beast,’’ Coughlin said.
Wahoo gave Fort Calhoun (14-3) its only loss to a C-1 opponent, winning 60-44 in mid-December.
“We have to keep up our energy better in the second half,’’ said Lazure, Fort Calhoun’s season scoring leader. “Keep up our defense and make sure we get rebounds.”
Fort Calhoun was on the verge of a blowout Thursday night when Jaden Boudle made his fifth 3-pointer of the night for a 60-47 lead after one possession in the fourth quarter. Instead, it scored one point — a Lazure free throw — while Raymond Central (8-8) got back into the game.
The Mustangs went on a 14-1 run. Nicholas Christensen made back-to-back 3s to cut the lead to 61-59 before flipping in a reverse layup with 2:25 left for a 61-61 tie.
“We just ran our offense,’’ Raymond Central coach Dale Rasmussen said of the comeback. “We had gotten a little panicky and didn’t do anything right for a while.
“We were trying to outshoot them on 3s when we thought we were a little better than them on the inside and didn’t go to it.”
A tight game with the Mustangs was to be expected, Coughlin said. In their previous four meetings while he’s been the Pioneers’ coach, he said, two games went to overtime and three points was the largest winning margin.
The Mustangs had a chance to take the lead, but Christian Benes missed a one-and-one free throw with 51 seconds left. With fouls to give before putting the Pioneers into the bonus, Raymond Central committed two in the final 20 seconds to force Fort Calhoun to reset its offense following inbounds passes.
Fort Calhoun started its final possession with 4.2 seconds left.
“(Lazure) hadn’t hurt us in the second half,’’ Rasmussen said, “except for that one shot.”
Jordan Kann led the Pioneers with 20 points, 13 coming in the first half. Boudle had 19 and Lazure 13.
Christensen matched Kann for game honors with his 20 points, 11 in the second half.
Jake States had 16 and Ryan Schneider 11 for the Mustangs, who meet Ashland-Greenwood in a 1 p.m. game Saturday at Arlington for third place.
“I’m glad this game didn’t go two more minutes,’’ Coughlin said.
Raymond Central (8-8)............................23 13 11 14—61
Fort Calhoun (14-3).............................21 18 18 7—63
RC: Nicholas Christensen 20, Jake States 16, Ryan Schneider 11, Mitch Shukis 5, Tyson Carlson 4, Christian Benes 3, Mike McNally 2.
FC: Jordan Kann 20, Jaden Boudle 19, Lucas Lazure 13, Joe Genoways 5, Kellon Johnson 4, James Rathjen 2.
* * *
Wahoo 54, Ashland-Greenwood 29
The Warriors scored the first 12 points and Ashland-Greenwood (8-6) didn’t get its second basket of the game until 1:39 left in the half and trailing by 20.
Wahoo took the lead to 30 points at 37-7 early in the second half.
“We got off to a really good start,” Wahoo coach Kevin Scheef said. “We got to their shooters quickly and didn’t give them good looks.
“I’m pretty pleased with what we did the first half. We let up there in the third quarter, but that’s fairly understandable when you have a halftime lead like that.”
Brook Stuart made four 3-pointers to lead the Warriors with 12 points. Jake Scheef, the coach’s sophomore son, came off the bench for 11 points and Jake’s brother, Ben, was next with nine.
Jordan Scheil and Tyler Craven each had 12 points for the Bluejays.
Ashland-Greenwood (8-6)...............................3 7 12 10—29
Wahoo (16-0)........................................14 20 7 13—54
AG: Jordan Scheil 12, Tyler Craven 12, Ryan Schuster 2, Bo Kitrell 2, Scott Howard 1.
W: Brook Stuart 12, Jake Scheef 11, Ben Scheef 9, Tyler Kavan 8, Jonathan AAbbott 7, Preston raymond 4, Quin McGill 2, Cole Peterson 1.
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