PENDER — The Guardian Angels Central Catholic defense had its clamps on Winnebago junior David Wingett.
But the Bluejays' grip wasn't tight enough to contain junior Drake Gorrin.
Gorrin scored 14 of his game-high 24 points in the third quarter to help lift Winnebago to its 48th win in a row, 67-58, in the Class C2-3 subdistrict final here Thursday.
"Drake, he really did his thing tonight. Drake had a season-high, and he was just on fire tonight," said Wingett, who helped stave off a fourth-quarter GACC rally with nine of his 13 points in the fourth quarter.
After opening the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer that gave Winnebago its biggest lead of the game at 52-41, Wingett was integral in a 9-2 run that followed a Tanner Ortmeier 3 that pulled the Bluejays within 54-52 with 3:22 left. The 6-foot-7 all-stater, averaging 29 points per game, buried a pull-up jumper and assisted on a Cedrick Blackdeer 3 on the Indians' next two possessions.
He then capped the run with a breakaway dunk on a designed inbound play that put Winnebago ahead 63-54 with 54 seconds left, and GACC was unable to get any closer than seven the rest of the way.
"David finished it with a dunk. He wanted one all night, and he finally got one," Winnebago coach Jeff Berridge said. "He's a big-time player, and he showed up at the right time just like a big-time player should. He hit some jumpers, knocked down a 3 and that's what we need from him."
Through three quarters, Wingett was 1 of 9 from the field while primarily being guarded by Nebraska football walk-on Tanner Hass. At 6-1, Hass gave up half a foot but was able to compensate with muscle and a 36.5-inch vertical leap.
"He's a really tough player. When he locks down on defense, it's really hard to keep your composure and play well against him," Wingett said. "He'll really slow you down."
Aspen LaPointe and Gorrin, though, filled the void for Winnebago.
LaPointe scored 14 of his 16 points in the second quarter as Winnebago rebounded from a slow start to take a 31-29 lead late in the first half. Down 32-31 after Brandon Hass beat the halftime buzzer with a 3, Gorrin was 7 of 7 from the field in the third quarter as Winnebago outscored GACC 18-9.
"That 3 was nice. It was a boost. It really was," GACC coach Brad Slaughter said. "They just have too many weapons. It's hard to contain all of them."
The Indians' winning streak is now tied with the 1984-86 Arlington teams for 11th-longest in state history. Fully aware of the mark, it will not be Winnebago's primary focus in preparation for the C2-2 district championship against Hartington Cedar Catholic with a wild-card berth to state in its back pocket.
"We know about the streak, but we're here just to play basketball. We want to win every game, but if we lose we lose," Berridge said. "The ultimate goal is to win state — no matter how we get there."
Ortmeier led three players in double figures for the Bluejays with 17 points. He also had seven rebounds and four assists, with Brandon Hass adding 13 points and Kobe Slaughter finishing with 14.
The Bluejays finish 16-9, with five of the losses coming against teams with 20 or more wins — including a 79-73 home loss to Winnebago last Friday.
"We didn't come in here to lose. We had a plan, and we went with the plan. We were as ready as we could be, and I know they know they were in a game," Brad Slaughter said. "I don't know if that schedule is always a benefit because I know we could have played with anyone in C2."
GACC (16-9)....................................9 23 9 17 — 58
Winnebago (28-0)...........................10 21 18 18 — 67
GACC: Brandon Hass 5-13 0-0 13, Tanner Hass 4-6 0-0 8, Tanner Ortmeier 6-10 4-4 17, Kobe Slaughter 6-14 0-2 14, Noah Kreikemeier 2-5 2-2 6, Andrew Guenther 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 23-51 6-8 58.
W: D'Von LaPointe 1-6 0-0 3, Aspen LaPointe 6-11 2-2 16, Drake Gorrin 10-13 3-4 24, Miguel Baker 0-1 0-0 0, David Wingett 4-14 4-5 13, Cedrick Blackdeer 1-5 0-0 3, MaNaPe Cleveland 3-3 0-0 8. Totals 25-53 9-11 67.
3-point field goals: GACC 6-16 (B. Hass 3-8, Slaughter 2-6, Ortmeier 1-1); BAGO 8-15 (Cleveland 2-2, A. LaPointe 2-3, D. LaPointe 1-2, Blackdeer 1-2, Gorrin 1-3, Wingett 1-3). Rebounds: GACC 26 (Ortmeier 7, B. Hass 5, Slaughter 5, Kreikemeier 4); BAGO 26 (Wingett 12, A. LaPointe 5, Baker 4). Assists: GACC 9 (Ortmeier 4, Kreikemeier 2, Guenther 2); BAGO 9 (A. LaPointe 6). Steals: GACC 1; BAGO 3. Blocked shots: GACC 2; BAGO 4 (Wingett 2).