WOOD RIVER — Loup City had a shot against Class C-1 No. 5 Adams Central in a Lou-Platte Conference semifinal Thursday at Wood River High School.
The Red Raiders tied the game on a 3-pointer by Austin Jakubowski at the third-quarter buzzer and even held a one-point lead with five minutes left after another 3-pointer by Reilly Lambrecht.
But that Lambrecht bucket was the final basket of the game for Loup City while Adams Central made nine fourth-quarter free throws to pull away for a 49-37 victory.
“Sometimes you just kind of run out of gas,” Loup City coach Paul Henry said. “Once we got the lead I think we turned it over three or four times in a row. Their defensive pressure really picked up. They hit a three down there. We didn’t get matched up and with the turnovers it got away from us.
“We wanted to be close going into the fourth. Jakubowski’s three was a big one right there.”
Adams Central coach Zac Foster said the Patriot defense clamped down on the Red Raiders down the stretch.
“We kind of gambled a little bit and played some zone because really they tried to get the ball to the basket,” Foster said. “(Brady) Rasmussen is really good on the dribble and Lambrecht is really athletic.
“So we played some zone there at the end of the third and then went back to our man. They ran a lot of dribble handoffs and dribble weaves. The first time we played they really hurt us and at times tonight they really hurt us, but we did a great job communicating.”
Senior Blake Overmiller also came alive for the Patriots (16-3) in the fourth quarter. He had 10 points in the first half but didn’t have a single shot in the third quarter.
But Overmiller hit a 3-pointer to give Adams Central the lead for good, then added another field goal and three free throws to help the Patriots put the game away. He finished with a team-high 18 points for he Patriots.
“We said before the game we wanted Reilly Lambrecht on him because of his size,” Henry said. “The first time we played them, he got our smaller guards posted up quite a bit. He’s tough. And (Tyler) Kirkegaard hadn’t hit much and then we left him wide open. We didn’t talk. You can’t leave good players open like that.”
The Patriots had 14 turnovers for the game, but none in the fourth quarter. Foster credited guards Overmiller and Jake Fowler for that.
“Blake and Jake are phenomenal,” Foster said. “Most guys hope to have one guard they can really trust and we’re blessed to have two guards who can really handle the ball and make great decisions.”
Rasmussen led Loup City (11-8) with 19 points. The senior was coming off a 34-point performance Tuesday night in a victory over Ravenna.
“He’s tough,” Foster said of Rasmussen. “He didn’t play against us the first time. He played like three minutes against us because of a tailbone injury. I knew he was special but I didn’t know how special until I talked to (Ravenna coach Paul) Beranek after the game and he got 34 on them.
“Some people have told me they thought his shooting was inconsistent, but I saw in the Independent today he’s leading the area in 3-point percentage, so he’s a great player.”
The victory moves Adams Central into the Lou-Platte Conference Tournament championship game Saturday against unbeaten Kearney Catholic. It will be the first meeting of the year between the two teams. They will also play on Feb. 15 in the final game of the regular season.
“In some ways it will be like looking in a mirror,” Foster said. “We’re athletic. They’re athletic. They want to pressure. We want to pressure. They want to drive. We want to drive. So it’s really going to be interesting to see the subplots to the ballgame.
Adams Central (16-3) ..................... 11 11 6 21—49
Loup City (7-5) .................... 7 10 11 9—37
AC: Fowler 1-4 3-6 6, Kirkegaard 3-7 0-0 7, Overmiller 7-10 3-6 18, Ackerman 1-3 0-0 2, Matt Brown 2-5 5-6 11, Shuck 1-3 1-2 3, Niederklein 0-0 0-0 0, Lindblad 0-0 0-0 0, Marc Brown 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-33 14-20 49.
LC: Rasmussen 8-19 1-3 19, Bochart 2-4 1-2 5, C. Lambrecht 0-1 0-0 0, R. Lambrecht 2-12 0-0 5, Jarzynka 1-1 0-0 2, Lewandowski 0-4 0-0 0, Jakubowski 2-4 1-2 6, Spotanski 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-45 3-7 37.
3-point goals—Adams Central 3-14 (Overmiller 1-2, Fowler 1-4, Kirkegaard 1-5, Ackerman 0-1, Shuck 0-2). Loup City 4-15 (Rasmussen 2-5 Jakubowski 1-2, R. Lambrecht 1-8, Lewandowski 0-1). Fouled out—Ackerman, R. Lambrecht. Rebounds—Adams Central 26 (Overmiller 9). Loup City 28 (R. Lambrecht 9). Turnovers—Adams Central 14, Loup City 15. Total fouls—Adams Central 13, Loup City 20. Technicals—None.
Kearney Catholic 61, Gibbon 52
Class C-1 No. 2 Kearney Catholic scored the first nine points of the second half to open up a 17-point lead, then held off Gibbon down the stretch for a 61-52 victory in the first semifinal of the night.
Senior Alex Liess led the Stars (18-0) with 21 points while Brian Husmann had 12 and Blake Holtmeier 11.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” Paul Reinertson said. “Kearney Catholic has a veteran team that doesn’t make many mistakes. If you make a mistake, they’re going to make you pay.
“I’m proud of our kids though. We had some things kind of go against us tonight.”
Junior Rylee Reinertson led the Buffaloes (14-4) with 22 points despite playing almost the entire game with an injury to his shooting hand that he suffered in the opening seconds of play.
“I give him credit for gutting it out because his hand was killing him right from the get-go,” Paul Reinertson said. “We got down 13 or 14 and battled back down to about six at one point to give ourselves a chance and I’m really proud of them.
“Obviously a huge factor because we rely on him to do a lot, but I’m proud of our kids. It was a physical game out there and we could have folded but we had a chance coming down the stretch to pull one out.”
Gibbon trailed 47-35 heading into the final quarter, but cut the lead down 58-52 on a free throw by Rylee Reinertson with 20 seconds left. Kearney Catholic then hit 3 of 4 from the line to put the game away.
Kearney Catholic coach Don Liess said his team kind of forgot what got it the lead in the first place.
“If we build a lead sometimes they look at the clock and go, ‘Let’s work it, let’s work it, let’s work it,’” he said. “...When we did our best is when we would attack it right away. We just didn’t do that very much.”
Kearney Catholic (18-0) ..................... 10 17 20 14—61
Gibbon (14-4) ................... 11 8 16 17—52
KC: Moore 3-5 5-6 11, Husmann 5-5 2-5 12, Streit 1-2 2-2 5, Squiers 2-8 2-2 7, Liess 8-22 1-2 21, Holtmeier 2-2 1-3 5, D. Jackson 0-1 0-0 0, Richter 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-46 13-20 61.
G: Milks 1-5 3-4 6, Reinertson 6-15 10-12 22, Bendfeldt 6-7 7-8 19, Schuster 2-4 0-0 0, Kenton 0-1 1-2 1, Stroh 0-4 0-0 0, Dorszynski 0-0 0-0 0, Neujahr 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-36 21-26 52.
3-point goals—Kearney Catholic 6-19 (Liess 4-11, Streit 1-2, Squiers 1-6). Gibbon 1-11 (Milks 1-5, Schuster 0-1, Reinertson 0-5). Fouled out—Holtmeier. Rebounds—Kearney Catholic 23 (Husmann 10). Gibbon 24 (Kenton 6). Turnovers—Kearney Catholic 17, Gibbon 20. Total fouls—Kearney Catholic 19, Gibbon 15. Technicals—Reinertson.