Council Bluffs Lewis Central coach James Driver was far from thrilled the last time the Titans played Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson. His team won 2-0 in a tournament match with 30-minute halves, but he didn’t feel it moved the ball or imposed its will the way he knew it could.

One of Jason Isaacson’s primary sources of motivation as a basketball coach at Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln was to have his players enjoy what he called the pinnacle of his prep playing career.

It’s been on both teams’ minds since their last meeting, and now it’s finally a reality. Sioux City East vs. Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln for a trip to the Class 4-A state tournament.

Council Bluffs Lewis Central is still discovering what its rotation will look like. Many of its players are filling different roles — very different ones, in some cases. The learning curve began with a 67-60 loss to Sioux City East on Tuesday night in both schools’ boys basketball opener.

A week after digging itself into a 21-point hole in a comeback victory over Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson, Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln aimed for a faster start Thursday against Sioux City East. It didn’t happen.

The shocking outcome stripped Sioux City East senior J.J. Stephens of his emotions. “I don’t have any words," he said. “I’m just kind of lost right now." There were plenty of dazed looks on the Black Raiders’ faces as they exited Principal Park on Wednesday, although Southeast Polk had plenty to do with that.

Council Bluffs Lewis Central ran out of postseason magic Wednesday evening. Unfortunately for the Titans, a state tournament berth is gone as well. Lewis Central allowed four first-inning runs and could never get on track, falling 10-0 in six innings to No. 10 Sioux City East in the Class 4-A, Substate 1 finals at Sergeant Bluff-Luton.

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