LINCOLN — A fourth-quarter Lincoln North Star offensive show overshadowed what was a clinic put on by the Fremont High School Thursday in the first-round of the Heartland Athletic Conference Tournament.
The sixth-seeded Tigers led for most of the game before falling 82-78 in overtime to third-seeded North Star at Lincoln East.
“Our guys are not down. I think this will bring us closer together. We are taking strides in the right direction,” Fremont coach Mark Williams said.
The Navigators rallied by scoring 36 fourth-quarter points, including 20 from Donovan Williams, to force overtime.
Fremont did everything right in the first half as Austin Callahan nailed four 3-point field goals and collected 14 points.
“For us to be good, Austin has to hit shots,” Mark Williams said, “He did that tonight.”
Williams also asserted his scoring ability for Lincoln North Star. He collected nine early points and had 13 at the break.
After trailing 19-17 at the end of one quarter, Fremont went on a mini 5-0 run to start the second and take a 22-19 lead.
An 8-0 run to end the half did just the trick as well, as Fremont stormed into the locker room with a 32-23 lead.
Riley Harms also chipped in with 10 points in the first half. On defense, he had a block against the backboard on Donovan Williams that sent the Tigers’ bench into a frenzy.
The Tigers used a 7-0 run to begin the third quarter to extend the advantage to 39-23.
Lincoln North Star’s Sam Juracek hit two three-pointers as the Navigators cut Fremont’s lead to 46-36 headed into the fourth.
But the madness had just began.
Williams, who was held to two points in the third quarter, went off in the fourth quarter to keep North Star in the game.
“We had to have a lot conversations in the huddle, about just keep fighting,” Navigator coach Tony Quattrocchi said.
Fremont shot 13-16 from the free throw line in the fourth, but had no answer for Williams as he scored 20 of the Navigators 36 points.
Harms had a chance to extend a 72-69 lead with a pair of free throws with 12.1 seconds left in the game.
He missed both, and Williams got two at the other end.
Then a travel gave the ball back to Lincoln North Star with 10.7 seconds left.
Harms fouled out with 5.5 seconds left and Williams went to the line with his team trailing by one point.
Williams made the first free throw, but missed the second and the game headed into overtime.
The Donovan Williams show continued in overtime, as he scored eight in the extra period to give him 43, a school-record, on the night.
“This is stuff I work for,” Donovan Williams said. “I don’t skip days. I even worked out on Christmas day. I just love this stuff.”
Lincoln North Star completed the comeback with the four-point win.
“We don’t have Donovan Williams, and they do,” Mark Williams said, “That kid is a stud. We had a really hard time with him.”
Fremont will face either Grand Island or Lincoln Southeast at 3:45 Friday afternoon at Lincoln East.
Fremont 17 15 14 26 6 — 78
North Star 19 4 15 36 10 — 82
Fremont — Callahan 17, Dix 9, Harms 12, Woehrer 17, Johnson 11, Heineman 12,
North Star — Reimer 1, Ahdelkarim 2, Williams 43, Juracek 17, Goll 2, Johnson 8, Lopez 6, Brandt 3