Boys basketball teams from Louisville, Weeping Water and Conestoga began their league tournament experiences Saturday with road games.
All three squads played in the first round of the East Central Nebraska Conference Tournament. Tenth-seeded Louisville traveled to seventh-seeded Malcolm, ninth-seeded Conestoga journeyed to eighth-seeded Palmyra and 11th-seeded Weeping Water went to sixth-seeded Johnson County Central.
Louisville 34, Malcolm 31
The Lions knocked off the Clippers with a second-half scoring surge. Louisville embarked on a 12-3 run in the third quarter and held off Malcolm with ten points in the fourth period.
Brady Geise provided a large portion of the team’s offense with 22 points. He drained two free throws and a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter, and he added one basket in the second period. He swished home three more treys in the second half and made three key free throws in the fourth quarter.
Quinn Wolcott sank two free throws in the second quarter and Caleb Hrabik posted three baskets in the third period. Eric Heard helped the Lions win by going 4-for-4 at the foul line in the fourth quarter.
Louisville will travel to second-seeded Auburn tonight for a 6 p.m. game. The winner will advance to the tournament semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Southeast Community College in Lincoln.
Louisville 8 4 12 10 – 34
Malcolm 9 5 3 14 – 31
Maxey 0, Geise 22, Euans 0, Heard 4, Hrabik 6, Wolcott 2, Powell 0, Buettner 0, Ball 0.
Palmyra 69, Conestoga 68 (OT)
Palmyra made the game-winning basket in the final moments of overtime. The Panthers erased a 30-27 halftime deficit to advance in the tournament.
Koby Dillon and Kaleb Kempkes each scored 14 points for Palmyra. Josh Jones (11) and Andrew Waltke (10) joined their teammates in double figures. Waltke and Jones each added ten rebounds in the game.
Conestoga will host Weeping Water at 6 p.m. tonight in a consolation game. The winner will play Malcolm at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Southeast Community College in Lincoln.
Conestoga 10 20 19 14 5 – 68
Palmyra 10 17 19 17 6 – 69
Johnson County Central 45, Weeping Water 21
Johnson County Central players used stout defense to defend their home court against Weeping Water. JCC held the Indians to six points in the first half and went ahead 32-13 after three quarters.
Avery Heath paced Weeping Water’s offense with seven points. Ryan Smith scored four points and Hunter Mortimer and Noah Patton each had three points. Zack Smith and Carter Mogensen both chipped in two points for the Indians.
Weeping Water 1 5 7 8 – 21
Johnson County Central 12 12 8 13 – 45
Weeping Water (21)
Z. Smith 2, Mortimer 3, Heath 7, R. Smith 4, Patton 3, Mogensen 2.
Johnson County Central (45)
Liberty 11, Waring 9, Holthus 8, Kleespies 8, Cabrales 1, Antholz 2, Ortiz 5, Duncan 1.