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Milford vs. Centennial, SNC boys hoops, 2/1/18

Heartland’s Lane Huebert (3) reacts after hitting a three-pointer at the buzzer to end the first half against Milford in February at Centennial High School. The returning all-stater is averaging more than 24 points per game.

Class D-1

First-round games

At Lincoln Northeast

9 a.m. — No. 1 Lourdes Central Catholic (18-8, 50 points per game average; 40.6 points allowed) vs. No. 9 Paxton (22-1, 62.8; 31.4)

10:45 — No. 3 West Holt (20-3, 64.7; 42.4) vs. No. 5 Johnson-Brock (22-5, 60.5; 43.7)

2 p.m. — No. 4 Heartland (20-3), 62.6; 42.8) vs. No. 7 Osmond (22-3, 60.7; 43.2)

3:45 p.m. — No. 2 Kenesaw (26-0, 61.9; 41) vs. Fullerton (20-4, 61.7; 45.8)

First-round games to watch

Lourdes Central Catholic vs. Paxton — Lourdes senior all-stater Quinten Vasa, 6-foot-8, will be going against 6-9 Paxton sophomore Blake Brewster; matchups of talented big men like these don’t come around often in D-1.

West Holt vs. Johnson-Brock — The guard play will be high-level in this one.

Players to watch

Blake Brewster, Paxton, 6-9, so. (16.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg) — Senior teammate Ryan Fox’s outside game (11.3 ppg) helps open up the inside.

Quinten Vasa, Lourdes Central Catholic, 6-8, sr. (15.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg) — 6-6 senior Brandon Friedrichs (10.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg) gives the Knights twin towers.

Bryce Kerkman, West Holt, 5-11, sr. (16.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg) — The Huskies were held to 37 points in their subdistrict loss to Boyd County. Don’t expect that to happen again.

Ty Hahn, 6-0, so. (17.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg), & Kaden Glynn 6-0, fr., (14.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg), Johnson-Brock — Might be the best freshman-sophomore tandem in the state. Hahn sprained his ankle in the district final last week against BDS, and that might be an issue this weekend.

Lane Huebert, Heartland, 6-2, sr. (24.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg) — The returning all-stater has the complete offensive repertoire.

Keaton Timmerman, Osmond, 6-2, so. (18.4 ppg, 10.6 rpg) — A force inside for the Tigers, who have senior guard Alexander Kumm (14.0 ppg) outside.

Tyson Burr, 5-9, sr. (14.5 ppg), & William Gallagher, 6-6, sr. (13.8 ppg, 8 rpg), Kenesaw — A good inside-outside combination for the only undefeated team left in the state in any class.

Brandon Rasmussen, Fullerton, 6-0, so. (16.2 ppg) — The Warriors definitely have a youth movement — freshman teammate Cole Horacek went for 18 points in the upset win over Heartland in the district final.

How it may play out

A strong field from top to bottom should make for a competitive tournament. The only unranked team, Fullerton, toppled Heartland in the district final. The Warriors now have an opportunity for another upset against undefeated Kenesaw, the last unbeaten remaining. Lourdes Central Catholic had some ups and downs playing the most difficult schedule in D-1, but it’s prepared the two-time defending state champions well for their three-peat run.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7437 or rpowell@journalstar.com. On Twitter @ronpowell_ljs.

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