Pierce boys outlast Auburn, Pender girls top Wayne to claim Great Northeast Nebraska Shootout titles
WAYNE, Neb. – Champions have been crowned at the Great Northeast Nebraska Shootout in Wayne, with the Pender girls and the Pierce boys claiming tournament titles.
It took double overtime, but Pierce maintained its unblemished record with a 50-39 win over perennial power Auburn.
Though Pierce held the early advantage, the Bluejays were forced to hold their breath due to early foul troubles.
Iowa State football signee Ben Brahmer, who scored 57 points in his first two tournament games, picked up two first-quarter fouls. Pierce coach Mike Emory left Brahmer in the game, but after nearly picking up his third foul shortly after his second, Brahmer was pulled for the remainder of the quarter.
Deon Watts, who scored Pierce’s first four points, was whistled for his second foul shortly after Brahmer’s.
Auburn senior post player Carson Leslie, who was battling with Brahmer throughout the game, eventually picked up his second foul midway through the second quarter, though Brahmer picked up his third just minutes later. Just before halftime, Watts also picked up his third foul.
Auburn gained its first lead of the game with two seconds left in the first half, when Maverick Binder hit two free throws after Watts’ third foul to give the Bulldogs a 19-17 halftime edge.
Leslie, however, sunk into deep foul trouble himself in the third quarter, getting whistled for his third and fourth fouls.
Auburn built the largest lead of the game, 31-26, in the fourth quarter, but Brahmer quickly changed the tone of the game with five straight points. Abram Scholting scored in traffic against Leslie to give the lead back to Pierce.
Brahmer added another bucket to make a three-point edge for Pierce, but Binder scored in traffic against Brahmer to cut it back to one.
Pierce then made three of four free throws, including two more by Brahmer to make a two possession lead.
Binder made two free throws of his own with 10 seconds to play. After Scholting missed the front end of a one-and-one with seven seconds to play, the Bluejays committed a foul on the floor to force Auburn to inbound the ball.
Scholting then foulded Binder, who hit the front end of a one-and-one to make it a one-point ballgame. After a Pierce timeout, Binder the second free throw to tie it 37-37 and force overtime.
Auburn played most of overtime without Leslie and fellow post player Skylar Roybal after both fouled out.
Pierce held a 39-37 lead with under a minute left to play in overtime when Scholting went to the free throw line for two shots. He missed the first one and made the second, but saw the shot wiped away due to a violation.
On the ensuing Auburn possession, an Austin LaVigne putback off a Binder miss with 23 seconds left tied the game and forced a second overtime.
Pierce dominated the final overtime, outscoring the Bulldogs 11-0.
The Bluejays iced the game at the free throw line. Brahmer made his first 10 free throw attempts of the game and finished 11-of-12 from the line. He closed with 18 points as he averaged 25.3 points per game in the tournament.
The Bluejays are now 9-0 on the season, while the Bulldogs slip to 5-3.
Pender dominated Wayne, 57-33, in the girls’ championship game.
Wayne played the Pendragons tight in the opening quarter, trailing 12-11 after the first period. The Pendragons distanced themselves in the second quarter, however, building a 32-18 halftime advantage.
Pender further extended its lead in the third quarter, taking a 47-22 lead into the final period.
Avery Wegner 16 led Pender with 16 points, while Frantzdie Barner had seven points and a pair of steals for the Blue Devils.
Pender moves to 10-1 on the season, while Wayne drops to 6-5.
Hartington Cedar Catholic claimed third place in the boys’ division, knocking off hometown Wayne 47-30.
Cedar Catholic pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring the Blue Devils by a 12-3 margin in the frame.
Tyan Baller led the Trojans with 14 points, including 10 in the first half. Sophomore Colson Nelson paced Wayne with 12 points.
Cedar Catholic improves to 7-1, while Wayne drops to 8-3.
Pierce rebounded from a Thursday night loss to Pender with a dominant 58-38 win over Auburn in the girls’ third place game. The win bumps Pierce up to 7-2 on the season, while the Bulldogs drop to 6-4 on the season.
Cedar Catholic picked up fifth place in the girls bracket, knocking off Plainview 51-40.
The Trojans are now 8-2, while Plainview drops to 6-4.
Behind Jake Rath's 34 points, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge jumped out to a huge 40-17 first-half lead and knocked off Winnebago 75-61 in the boys’ fifth-place game.
The Bears are now 7-2, while the Indians are now 5-4.
Laurel-Concord-Coleridge claimed seventh place in the girls bracket by beating Winnebago 50-36. The Bears are now 3-6, while Winnebago falls to 1-8.
Plainview claimed seventh place in the boys division by beating Pender 49-36. The Pirates improve to 2-7, while the Pendragons drop to 2-9.