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LHNE boys rally past, girls rout Bulldogs

February 7, 2018

It was a doubly good night Tuesday for Lutheran High Northeast as both its boys and girls basketball teams picked up wins over Creighton to close out regular season play.

The boys team improved to 15-4 by earning a 59-46 win over the 11-9 Bulldogs despite trailing most of the first half. Equally impressive was the 11-10 girls squad, which never trailed in a 55-18 win that locked up the program’s first regular-season winning record in several years — and set a couple of 3-point-shooting records in the process.

The Lutheran High boys trailed 19-15 at the end of the first quarter, primarily due to the 3-point shooting of the Creighton’s Chase Largen, who made 4-of-6 3-pointers. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the senior wouldn’t hit another 3 until the fourth quarter.

The Eagles waited until midway through the second period to take their first lead as four-consecutive free throws by Ben Gebhardt helped Lutheran High take a 26-25 lead.

Gebhardt, who led the team with 19 points and was a perfect 8-for-8 at the free-throw line, added a driving layup to end the first half to give the Eagles a 30-27 lead.

“I don’t like how many turnovers we had, but I like how we grinded it out,” Eagles coach Darin Suckstorf said. “We weren’t playing our best basketball, but we found a way to pull ahead and win the game.”

Meanwhile, 5-foot-10 sophomore Jaxson Kant was getting some points from in close — making shots over taller players with effective ball-fakes to finish with 14 points.

“Jaxson does a good job for us; he earns everything he gets,” Suckstorf said. “He’s a real blue-collar guy; you watch a game and all of a sudden he has 20 points, and you didn’t even know it.”

Lutheran High also got nine points from Blake Freudenburg on post moves inside and eight points off the bench from another sophomore, Tanner Koss.

“I like our balance; that’s what’s nice about this team — we don’t have that one go-to guy. Any of those guys can pick up the slack,” Suckstorf said. “Tanner came in and hit a 3 and got us some good boards.”

By the end of the third quarter, following Kant’s hustle-play assist — saving a loose ball from the sideline to teammate Matt Becker for a transition layup — the Eagles led 48-40 and never looked back.

Largen led Creighton with 17 points after his hot first quarter shooting.

The Lutheran High girls took control of their game early, with two-straight 3s by Emma Rosberg in the final minute of the first period establishing a 17-2 advantage.

The 3-point shot became the Eagles’ primary weapon in the game as the team finished with 9-of-24 success from beyond the arc. Freshman Chloe Spence totaled five 3s on six attempts as part of her game-high 21 points, while seniors Kortni Kasik (16 total points) and Rosberg (8 points) contributing two each.

Lutheran High steadily built of 33-10 at the half and, after the Bulldogs (6-15) were unable to score in the third quarter, led 44-10 entering the game’s final period en route to the 55-18 win.

“We broke the record for season 3s tonight with 101, and Kortni set the individual record for 3s in a season with 46,” Lutheran High coach Mike Wiederin said. “We’ve been a good 3-point shooting team all the way through.”

While pleased with Tuesday’s win, Wiederin said the focus now is on the Eagles’ next opponent in postseason play.

“We’ve got a big game coming up around the corner. It looks like we’ll play Howells-Dodge in the first game of the sub-district next Tuesday night,” he said.

Girls game

Creighton 2 8 0 8 — 18

Lutheran High Northeast 17 16 11 11 — 55

Creighton (6-15): Jessica Stevens 1-4 2-4 4, Kasey Kuhl 1-6 5-11 7, Alaina Farnik 0-3 0-0 0, Ashtyn Fritz 0-2 0-0 0, Sydney Walton 1-8 2-2 5, Jordyn Kuhl 0-2 0-0 0, Charlize Wilmes 1-3 0-0 2, Clarissa Becker 0-2 0-2 0. Totals: 4-30 9-19 18.

Lutheran High (11-10): Kortni Kasik 6-14 2-2 16, Morgan Holdorf 0-2 0-0 0, Kylea Wilke 0-1 0-0 0, Emma Rosberg 3-6 0-2 8, Matty Boning 1-4 0-0 2, Chloe Spence 8-11 0-0 21, Becca Gebhardt 1-1 2-2 4, Chloe Bitney 0-2 0-2 0, Ella Allgood 0-3 0-0 0, Sam Friedrich 2-5 0-0 4. Totals: 21-49 4-8 55.

Boys game

Creighton 19 8 13 6 — 46

Lutheran High Northeast 15 15 18 11 — 59

Creighton (11-9): Brayden Zimmerer 0-1 0-0 0, Chase Largen 6-18 0-1 17, Brady Brockhaus 3-7 0-0 9, Carson Lilly 1-3 0-0 3, Wyatt Diedrichsen 1-4 0-0 2, Noah Lilly 3-7 5-8 11, Conner Hammer 2-11 2-2 6, Jimmy Johnson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 15-50 7-11 46.

Lutheran High (15-5): Korrell Koehlmoos 0-1 0-0 0, Jaxson Kant 5-11 4-5 14, Tanner Koss 3-4 1-2 8, Matt Becker 2-4 0-1 4, Ben Gebhardt 5-7 8-8- 19, Ty Pape 2-5 1-2 5, Blake Freudenburg 3-10 3 4. Totals: 20-38 17-22 59.