Boys basketball: Serena, Seneca to meet for title in Seneca Turkey tourney

Hall wins in OT, will face Mendota for third place

SENECA - For the first quarter and a half, it was back and forth between Serena and Newark, but that changed midway through the second quarter as the Huskers cruised to a 56-35 victory on the final day of pool play of the Seneca Turkey Tournament on Friday.

With the win, the Huskers move to 3-0 and will play the host Fighting Irish for the championship Saturday.

Blake Wallin got the Norseman on the board to start, draining a 3-pointer, and shortly after, Nate Kath made it 6-2 with another 3-pointer for Newark.

Down 8-4, Richie Armour got an offensive board and kicked it to Tanner Faivre to cut Serena’s deficit to 8-7 before Beau Raikes found Armour for a bucket and the foul to give the Huskers a 10-8 advantage.

Newark sent the game into the second quarter tied at 10 after an offensive rebound and putback from Clay Friestad.

The game continued to go back and forth to start the second quarter as Newark’s Dylan Long nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game at 18, but that was as close as it would be the rest of the way as the Huskers dominated the remainder of the contest.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from Raikes and Carson Baker followed by a pair of shots from the charity stripe along with an up and under move from Armour capped off a 10-0 Serena run that pushed the lead to 28-18.

“We’ve started off games a little slower, but the upside is we haven’t turned the ball over,” Serena coach Dain Twait said. “We got three or four guys who can score well and the entire team is causing turnovers to go along with that.”

Leading 28-21 at the break, Serena kept its foot on the gas as Faivre drained a shot behind the arc and then a power move in the lane from Armour pushed the lead to 33-21.

The next time down the floor, Cody Kulbartz made an aggressive move in the paint for the first Newark points of the half.

“I told the kids before the game that Serena is a physical and talented team,” Newark coach Kyle Anderson said. “I felt like when we did get into the offensive set we did some good things, but they are so athletic and aggressive that they make it difficult to get into the half court set.”

The Huskers continued to power ahead as Baker hit another 3-pointer and then Armour once again found his way to the hoop as the lead grew to 43-25.

Lance Pasakarnis made a nice move to the basket for the Norsemen, but Serena had a 47-28 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

The Huskers got a bucket and a foul shot from Baker, who then followed that up with a bunny shot in the lane as Serena cruised to a 56-35 victory.

Serena had three in double figures with Baker leading the way with 20 points, followed by Armour with 15 and Faivre with 14. Newark was led by Payton Willis and Wallin with seven each.

Hall 50, Herscher 47 (OT)

A wild back and forth game between Hall and Herscher ended with an overtime win for the Red Devils to set up a conference game of sorts with Mendota for third place.

The Hall defense was the story in the fourth quarter as the Red Devils held the Tigers scoreless the first six minutes of the quarter.

Hall took the lead in the fourth on a great pass from Braden Curran to Joseph Bacidore before a 3-pointer from Payton Dye gave the Red Devils a 40-34 edge.

With two minutes to go, Tanner Jones and Austin Buckley drained 3-pointers to tie the game at 40.

With less than eight seconds left, Hall’s Greyson Bickett reached around Buckley and tipped the ball away and raced down the floor and tried to pass off to his teammate instead of taking a shot, sending the game into overtime.

“I tell you what, Greyson Bickett needed to work his butt off in the offseason to play varsity as a sophomore and he did just that,” Hall coach Mike Filippini said. “He got a huge tip at the end of regulation to help send the game into overtime and I couldn’t be happier for him seeing the hard work pay off.”

In overtime, Dye missed a long-range shot, but Curran was right there for the offensive rebound and layup. Dye followed with a bucket and free throw on the next possession to put Hall ahead 45-40.

The Tigers, however, were not about to go away quietly as two buckets later, including a 3-pointer from Peyten Young tied the game at 45.

Moments later, Bacidore hit a bunny shot and Wyatt West picked up a steal and the layup to once again put the Red Devils ahead at 49-45.

Dye made it 50-47 after hitting 1 of 2 free throws.

A late Hall turnover nearly resulted in Jacob McCree draining a half court shot to send the game into double overtime, but it rimmed out, giving the Red Devils the victory.

“After losing Mac Resetich to graduation, no one expected us to be 2-1, so it’s a credit to these guys and how hard they worked,” Filippini said. “We were also missing Jack Jablonski, who’s sick. Max Bryant had several nice looks on the interior of the defense for some easy baskets as well, so really a great all around effort for us.”

Herscher started out strong, leading 7-0 behind a 3-pointer from Buckley, but an offensive rebound and layup from Curran and a 3-pointer from Bickett gave the Red Devils a 13-12 lead after the first quarter.

Hall was cold to start the first 4 1/2 minutes of the second and the Tigers took the lead on a shot behind the arc from Buckley and a floater in the lane from Young for a 17-13 lead, but then became cold themselves.

After a bunny shot in the lane from Bacidore and two free throws from Curran, Hall regained the lead 19-17. The Red Devils finished the half on a 6-0 run for a 21-17 halftime lead.

To start the third, Bryant found Curran open in the paint for a layup and a 23-17 advantage, but the Tigers responded with a 9-0 run.

Herscher got a 3-point bucket from Buckley and a fastbreak layup as well to go along with four free throws from Logan Morrow for a 26-23 lead.

Hall got a much needed 3-pointer from Bryant and later took a 33-32 lead on a shot from the top of the key from West, but a last drive from Young gave the Tigers a 34-33 lead heading into the fourth.

Curran led Hall with 17 points to go along with eight from West and seven from Dye. Herscher was led by Buckley with 20 points and Young with 14.