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Archbishop Bergan coach Ryan Mlnarik threw the idea out there.

Dre Vance threw it up there.

Grant Frickenstein threw it down.

Frickenstein's alley-oop finish ignited a fourth-quarter charge in helping the No. 2 Knights outlast No. 3 Fullerton 73-64 in the opening round of the Class D-1 boys state tournament Thursday at Lincoln East High School.

Frickenstein scored 31 points. The 6-foot-3 senior made four three-pointers and 10-of-11 free throws, but his alley-oop got his team and the Bergan spectators going early in the fourth.

"It was a play we run; normally I'm supposed to come down with it (and go back up)," Frickenstein said. "It was right there, so I just went up for it and then once I had that down, the crowd was into it, (and) we were ready to finish this game."

Mlnarik said the play doesn't always work. But he thought it was time to pull it out.

"I felt the way we were executing from (before) that point, we weren't executing very well, and I figured, 'Why not?'" he said. "All we're doing is throwing it away anyway, so let's take a chance at this."

The ally-oop gave Bergan a 55-52 lead, and Vance hit a three from the wing on the next Knight possession to push the lead to six.

The game resembled a track meet in the first half. Fullerton held a 40-38 advantage out of the break and both teams went back-and-forth in the third.

"We had the pace right where we wanted it," Mlnarik said. "I felt good about where we were at. We're a team, I think we can bring our best in third and fourth quarter, so our guys did a really good job of keeping the pace. Fullerton really hit a lot of shots in the first half and they had multiple guys step up."

TJ Dubas led the Warriors (18-7) with 21 points, and Brentyn Wetovick added 16.

Bergan (18-8) will play Elm Creek in Friday's 9 a.m. semifinal at the Devaney Sports Center.

Elm Creek 52, Lourdes CC 36: For the first time in four years, a new school will be crowned state champion in Class D-1.

No. 8 Elm Creek knocked Lourdes Central Catholic out of the tournament Thursday.

The Knights (8-17), who started the season 1-11, had won the previous three state championships.

"For them to be able to get back to the state tournament with the start, and kids these days, seeing records and wins and losses, getting down, these kids came to practice and battled every day," Lourdes coach Joe Tynon said.

Elm Creek (22-3), which has no seniors in its rotation, took a 25-17 lead into halftime and extended the cushion to 36-22 late in the third on a bucket from junior Gage Clabaugh, who cut along the baseline.

"These kids have been playing together for a long time," Elm Creek coach Tanner Cavenee said. "I've coached them since the fourth and fifth grade, and it's one of those things where they kind of know where each other's going to be at."

Trey Miner led the Buffaloes with 16 points. Freshman Blake Miller had 19 points for Lourdes.

Paxton 63, Wauneta-Palisade 45: After trailing by 23 points in the second quarter, Wauneta-Palisade got to within five points in the third quarter before top-ranked Paxton used a 14-2 run to take back the momentum.

The Tigers scored a lot of points in transition to build the early lead, and then got back to their transition game to take control late.

"We could have easily sit back on our heels and let them keep coming, but (Jordan) Callihan didn't let it happen," Paxton coach Jody Rhodes said. "He kept rebounding and pushing it.

"You might say, 'Why don't you slow it up?' Well, when we slow it up, we were turning it over."

Blake Brewster, a 6-10 junior, led Paxton (24-1) with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Joel Maris led the Broncos (20-6) with 11 points.

Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 56, Hartington-Newcastle 36: Seven players scored for No. 6 Humphrey/LHF (21-6), including 6-3 freshman Jason Sjuts, who finished with a team-high 15 points. A strong finish to the first quarter boosted the Bulldogs, who expanded the lead to 18 in the second quarter and led by as many as 21 in the second half.

Hartington-Newcastle (16-10) had 21 turnovers and made 4-of-21 field goals in the second half.

Shaye Morten led the Wildcats with 10 points.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2639 or On Twitter @LJSSportsGrell.


Sports editor

Clark Grell is sports editor.

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