The Dundy County Stratton boys basketball team are in the elite 8 of Class D1 Basketball.
The Tigers won the Class D1-2 District Championship in a defensive game played at the Kearney High School gym on Tuesday night. The Tigers defeated Johnson-Brock 38 to 27 to earn their place in the 2022 NSAA State Basketball Tournament.
The Tigers were behind at halftime 15 to 18 after Johnson-Brock hit a 3-point basket at the buzzer before halftime.
The Tigers regained the advantage early in the third quarter and steadily built a lead through the second half. The Tiger’s defense held the Eagles to just 9 second half points. 12 of the Eagles first half points came on 3-pointers and two of those were buzzer beaters at the end of the first and second quarters. The Tigers defense held Johnson Brock to just one 3-point basket the second half.
Senior Mark Nelms kept the Tigers in the game in the first quarter as he had 8 of his team’s 10 points in the first period. He finished with a game high 15 points for DCS and 3 steals. Sophomore Jackson Kerchal had another big game for DCS. He controlled the inside on both ends of the court, especially in the second half. Kerchal ended the game with 14 rebounds, 11-points and 3 blocked shots. Senior Cheve Lutz came off the bench to score 4 points in the first half. Andrew Englot added 3 and his twin Alex had 2-points in the game. Quade Myers had 2 points and two steals. Myers and junior Corbin Horner shut down the Eagles outside shooters in the second half with their quickness and on- ball pressure at the top of the Tigers half-court defense.
The Tigers still struggled from the free throw line, but did hit some charity stripe shots late to ice the game. They hit just 12 of 27 shots from the free throw line. As a team they had 7 assists, 9 steals, and just 10 turnovers.
DCS will be the #2 seed in the Class D1 State Basketball Tournament that has a much different schedule this year. The Tigers will face the #7 seed, which should be Mead on Monday. The game was scheduled to be played at 12:30pm (MT) at Lincoln North Star High School. However, that has not been made official and could change as the NSAA tries to juggle game times of girls and boys teams from the same schools playing at the State Tournament next week.
The DCS School system will not have classes at all next week. Spring Break was already scheduled for Thursday and Friday. Administration decided to go ahead and call school off for the week with the boys playing in the State Basketball Tournament.