2020 Boys State Basketball Tournament Game Previews, Scores & Details
By: Dave Collins, Eagle Radio Sports Director
First Round Games - Thursday, March 12
Class B: #2 Scottsbluff 53, #7 Alliance 38
Friday Semifinals: #6 Omaha Roncalli 68, Scottsbluff 55
1st Round Notes: Alliance jumped out to an early lead 13-5 after a quarter...Scottsbluff put together a huge second half, especially in the fourth quarter with a 22-11 run...Scottsbluff's Dawson Mohr led with 15 points and hit two threes in the 4th quarter....Chance Parker scored 14, Jasiya DeOllos scored 12 points for Scottsbluff...Alliance was paced by Trevor DuBray's 15 points, 10 coming in the opening quarter...Scottsbluff won the season series over the Bulldogs 4-0...
6:00 PM (MT) Devaney Center
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The good news is a western Nebraska team is guaranteed a spot in the state basketball semifinals. The bad news is two-fold: a western Nebraska team is guaranteed to bow-out in the first round and two teams that have seen plenty of each other already have to travel approximately 800 miles combined to play...again.
This is the fourth time Alliance and Scottsbluff will face each other on the court this season, the first three went to the Bearcats by 16 in the season-opening Western Conference Tournament, by nine at Scottsbluff in early February, and 11 points in the B-8 subdistrict finals.
Almost every fan I talk to likes to see fresh opponents at state, but the Panhandle match-up at this point isn't unusual for Scottsbluff. Over the past dozen seasons Scottsbluff has faced Sidney twice, in 2009 and 2015. It happens to western schools across other sports as well, seemingly at least once every couple years.
A pair of terrific guards set the pace for the Bearcats with senior Jasiya DeOllos (20.3 ppg) and Dawson Mohr (16.2 ppg). They're also tough in the post with two more scoring options in senior Sam Clarkson (8.7 ppg) and 6'6" senior Chancelor Parke (9.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg).
Alliance will counter that balanced attack with senior guards Joel Baker (17.0 ppg) and Trevor DuBray (8.6 ppg). There's two big men who will compliment the backcourt in 6'5" junior Caeson Clarke (8.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg) and 6'5" senior Bradyn Palmer (9.3 ppg)
If Alliance can move on they'll be in the mix for its second state championship (2001) and will be back into the semifinals for the first time since 2017 after bowing out to Aurora in last season's opener.
Scottsbluff has been a tournament mainstay over the years and makes its 42nd trip in 2020. The Bearcats are looking for a 5th state title and first since 2012. Last year the Bearcats were ousted by Lincoln Pius X 83-43 in the opener.
Class C1: #4 Ogallala 65, #5 Kearney Catholic 62
Friday Semifinals: Ogallala 47, #1 Adams Central 35
Saturday State Championship: Ogallala vs. #2 Auburn - 10:00 - PBA
1st Round Notes: Ogallala had four scorers in double figures led by Carter Brown's 19 points...Brown was potent in the fourth quarter with 11 points to help the Indians outscore the Stars by 10 in the final period...Clayton Murphy and Adam Kroeger each scored 15.
9:45 AM (MT) Devaney Center
The Ogallala Indians are back at state for the third straight season and looking to take the title after finishing in 3rd place in 2019. After two seasons away, Kearney Catholic is back at state hoping to advance out of the first round for the first time since 2004.
Ogallala (21-4) has a nice club with senior guards Carter Brown (17.6 ppg) and Clayton Murphy (8.3 ppg) who also provide length defensively. Six-five junior Kadyn Marhenke is second in scoring (14.6 ppg) and will team with senior 6'4" Adam Kroeger (10.8 ppg) to provide the offensive punch inside.
The Indians earned their trip to Lincoln with a 76-51 district finals victory over Battle Creek and have won four in a row overall.
Kearney Catholic (18-7) is on a three-game winning streak and are champions of the C1-8 district with a 39-28 grinder over Bishop Neumann.
The Stars rely heavily on 6'3" sophomore Brett Mahoney to provide the bulk of the scoring inside (16.0 ppg) and team him with senior guard Logan O'Brien (10.6) in the backcourt.
Class D2: #4 Mullen 51, #5 St. Mary's 49
Friday Semifinals: #1 Humphrey St. Francis 74, Mullen 35
Saturday 3rd Place Game: Mullen vs TBD - 8:00 am MT - Lincoln Northeast
1st Round Notes: Mullen escaped from a close game throughout to knock out the Cardinals with Bryce Wright scoring a team-high 18 points, including eight in the second quarter...Brenden Walker had 11 for the Broncos...
9:45 AM (MT) Lincoln Southeast HS
The Mullen Broncos will try and win a second state championship since 2017 but draw a tough opponent in St. Mary's in the D2 bracket.
Mullen (21-5) comes in hot with a seven-game win streak following a blowout over Exeter-Milligan in the D2-4 district championship. This is Mullen's 16th state appearance and first time back since 2018 - a 3rd place finish.
St. Mary's (19-5) rolled Hyannis 74-42 in the D2-5 championship and has lost just once since January 16. The Cardinals have been to State five times since 2008, won the D1 title in 2012, and make its first appearance since 2013 - a 3rd place finish.
St. Mary's will have its defensive hands full with five scoring options presented by a balanced Mullen attack. Junior guard Brendon Walker leads the bunch at 14.9 ppg. In the paint, 6'2" freshman Clayton Moore scores 11.9 a game. The Broncos will also feature 6'3" sophomore Jaden Emerson (8.7 ppg) and 6'2" junior Bryce McIntosh (7.2 ppg). Rounding out the group is sophomore guard Trevor Kuncl (11.2 ppg) and Mullen looks set-up not only for a potential title run this year, but to also challenge for state berths in the next two years moving forward.
St. Mary's doesn't provide statistics to the NSAA or media, so I guess it's a mystery to most fans as to what the Broncos will see. Mullen Head Coach Brad Wright surely will find plenty of film and coaching friends across the state to help him scout the Cards and prepare for Thursday's opener.