LINCOLN – Elmwood-Murdock held off Oakland-Craig in the battle of the Knights to punch their ticket to the State Semifinals.
Elmwood-Murdock came out to a hot start, scoring 14 points in the 1st quarter, while two 3-pointers helped Oakland-Craig to score 11. Elmwood stepped up with two 3-pointers of their own in the 2nd quarter to go into the half with a 25-21 lead.
The battle of the knights didn’t disappoint heading into the second half, with a 37-29, Elwood-Murdock lead going into the 4th quarter. Senior Garrett Seagren stepped up for Oakland to knock down three, 3-point shots from well behind the arc.
Thanks to the 3-pionter effort, the game was as close as 4 points, 42-38, before a pair of late free throws from Murdock, and a couple of 3-pointers falling slightly off the mark for Oakland-Craig ended the game 44-38.
Elmwood-Murdock Head Coach Matt Shelsta says the defensive effort was big in the win, and will be key for the team moving forward.
“When you have a team that scores 63 points a game, they’re so talented. And to hold them to 38, that’s a big deal. It’s a big deal. They put us in a ton of ball screens, and let their athletes just go to work, and I thought we did some good things, forcing bad shots at times. But sometimes they make bad shots and it looks good.”
Oakland-Craig Head Coach Aaron Meyer says this years team has been a special team, thanks to the veteran leaders on the team.
“Carter [Thiele] said at the start of the season, he wanted to be on a winning team. He hadn’t been on one yet. And then we got there, and then we almost got to the conference championship, we get to state and almost win. You know our goals kept raising, and the bar kept getting higher as the season when on, and so I’m going to give the older guys credit for that,” says Shelsta.
Oakland-Craig finishes the year 16-8, while Elmwood-Murdock improves to 24-3, and will move on to the Semifinal round at 3:45 p.m. in the Devaney Sports Center.
Oakland-Craig 11 10 8 9 38
Elmwood-Murdock 14 11 12 7 44
OC: Seagren 22, Dodge 2, Bures 3, Thiele 11
EM: Langfeldt 3, Bomemeier 3, Rust 13, Eggert 8, Dreamer 9, B.Dreamer 5, Wiley 1, Marlatt 2
C2 Semi-Finals: #2 Elmwood-Murdock vs. #3 Ponca
When: 3:45 p.m. Friday
Where: Bob Devaney Sports Center, Lincoln
Radio: 103.1 FM, b103.fm or the B103 app