GENEVA, NE – The last time Giltner and Exeter-Milligan met in a game with high stakes, the Hornets snuck by the Timberwolves at the CRC tournament semifinals in York in late January.
A month later, Exeter-Milligan (21-4) won the round that mattered most. The Timberwolves shut down Giltner (15-10) in the second half on their way to a 41-30 victory in the Class D2-7 district final at Fillmore Central High School in Geneva on Monday evening.
The Hornets were in it early, down only 21-16 at halftime. Over the first nine or so minutes of the second half however, Exeter-Milligan went on a 9-3 run and led by 11 with about six minutes left.
Giltner’s offense looked staggered and stiff coming out of the locker room, tallying no points through the first 6.5 minutes of the third quarter.
Exeter-Milligan didn’t have a banner day offensively, but got another solid performance from sophomore Jackson Beethe, who led his team with 14 points. Beethe also led his team with 16 points against Friend and 19 against Diller-Odell in last week’s subdistrict games.
Senior Colton Bossaller dropped 11 points for Exeter-Milligan, while junior Max Zeleny managed 10.
For the Hornets, senior Dayne Hinrichs (19.6 ppg, 12.4 rpg) capped a remarkable season with a game-high 15 points. He also had 13 rebounds, which gave him his 19th double-double of the season. 19 double-doubles in 25 games – a fine accomplishment in and of itself.
No one else on Giltner’s team scored more than five points Monday.
Exeter-Milligan is now back in the NSAA boys’ state basketball tournament for the first time since 2014-15, which was the year they won state against Bancroft-Rosalie.
Giltner, a school that’s been to state five times in the last eight years, will stay home after finishing fourth in last year’s tournament.
Other area district final scores:
Class B at Omaha Roncalli:
Roncalli Catholic 63 Norris 57
- The Titans (12-14) trailed by only one at halftime, got down double digits in the third quarter and fought back late to make it interesting.
Class C2 at Malcolm:
Howells-Dodge 45 Freeman 41 OT
- A remarkable season for the Falcons comes to an end at 19-5.
Class C2 at Norris:
Yutan 54 Tri County 25
- A myriad of turnovers crippled the Trojans (19-6) in this season-ending loss. It was a team that was perhaps frustrated after a 63-59 loss to No. 1 Sutton last Thursday. Tri County’s 31-year run away from the state tournament will continue.
Class D2 at Palmyra:
Johnson-Brock 45 Mead 29
- The Eagles (21-4) are back in state after taking third place last year.
You can follow Tommy on Twitter @Tommy_NCN.