BEATRICE — Norris got 26 points, 10 rebounds, five dunks and four blocked shots from Mike Wardy.

And in the end, the Class B No. 7 Titans needed every bit of that production from their 6-foot-6 senior.

Beatrice nearly wiped out a 17-point deficit in the final 6:42 of the game, missing two free throws with 0.4 seconds left that could’ve tied it as the Titans escaped with a 59-57 victory Tuesday night before a capacity crowd at the O-Zone.

A furious Beatrice full-court press similar to the one Norris (11-7) sprung on the Orangemen (9-9) to build its comfortable lead propelled the host’s near-miraculous comeback. Norris had seven turnovers in the final period, and the Beatrice offense fed off the miscues, exploding for 30 fourth quarter points.

Beatrice senior guard Dillon Buss had 15 of his 20 points in the last 5:38 of the game, netting three three-pointers and 6 of 8 free throws. Another senior guard Graham Southwick finished with a team-high 22 points, 10 in the fourth quarter which included a pair of threes.

“This was a great environment for high school basketball, and we let the crowd and their pressure defense get to us,” Norris coach Adam Brill said. “Normally we’re good against teams that press us, but we got away from our methods and let Beatrice grab the momentum.”

A Buss three-pointer with four seconds cut the deficit to 58-57 before Jay Knudsen hit 1 of 2 free throws 2.9 seconds left to produce the final score. A Norris defender tried to pick up a charge with 0.4 seconds left deep in the backcourt, but the officials called it a block, giving the Orangemen two foul shots and a chance to tie.

After the first one rimmed away, the second was intentionally missed and a tip try went off the backboard as time expired.

“When the game gets real, I saw tonight that our kids can fight, battle and win,” said Beatrice coach Tyler Struck, whose team lost a five-overtime contest at Hastings last week. “If we play like we did in the fourth quarter tonight, we have a chance in subdistricts.”

A pair of 14-2 runs – one late in the first half and early in the third quarter and another late in the third and early in the fourth – helped Norris build a 44-27 lead with 7:14 remaining. Norris’ trapping defense produced 12 Beatrice turnovers in the second and third quarters combined.

The Titans not only worked the ball inside to Wardy, who was 11 of 12 from the field, they also got outside production from their guards, led by 6-2 junior Harrison Boe’s 12 points.

“We knew we had an advantage inside, and my teammates did a great job pounding it into me,” Wardy said. “Once they started collapsing, I was able to kick it out and we hit some outside shots to really open things up.”

Other Tuesday scores

Boys

CENTENNIAL 65, FAIRBURY 36

Fairbury 7 12 7 10 -- 36

Centennial 18 15 21 11 -- 65

Fairbury--Amundson 2, Cole 6, DeBoer 6, Holes 4, Melcher 2, Parrack 6, Petersen 2, Waserman 8.

Centennial--Thompson 6, Hirschfeld 18, Schlueter 2, Gierhan 10, Horne 5, Bargen 7, Haberman 15, Ehlers 2.

FALLS CITY SH 38, PAWNEE CITY 28

Falls City SH 9 8 12 9 -- 38

Pawnee City 7 5 7 9 -- 28

Falls City SH--Hoy 3, Bippes 13, Keithley 3, Witt 2, Arnold 4, Simon 4, Rohrer 9.

Pawnee City--Koester 2, Mawhiney 8, Lierz 7, Fortunato 2, Davis 9.

HEARTLAND 55, WILBER-CLATONIA 52

Heartland 18 10 14 13 -- 55

Wilber-Clatonia 13 11 16 12 -- 52

Heartland--Huebert 10, Regier 12, Buller 13, Ott 6, Boehr 14.

Wilber-Clatonia--Cerveny 15, Homolka 14, Rezabek 8, Lee 8,

JOHNSON-BROCK 61, DILLER-ODELL 35

Johnson-Brock 14 16 19 12 -- 61

Diller-Odell 8 11 4 12 -- 35

Johnson-Brock--Fossenbarger 16, Glynn 13, Sunderman 2, Clark 6, Rowe 4, Hahn 12, Bohling 6, Mercer 2.

Diller-Odell--Meyer 6, Arnold 2, Mohr 17, Warren 5, Sutton 5.

LOURDES CC 40, STERLING 29

Sterling 3 2 7 17 -- 29

Lourdes CC 13 7 10 10 -- 40

Sterling--Jasa 12, Tra. Dirks 7, Hier 7, Keeler 3.

Lourdes CC--Vasa 12, Tamosivnas 10, Funke 4, Fredrichs 14.

TRI COUNTY 60, SOUTHERN 53

Southern 13 16 12 12 -- 53

Tri County 13 20 12 15 -- 60

Southern--Lyons 2, Borzekofski 6, Adam 19, Saathoff 18, Klover 2.

Tri County--Siems 15, R. Knust 14, Ch. Niemer 2, E. Knust 2, Larsen 8.

Girls

FALLS CITY SH 52, SOUTHERN 27

Falls City SH 18 10 9 15 -- 52

Southern 6 8 8 5 -- 27

Falls City SH--Witt 8, Keithley 5, Edel 6, Morehead 2, Wertenberger 8, Parrish 13, Fiegener 6, R. Witt 4.

Southern--Hoskstra 2, Murphy 5, Zvolanek 1, Ullman 4, Cooper 4, Klover 5, Leach 6.

FRIEND 59, DILLER-ODELL 30

Diller-Odell 9 4 9 8 -- 30

Friend 17 15 14 13 -- 59

Diller-Odell--Barnts 2, Jones 1, Smith 2, Gydesen 2, Denner 3, Vitosh 7, Swanson 6, Bures 7.

Friend--Sharkey 2, Kubicek 2, Zumpfe 2, Lawver 12, Menke 19, Klenke 7, Baugh 10, Bergqvist 5.

HEARTLAND 50, FAIRBURY 39

Fairbury 10 6 11 12 -- 39

Heartland 19 7 16 8 -- 50

Fairbury--Shumard 3, Johnson 10, DeBoer 9, Huss 6, Ohlde 3, Eden 8.

Heartland--Carr 4, Bergen 20, Quiring 9, Peters 17.

JOHNSON-BROCK 50, STERLING 29

Sterling 9 9 4 7 -- 29

Johnson-Brock 13 6 13 18 -- 50

Sterling--Wingert 4, Wenzl 5, Huls 2, M. Haner 3, Thies 15.

Johnson-Brock--Sandfort 10, Edwards 4, Westenburg 6, Ja. Koehler 4, Stutheit 2, Simon 18, Jo. Koehler 6.

LOURDES CC 51, TRI COUNTY 31

Tri County 6 18 5 2 -- 31

Lourdes CC 15 12 16 8 -- 51

Tri County--Freese 15, Weichel 6, Lijewski 8, Wattjes 2.

Lourdes Central Catholic--Fulton 1, Baumert 13, A. Heng 11, Kreifels 8, Allgood 3, Meyer 5, Madison 5, McGowen 5.

MALCOLM 60, FREEMAN 16

Freeman 0 6 2 8 -- 16

Malcolm 14 21 18 7 -- 60

Freeman--Mason 11, Holland 5.

Malcolm--Reiling 6, Minzel 11, Jo. Small 6, Teten 9, Sehi 2, Ja. Small 2, Schumacher 9, Brady 6, Zimmerman 9.

MERIDIAN 56, HIGH PLAINS 27

Meridian 19 11 16 10 -- 56

High Plains 9 5 7 6 -- 27

Meridian--Jo. Sobotka 11, Schafer 7, Pribyl 2, Miller 5, Johnson 15, Ja. Sobotka 11, Ellis 2, Kort 3.

High Plains--Bannister 8, DeMers 9, Wilshusen 4, Young 6.

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