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The Beatrice defense clamped down in their home opener Thursday night against Crete.

The Orangemen defeated Crete 32-23 in front of a packed crowd at the Ozone, improving their record to 2-0 on the season.

Points were hard to come by for both teams. Beatrice led 7-4 after the first quarter and trailed 12-11 at half time.

They opened a 19-17 lead in the third quarter. They trailed 22-21 in the fourth quarter, but scored 11 of the game's last 12 points to win 32-23.

First year Beatrice coach Clark Ribble said if the Orangemen defense plays like they did on Thursday, it will give them a chance to win any game.

"We had a hard time scoring, but out defense and our ability to get defensive rebounds against a taller team really helped us have a chance," Ribble said.

Andrew Mahoney led the way for Beatrice with 14 points, 11 of which came in the second half. He scored the last six points for Beatrice during the game-deciding run.

Bennett Crandall had seven points while Jace Pethoud had six points, Payton Murphy had three points and Griffen Vater had two points.

It was far from a perfect game for the Orangemen, though. Turnovers on the offensive side of the ball were plentiful and Ribble said that will be a point of emphasis going forward.

"You can't turn the ball over 25 times and expect to win many ballgames," Ribble said. "We didn't really finish around the rim very well either. But special teams find a way to get it done when things are going well. Our team found a way to win tonight."

Beatrice is now 2-0 and Ribble said what struck him Thursday night was the atmosphere in the gym.

"What was exciting was how excited our fans were and seeing all the little kids in the stands," Ribble said. "Our student section was awesome. There was just a buzz in the gym tonight and it felt unique to me. To feel that energy coming from the crowd was a neat thing."

Ribble is in his first year as head coach for the Orangemen, taking over for Tyler Struck. He said his first experience in the Ozone was a memorable one.

"It was electric," he said. "I knew basketball was important in this community when I took this job, but I didn't know to what level. This just shows how influential our program is to our community and how much impact our kids can have to the community and how much emphasis people put into our basketball program."

Other Sunland scores

Boys

SYRACUSE 43, JOHNSON COUNTY CENTRAL 42

Syracuse 16 12 6 9 -- 43

Johnson CC 2 16 11 13 -- 42

Syracuse--Nannen 15, Gress 8, McCoy 8, Zastera 5, Brammier 3, Cavanaugh 2, Stubbendeck 2.

Johnson County Central--Waring 18, Holthus 8, Liberty 6, Cabrales 5, Ortiz 5.

WILBER-CLATONIA 57, RAYMOND CENTRAL 41

Raymond Central 7 16 12 6 -- 41

Wilber-Clatonia 19 7 12 19 -- 57

Raymond Central--Urbom 3, McCoy 6, Thornburg 20, Boyd 2, Black 4, Wayman 2, White 4.

Wilber-Clatonia--Hoover 3, Lee 4, Cerveny 9, Homolka 16, Sykes 2, Rezabek 9, Zimmerman 2, Whittington 12.

Girls

COLLEGE VIEW 32, LEWISTON 24

Lewiston 0 8 8 8 -- 24

College View 10 11 6 5 -- 32

Lewiston--Christen 10, Keyes 1, K. Bledsaw 2, Chen 3, P. Bledsaw 8.

College View--Lopez 11, Follett 6, Boulais 3, Puok 6, Martindale 6.

SYRACUSE 61, JOHNSON COUNTY CENTRAL 25

Syracuse 16 16 13 16 -- 61

Johnson CC 4 6 11 4 -- 25

Syracuse--Siefken 2, Wilhelm 5, S. Moss 5, Meyer 8, J. Moss 5, Nordhues 16, Vollertsen 6, Clark 14.

Johnson County Central--Hunzeker 2, Ascheman 2, Ludemann 6, Plager 6, Klein 2, Thipphavong 7.

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