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Tri County beats Southern in MUDECAS opener
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Tri County beats Southern in MUDECAS opener

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It took awhile for Tri County to get going, but they eventually pulled away from Southern in the first round of the MUDECAS Tournament.

Tri County, the No. 3 seed in the A Division, defeated sixth-seeded Southern 54-34 Tuesday night at the Beatrice City Auditorium. 

It was Southern that led early, though, jumping out to an early 10-5 lead and still maintaining a 12-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Tri County opened the second quarter with 10 straight points, all of which came from the Siems brothers. Carter Siems started the run with a three pointer and Cole Siems followed that up with a take to the hoop. Cole then hit a three pointer and Carter wrapped it up  a take to the hoop, making it 21-12.

That was the cushion Tri County would need. Southern managed to get back within six points at half time when they trailed 26-21, but Logan Larson scored the first five points of the third quarter to extend the lead back to 32-21.

The Trojans maintained a 44-27 lead at the end of the third quarter before going on to win 54-34.

Tri County Coach Jeremy Siems said Southern hit some shots early that got them behind, but was happy with the adjustments his team made.

"We knew they were going to be quick to take a shot," Jeremy Siems said of Southern. "So we decided to close out a little tighter to make them put the ball on the floor a little more and I think that's ultimately what changed the game for us."

Siems said rebounding was another big factor in the win.

"For us, it starts with taking care of the ball on the offensive end and then rebounding," Siems said. "We did that collectively, which gave us a few extra possessions and once we grabbed that momentum in the second half, we were able to maintain it and then build on it."

Logan Larson scored 11 of his game leading 15 points in the second half for the Trojans. In addition to that, Cole Siems had 11 points, Colton Jantzen had 10 points, Carter Siems and Chris Janssen had eight points each and Gavin Weichel had two points.

Siems said he was happy with the normal production they got out of Larson and both Siems brothers, but was also happy with the production from Colton Jantzen and Chris Janssen.

"They're fun to watch," Siems said of Jantzen and Janssen. "When we talk about rebounding, those two are part of that. Chris Janssen is really starting to come on as a sophomore and he really crashes the boards hard. Colton is just fun to watch. He doesn't impact the game much scoring-wise, but he definitely impacts the game on the boards."

Southern was led by Carson Borzekofsk's 13 points while Preston Baehr had 10, Brock Adams had four, Alex Retherford had three, and Evan Saathoff and Chance Swearingen had two each.

Tri County advances to the semifinals and will play at 8 p.m. on Thursday against Diller-Odell at the Beatrice City Auditorium.

"We are just taking it one possession at a time," Siems said. "We got through that first hurdle. Southern is a good, scrappy team and whoever we see on Thursday, they're going to come at us and we're going to have to be ready for it and that preparation starts in practice tomorrow."

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Southern will play in a consolation game on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. against Sacred Heart at the Beatrice Middle School. 

Griffins upset Sacred Heart

Diller-Odell advanced to the MUDECAS A Division semifinals with an upset win over Falls City Sacred Heart.

The Griffins, who are the No. 7 seed in the A Division, beat second-seeded Sacred Heart 62-48. The loss for the Irish means they won't win a third straight MUDECAS championship. They won in 2020 and 2018. The 2019 championship games were canceled due to snow.

Diller-Odell came out on fire in the first quarter, building a 15-9 lead. They then extended their lead to 32-19 at half time. 

The Griffins continued adding to their lead in the third quarter, leading by as much as 19 at 47-28. They led 47-32 entering the fourth quarter.

Sacred Heart didn't go away quietly, though. They dwindled their deficit all the way down to six at 50-44, but five straight points by Jacob Meyer made it 55-44. Austin Jurgens knocked down four free throws down the stretch and the Griffins would hold on to win 62-48.

Hot shooting and pressure defense led to the win for Diller-Odell. They knocked down eight three pointers in the game.

Jacob Meyer led the way with 25 points while Austin Jurgens had 16 points, Paxton Mohr had 11 points, Nate Lyons had six points and Korey Theye had four points.

Sacred Heart's Jack Fiegener had 12 points, Jakob Jordan had 11 points, Jake Froeschl had 10 points, Evan Keithley had nine points and Sam Dunn and Brogan Nachtigal had three points each.

Diller-Odell will play Tri County at 8 p.m. on Thursday while Sacred Heart will play in a consolation game against Southern on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Parkview Christian opens with win

Parkview Christian is the No. 1 seed in the MUDECAS A Division and they opened their tournament with a 56-38 win over eighth-seeded Johnson County Central Tuesday night.

Tom Kraan led the way for the Patriots with 20 points while Jaheim Curry had 13, Mark Lual had eight, and Michael Ault, Franco Rossi and Keshawn Moore had five each.

JCC was led by Calvin Antholz with 12 points while Trey Holthus had 10, Hunter Haughton had eight, Cam Schuster had seven and Rodrigo Rivera and Aiden Weber had one each.

Parkview will play in a semifinal game Thursday at 6:30 p.m. against the winner of Tuesday's late game between fourth-seeded Freeman and fifth-seeded Bruning-Davenport/Shickley. That game was not over by press time Tuesday night.

JCC will play in a consolation game on Saturday at 5 p.m. against the loser of Freeman/BDS.

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