If excellence is judged by effort the 2011-12 Minden Whippet boys basketball team are champions. The Whippets rallied in the second half but came up four points short in the Class C-1 semifinal on Friday at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
The third-seeded Wahoo Warriors out-dueled the second-seeded Whippets, 73-69, to advance to the C-1 final on Saturday against the Boys Town Cowboy.
Minden (23-2) played in the C-1 consolation contest on Saturday at noon against the fifth-seeded Bishop Neumann Cavaliers at Lincoln Northeast High School.
“The kids played their heart out today,” stated Minden head coach Shannon Lovin. “Our kids are great kids and played with great effort. I was proud of how our kids played after getting down by as many as 12. We thought if we could get some stops and start making shots we could get back into the game. Wahoo played well attacking us inside and out played us today.”
“Carson Blum tweaked his ankle in the first quarter and I didn’t know if he would return. But we had other kids step up. Isaac Carlson made two three-pointers and Dan Kristensen played well, making three threes.”
Lovin told his team after the deflating loss, “We have one more game left to play together on the floor, so lets go make the most of the opportunity.”
Minden came out on fire attacking the Wahoo zone defense. Derek Kissinger made a pair of threes while Christian Schwenka made a layup to give Minden the 8-0 lead.
The Whippet would be faced with adversity in the opening three minutes of the game as Blum went to the bench after tweaking his ankle and would only play a total of three minutes in the entire first half.
Stepping into action were Carlson and RJ Watson off the Dawgs bench. Thomas Sinsel kept Minden ahead 10-6 with a layup before senior guard Kristensen started hitting from the outside. He made the first of his three-pointers to give Minden a 13-8 lead. Wahoo scored the final five points of the first on a layup and then a steal and three-pointer at the buzzer to go into the second holding their first lead, 16-14, over the Whippets.
The Warriors went ahead 18-14 but Kristensen nailed his second three to cut the lead back to one, 18-17. Wahoo answered with its own three ball only to have Kristensen make his third and final three ball to give Minden a 23-21 lead. Wahoo responded with another three to regain the lead 24-23.
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