(KMAland) -- The KMA Sports 2018-19 Top 25 Team Countdown continues on today with another state basketball champion.
Coming in at No. 8 is the Johnson-Brock champions of Class D2 basketball in the state of Nebraska. The Eagles were coming off of a state football championship (more on them next week). Heck, they barely had time to celebrate before opening the season on November 29th.
But talent is talent, and Coach Lucas Dalinghaus’ team definitely had it. They played 10 of their first 12 games away from home and cruised to a 12-0 start with 11 victories by double digits. In the midst of the streak was an HTRS Holiday Tournament championship.
The first loss of the season didn’t come until January 10th when they fell to top-ranked Falls City Sacred Heart in a MUDECAS Tournament semifinal. They followed by running off five wins in a row before another loss to Sacred Heart in the Pioneer Conference Tournament championship.
The Eagles fell five days later to a strong Freeman team and then won their next three, including their opening round subdistrict contest with Sterling. In the subdistrict final, they suffered their third loss of the season to Sacred Heart. However, they nabbed a wild card, qualified for a district final and rolled to a 16-point win over Mead to qualify for state.
Just before making their second straight state appearance, Coach Dalinghaus talked with KMA Sports about the season.
“Coming off the (football) state championship, the kids were motivated to do the same in basketball,” Dalinghaus said. “But we had lost quite a bit of practice to start the season.”
Many of the football stars also starred on the basketball court. Junior Ty Hahn led the way with nearly 16 points per game while sophomore Kaden Glynn and senior Cole Fossenbarger were both in double digits and senior Dylan Rowe was around eight points per contest. Senior Seth Moerer was the fifth starter while Wyatt Volker and Shane Westhart - also seniors - played strong roles off the bench.
“They’ve played together since about third grade,” Dalinghaus added. “There’s a lot of experience on this team, and just putting it together has been fun to watch.”
The Eagles earned the No. 5 seed in the D2 state tournament and met Humphrey-St. Francis to open the tournament in a rematch from the D2 football semifinals. Hahn exploded for 28 points in the win, and Glynn put in 14 points with seven assists in a 67-57 win.
“I felt like we were well-prepared for this team,” Coach Dalinghaus said after the game. “It seems like every night someone else steps up for our team”
While the quarterfinal win was exciting, Johnson-Brock had a season-long thorn in their side waiting for them in the semifinals in Sacred Heart. Despite going 0-3 against the Irish prior to the semifinal, the Eagles pulled the upset with a 48-45 semifinal victory.
Hahn scored another 20 points, and Glynn finished with 10 points and seven rebounds in the victory, which required a 10-point comeback in the final 4:38.
“We knew they were a good team,” Dalinghaus said. “We knew we had our work cut out for us, but we came out really good in this game. For our kids to be down 10 and battle all the way back, that just shows the heart of our team.”
The next day, Johnson-Brock had no issues in a 67-54 win over Osmond to capture their third state basketball championship and their second title of the year. Glynn scored 25 points, and Hahn chipped in 15 to go with seven assists.
“It means a lot,” Hahn said after the game. “We were coming in off of football and were on that football high. It means a lot to finish this out the same way.”
Listen to a rundown from KMA Sports’ coverage of Johnson-Brock’s season below.
Top 25 Teams of 2018-19
8. Johnson-Brock Boys Basketball
7: Thursday, August 8th
6: Friday, August 9th
5: Monday, August 12th
4: Tuesday, August 13th
3: Wednesday, August 14th
2: Thursday, August 15th
1: Friday, August 16th