LINCOLN–(KFOR Feb. 27)–After trailing 8-0 early on, the Lincoln East boys basketball team was able to overcome a halftime deficit and pick up a 76-72 victory over Lincoln Southwest to win the A5 district championship on Monday night.
The Spartans (21-5) now move on to next week’s NSAA Boys State Basketball Tournament and likely have a No. 5 seed in the Class A bracket. Southwest finishes the season at 15-10.
East trailed by as much as eight points before trimming away the deficit and trailed 36-32 at halftime. The Spartans came out gunning in the third quarter by taking a 37-36 lead and got help from senior forward Christian Melessa, who scored nine of his 19 points in the period.
Southwest regained lead at 45-44 midway through the third quarter when East scored eight of the next 10 points. That Spartan lead stretched to 70-59 with just over a minute and a half remaining in the fourth quarter. East connected on 14 of 15 free throws in the final four minutes of the game.
Southwest managed climb to within two, 74-72, after Karter Chamberlain made the first free throw and intentionally missed the second, which led to Rylan Smith’s three-pointer with six seconds left. East managed to inbound the basketball and Carter Mick drew a foul, which led to a couple of free throws. Mick led all scorers with 24 points.
Southwest got 19 points from Smith, while Chuck Love added 18 points, Braden Frager had 15 points and Bhan Buom scored 10 points for the Silver Hawks.
East got 13 points from senior Carter Tempelmeyer.