Wednesday, 16 June 2021
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Beloit Boys End Nemaha Central Season at State
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports

3A State Quarterfinal = Beloit 51, Nemaha Central 43

Despite leading through the entire first half, including an early 8-2 advantage and twice margins of eight-points, Nemaha Central ended their season with a 51-43 loss to #3 seed Beloit in the opening round of the 3A State Boys Tournament in Hutchison on Wednesday.  Leading 24-23 at halftime, the Thunder allowed Beloit a 9-2 run to start the third quarter and the Trojans never trailed again in route to their 13th straight win.  Nemaha was just 1-15 on three-point shots in the loss and was outrebounded 33-22.  

Nemaha Central played almost a perfect first half, racing to the early lead and forcing 8 of the 14 Beloit turnovers in the opening two quarters while executing a patient half court offense and shooting 47.5 percent.  The biggest lead for the Thunder was 22-14, before Beloit ended the half on a 9-2 run and then started the third quarter on a 9-2 spurt which capped an 18-4 stretch that turned the game around. Nemaha trailed 40-30, before scoring seven straight to end the third quarter down by only three. Yet, the experienced Trojans who start five seniors from their state runner-up team from a year ago, made seven free throws down the stretch to protect their lead and improved to 21-3 on the season. 

Beloit got 16 points from 6'6 senior Bryce Mason and Vincent Palen added 11 while Hudson Gray and Carson Cox each added eight and the Trojans were 6-12 from beyond the arc. The will play #2 seed Wichita Collegiate on Friday.

Nemaha Central got 11 points from Marcus Beck while Kurtis Beck and Austin Ahlquist each added eight points before the Thunder saw their season end with a 17-7 record. Leading scorer Andrew Leonard was held without a field goal in the game including 0-6 from downtown while Nemaha Central struggled mightily with scoring from the perimeter.  Still, it was a super season for Coach John Thomas' team who completed his 25th season in Seneca with 447 wins and says farewell to six seniors.  The Thunder went 10-3 in games decided by six points or less this season and finished second in the Big 7 League while making state for the first time in school history.   

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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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