FC vs. Boys Town Monday in Nebraska City

Falls City High's 50-41 victory over Johnson County Central in last night's Class C1-1 Subdistrict Final at Freeman High School sets up a District Final showdown with Boys Town at 7 p.m. Monday at Nebraska City High School. The 21-3 Tigers are competing in a District Final for the third straight year and fifth time in the last six seasons. The 15-9 Cowboys advanced Thursday with a 54-52 win over Fort Calhoun at Omaha Roncalli.

Boys Town must win to advance to the State Tournament, but a wildcard is still very much in play for the Tigers. If Winnebago defeats Norfolk Catholic Monday at Wayne State College and Grand Island CC defeats Gothenburg at Kearney High School, FCHS will qualify regardless of Monday's outcome against Boys Town. The Tigers went nearly a half century before qualifying for state in 2010, but went back again last season, losing a heartbreaker to Wahoo High in the first round.

The Tigers were nearly upset last night in Adams, but a 10-point first half from freshman Brandt Chapple led to a 24-24 halftime tie, then a late third-quarter three-pointer by senior Weston Witt unhinged FC. Witt scored eight of his team-high 13 points in the final eight and a half minutes of the game and FC outscored JCC 13-5 in the fourth quarter. Witt was 3-for-4 from the line and seniors Jordy Stoller and Zach Jordening both hit big free throws down the stretch to help clinch the victory.

JCC used a triangle-and-two junk defense to stifle the Tigers' "Big Three" in Witt, Stoller and senior Jack Hartman, holding them to a combined four points in the first half. Hartman, the team's leading scorer at nearly 15 points per game, only took one shot all night and finished with two points and two rebounds.

"We didn't attack that triangle like we should've in the first half, but did a lot better in the second half," FC Head Coach Don Hogue said. "Mental toughness was evident in the last part of the fourth. We hit some crucial free throws in the last minute and a half."

Sophomore Kyle Leafty scored 11 on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor; Chapple was 6-of-8 and led the team with six rebounds - three of them offensive. Stoller finished with a team-high five assists.

Lady Tigers, Irish to District Finals

The Falls City High School Lady Tigers and FC Sacred Heart Lady Irish won their respective subdistrict championships last night in games played at Freeman and Auburn, respectively, and will play in District Final games next Friday.

The 12-12 Lady Tigers beat Auburn last night and will play 17-5 Omaha Concordia at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, at Nebraska City, with a trip to the state tournament on the line. Concordia slipped past Louisville 48-46 last night at Omaha Roncalli High School. Falls City High has qualified for the state tournament once, back in 1997.

The 24-2 Lady Irish, winners of 19 in a row, clinched the D2 State Tournament's No. 1 seed before the postseason even started. FCSH beat Johnson-Brock 55-21 last night in Auburn and will play 20-3 Hampton at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, at Norris High School. FCSH will be making its 18th trip to state in the last 20 years and 19th overall. The Lady Irish finished third each of the last two years; were runners-up in 2002, 2003 and 2007 and were last crowned champions in 2000.

Walk Don't Run 2/3/15

Some odds and in’s.

Wednesday as I was leaving to say goodbye to one grandmother, my paternal grandmother was saying her own goodbyes. 

My grandma Judy retired from Sun Mart last week after working there for as long as I can remember. When I moved to Falls City 12 years ago, nobody knew who I was. When I would introduce myself as my parents daughter, they still didn’t know. After about two years of this I started to realize that everyone knew Grandma Judy, so to this day I introduce myself as Judy’s granddaughter. Over the years I have had so many people tell me how much they enjoy my grandma. They comment on how happy and chatty she always is at Sun Mart. On the other hand I often hear people my age tell me stories about how she would pull out pictures of cousins and I to show them how beautiful her grandchildren are. That’s my grandma.

 Grandma Judy worked under Randy Gottula and the newest store manager Martin Leon. When I spoke with her on her last day on the job she teared up and told me she was going to miss it so much, especially the people. She is going to miss all of you who passed through her line over the years. I know Alex will miss stopping by to see her before school and I will miss getting my “grandma love” when I needed it on a rough day. It was great to have her right across the street for a hug if I needed one. I know many will miss seeing her checking them out at Sun Mart. I know others will be happy that I will no longer be holding up the lines with chitchat and hugs. 


I drove the long 7.5 hours to St. Cloud, MN last week. On my last night there I stood in front of a woman about my age and ordered a Chipotle burrito. When I finished the woman looked up at me and said, “So, where are you from?” I was a bit surprised because I wasn’t wearing anything that indicated I was from anywhere other than St. Cloud. I smiled and said “Nebraska.” She looked at me very seriously and told me that my accent sure was thick. Accent? Don’t they know that they have the accent? I think my brother-in-law put it best when he said, “We speak like they do in the movies!” I think that is all that needs to be said on the accent debate. 


Before I traveled north I attended an awards ceremony at Tecumseh State Correctional Institution on Tuesday afternoon. My step-dad Les Stonebarger won an employee of the year award. During the presentation they announced that he had worked 1,150 hours of overtime in the last year, putting any extra hours I have worked to shame. I was so proud of his accomplishment and how often he works overtime so others may spend time with their family during important events. While we were up there I was able to take a tour. I started the tour very excited and anxious to “see it all.” Everyone who works in the Prison should be commended for the job they do. I couldn’t imagine walking the halls with prisoners. I walked out of there with a new respect for the employees and a bit of a stomachache. I didn’t realize how anxious and nervous I would end up being. Those jobs are not for the faint of heart and I’m so proud of everyone who works up there to keep us safe. 


I’m not a fan of football or commercials so I missed much of the Super Bowl this year. There were a few commercials that caught my eye, especially the Snickers Brady Bunch commercial. I enjoyed that one, but the Nationwide commercial and the Budweiser “Lost Puppy” commercial made me tear up and a little depressed. It wasn’t the vibe I wanted from Super Bowl commercials but you can’t tell me that Nationwide commercial didn’t make you think.

For me the best part of the Super Bowl is that is marks the end of football season, which means that baseball season is just around the corner! The Kansas City Royals hosted their 2015 Fan Fest this weekend to a record setting crowd. Bartle Hall in downtown Kansas City was packed to the gills with over 23,000 fans as crazy as I am. I opted to skip this year due to family issues and the weather.  We are now down to 61 days until the home opener. I can’t wait. 


Finally, how about this beautiful snow?  I’ve heard a lot of people who are ready for spring but how can you not love the beauty of what’s right outside your window? My husband said this is the type of snow that you see in movies like A Christmas Story. The way it’s sitting on the trees is almost too much to take. I can’t get enough of it. I’d be thrilled if it stayed this way for another month, but I realize in this statement that I may be pelted with snowballs as I step outside. Spring will be here before we know it but for now I will just welcome this snow with open arms and a big cup of hot cocoa.

Tigers twice ring up 50 in 1st half

The Falls City High boys’ basketball team easily improved to 9-1 on the season with a pair of home routs last week, dismantling Marysville, KS, 75-53 Tuesday, and Johnson-Brock, 66-25, Thursday. 

The Tigers, up two spots from preseason to No. 7 in Class C1, had their best first halves of the year, the decade, the century and perhaps beyond, scoring 50 points in the first 18 minutes each night. Impressed? You should be. To put it in perspective, consider that the highest-scoring basketball team in school history averaged fewer than 67 points per game. How about this: C1’s top-ranked team, Columbus Scotus, averages 57 per game. Scoring 50 in a half is hardly routine these days; and to pull it off twice in three days is Halley’s Comet stuff. 

FC, which hosts 2-10 Auburn tonight (three in a row?) and 6-5 Maryville, MO, Friday, couldn’t have been better during those opening periods. The numbers are really astounding: 33-of-44 (75 percent) from inside the three-point line, 6-of-12 (50 percent) outside it and an unconscious 16-of-17 (94 percent) from the line. NOBODY can keep up with those kinds of numbers - not Marysville, even though the teams practically played to a draw in the second half, and certainly not a struggling Class D2 Eagles team. Tuesday, senior Weston Witt scored 11 in the opening period and FC took a 26-9 lead. Seniors Jack Hartman and Jordy Stoller then scored nine apiece in the second period as FC hit half a hundred without breaking a sweat. The team entered the locker room having put it up (including free throws) 40 times - the ball went through the iron 31 times. Game of P.I.G., anybody? In the end, Stoller scored a game-high 19, making 6-of-8 from the floor, including one three-pointer, and went a perfect 6-for-6 at the stripe. Hartman finished with 16 points and 10 boards, while Witt scored 12 to go with nine assists. Senior Zach Jordening got the start and made the most of it, scoring 10 points and not missing a shot. 

Thursday, most would agree, shouldn’t have happened. The Tigers led 30-2 after one quarter, as Witt and Hartman combined for 18, and Coach Don Hogue called off the dogs for the night. 

Talk about rare sightings: FC sat in a 3-2 zone in the second quarter and played a 1-3-1 throughout the second half. 

There had to have been a full moon. A blue one.


FC — Stoller, 19; Hartman, 16; Witt, 12; Jordening, 10; Stutheit, 6; Heckenlively, 4; Gibson, 3; Lovenburg, 2; Leafty, 2; Pentecost, 1.

Marys — Pieschl, 19; Stohs, 9; Haggard, 8; Green, 6; Nelsen, 4; Prieschl, 2; Lindhurst, 2. 


FC — Hartman, 17; Witt, 14; Leafty, 9; Pentecost, 7; Kirkendall, 5; Jordening, 4; Stoller, 4; Heckenlively, 2; Eickhoff, 2; Stutheit, 2. 

JB — D. Clark, 11; Ebeler, 3; B. Clark, 3; Speckman, 3; Stutheit, 2; Boellstorff, 2; Bohling, 1.

Life increasingly busy inside County Courthouse

The Richardson County Courthouse in Falls City has been a busy place recently - some 30 citizens appeared before either Judges Curtis Machman or Daniel Bryan on criminal charges ranging from littering to felony assault. Most had been there before - and most will be back (or are expected to be).

And others are coming. 

At about 1 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, a traffic stop on a 1999 Chevy Cavalier with no taillights turned into a pot bust when RC Deputy Sheriff Clinton Stonebarger arrested Connor R. Shullaw, 19, of Auburn, for possession of more than one ounce of marijuana. The teen was booked into RC Jail, left on $150 bond and now awaits a Jan. 26 first appearance in County Court. 

A 25-year-old Falls City man is in far hotter water after police allege he threatened a couple with a corn knife before resisting arrest last month. Jefrey A. Morley is expected to be arraigned in Distric Court Jan. 13 on two Classs IV Felony counts of making terroristic threats and misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and disturbing the peace. 

According to the arrest affidavit filed in County Court by FCPD Officer Jeremy Goldsberry, an “extremely intoxicated” Morley on the afternoon of Dec. 3 threatened Thomas and Amber Cunningham, of 813 Harlan St., with a knife. Police were soon on their way, but Morley didn’t go quietly when Goldsberry attempted to apply the handcuffs. 

Two other Falls City men, both thirtysomethings named Jason, have made themselves stunningly familiar to authorities in no time flat. 

Jason K. Tilton, 35, in a single day twice pled not guilty to DUI - second offense, as well as seven other charges. He appeared in County Court Monday after having been arrested in October for alleged drunken driving - second offense and then again five weeks later. One DUI (second offense)charge also includes operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest, no operator’s license and stop sign violation. The other DUI (second offense) comes with refusal to submit to blood, breath or urine test, first offense, driving under suspension, refusal to submit to preliminary breath test and open alcohol container. Tilton is scheduled to appear (reappear?) for a pretrial hearing on Feb. 2. 

When Jason Brownell, 34, was apprehended Dec. 16 after allegedly leading an angry farmer on a high-speed chase from Humboldt to Breezy Hill, it was his third such arrest since Election Day. 

On Nov. 6, police accused him of driving under suspension, no valid registration, no proof of insurance and operating a vehicle without proof of ownership. Two days later, on Nov. 8, they brought Brownell back in on charges of driving under suspension, no valid registration and no proof of insurance. 

In December, a rural Humboldt man claimed to witness a theft in progress and gave chase, calling authorities along the way and providing play-by-play coverage as he tailed Brownell, 26-year-old Everett Loper and David McPherson, 50, all of Falls City, along county roads for some 25 miles through Richardson County. The pursuit came to a peaceful end two miles south of Falls City, but authorities said Brownell was the driver and jailed him with theft by unlawful taking ($201-$499), criminal mischief ($200-$500) and driving under suspension - third offense. He appeared in Court Monday and pled not guilty.