Few things have trended against Falls City Sacred Heart under head coach Doug Goltz, now in his 27th season with the Irish, but for the fourth time in five seasons Goltz and company ended the regular season with loss to Nebraska City Lourdes.
The Knights overcame an 18-10 deficit at the end of the first quarter Saturday en route to a 60-51 victory and dropped the Irish from first to second in both the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star rankings released yesterday.
Lourdes, ranked sixth by both publications and only two weeks removed from a 50-45 loss to FCSH in the Pioneer Conference tournament championship, outscored the visiting Irish 20-9 in the second quarter and 30-24 after halftime. FCSH held a 10-to-2 advantage at the free-throw line in their win, while Saturday the Knights knocked down 14 of 20 FT attempts compared to 9-of-18 by FCSH.
Lourdes also rebounded better than they did two weeks prior when they only corralled 19 (14 defensive) boards compared to 34 by FCSH. NCL effectively limited the Irish’s second-chance points Saturday, as they pulled down 23 defensive rebounds.
Irish senior Chaz Dunn led all scorers with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting. No other Irish player finished in double figures, although senior Matt Goltz was close, as he finished with nine points and a team-high 13 rebounds. Junior Austin Malone chipped in eight points and six boards and senior Colin Niemeyer also added eight points.
This year’s group certainly didn’t worry long about Saturday’s loss to a D-1 team, as they shift their focus to the toughest district in D-2. The top-seeded Irish (21-3) open the D2-1 subdistrict in Johnson tonight at 6 against fourth-seeded Lewiston (13-9), who FCSH defeated all three times this season. Opposite these two are eighth-ranked and No. 2 seed Parkview Christian (14-7) who take on No. 3 seed Sterling (13-9) in tonight’s second game. The winners advance to Thursday’s subdistrict final, then to a district championship next Tuesday night at a site and time to be announced.
In the D2-2 sub, top-seeded Exeter-Milligan (19-3) – the new number one team – will look to advance past either Dorchester or Meridian tonight and would need a win Thursday over either Diller-Odell or Hampton to set up a potential rematch with FCSH in the district championship. The Irish held off E-M 46-43 in overtime during the MUDECAS tournament in January.
Scoring vs. NC Lourdes
FCSH – Niemeyer 8, Dunn 18, Malone 8, Jorn 2, Goltz 9, Scheitel 5, Strasheim 1.
NCL – Fabietti 12, Miller 10, Vasa 13, Hoshor 4, A. Miller 6, Gude 2, Gress 11.