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.