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Crusaders complete revenge tour, win first state title since 2000

Grand Island Central Catholic tops Yutan for second state championship in program history
Published: Mar. 14, 2021 at 12:30 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KSNB) - Revenge has been on the Crusaders’ mind ever since the final buzzer sounded in the C2 State Championship a year ago. The 2020 runners-up got that revenge tonight, beating Yutan for the programs first state title in 21 years, 55-34.

GICC led by just five points at the half, but took over in the final two quarters. Outscoring the Chieftains 31-15 in the second half.

Dei Jengmer led the way with 12 points and seven rebounds. Five other players added six or more points to the total.

“From the first day of our summer camp we were dialed in on this moment,” GICC boys basketball coach Tino Martinez said. “We had to do a lot of things to keep them focused on the daily task. So, we didn’t look beyond and our schedule lends itself to not being able to look past many different people on our schedule. So, keeping their attention was not difficult. I think it’s a credit to them being able to come to practice every day and prepare the way we do. To be able to put themselves in this moment.”

“We were never satisfied. Any big game that we won,” GICC junior Marcus Lowry said. “Every game that we won we were still not satisfied. We knew what our end goal was and now that we’re here it’s pretty amazing.”

“It’s special. Only the second one in 21 years,” GICC senior Dei Jengmer said. “We did it for our school and we did it for us.”

The Crusaders finish the season with a record of 25-4.

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