Five Star Performer - GICC boys basketball

GICC boys basketball wins 2021 Class C2 state title
Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 10:43 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The Grand Island Central Catholic boys basketball team ended its season the way every team wants too, hoisting a state champion trophy.

The Crusaders made it look easy winning their three games by a combined 74 points, but they had a lot of motivation to get back to “Championship Saturday.”

“It was our goal a year ago when we had that empty feeling after BRLD beat us pretty handily,” GICC boys basketball coach Tino Martinez said. “So, something we definitely talked about for a long time was getting to this game.”

“When the buzzer sounded last year in the state championship game, and we had lost, you know it stung but it also said something to us that we got to get back to the gym and just get better,” Senior forward Koby Bales said.

Winning a district title and making it to Saturday for the second straight year was not enough. They only wanted one thing.

“We were never satisfied,” Junior forward Marcus Lowry said. “Any big game that we won we were never satisfied. We knew what our end goal was and now that we’re here it’s pretty, pretty amazing.”

The Crusaders only had four blemishes on their record. All of them came to state tournament teams in classes higher than them.

“Think it just speaks to how good of basketball is being played in Grand Island right now,” Martinez said. “Then you have Adams Central, St. Paul. The tri-city area is just playing high level basketball right now and we’re just fortunate enough to be here tonight.”

More than fortunate, GICC dominated all three of its games in Lincoln, winning by an average of 24.6 points per game.

“I think it’s amazing. It’s special,” Senior center Dei Jengmer said. “It’s only the second one in 21 years so. We did it for our school and we did it for ourselves.”

This was their second boys basketball title in school history and first since winning the Class C1 title in 2000.

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