5-Star Performer: Central City boys basketball state bound for first time in 76 years

Local4 News at 10
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 10:56 PM CST
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CENTRAL CITY, Neb. (KSNB) - It took 76 years, but the Central City boys basketball team is going back to the state tournament. The last time the Bison did so was 1947.

“We were just excited to break it,” Kenai Kearney said.

“We stopped the streak,” Ashton Gragg added. “It’s been a long time since we’ve been there, so it feels great to get us back on that path where we want to be.”

Central City beat Wayne 43-38 in Monday’s district championship game at the Bison Dome, which several in the program indicated was an indescribable feeling.

“Special year this year with some ups and downs and we got her done man, we’re going to Lincoln,” Central City boys basketball coach BJ Blase said.

“It means everything,” Ayden Zikmund added. “We’ve been dreaming of this ever since we were in like 5th grade. It’s just awesome to finally do it, especially in the Dome.”

The Bison had tasted defeat in the district final before and said they did not want to experience those feelings again.

“It felt surreal, man,” Zikmund said. “Never felt it before. Obviously, the last two years we’ve came up one game short, so it felt great to finally get her done.”

“We knew we didn’t want to feel that again, so we just practiced as hard as we could this year,” Gragg added. “We came back better than we were last year and that’s what got us over the hump.”

Now, the team is looking toward state. Central City drew the No. 7 seed in the Class C1 bracket and will play No. 2 Ogallala March 8 at 1:30 p.m. at Devaney.

“It’s only going to get better, too,” Blase said. “What a great moment for our town and our kids. I just love it.”