Amherst boys basketball finishes as Class C2 state runner-up

Local4 News at Ten Saturday
Published: Mar. 11, 2023 at 6:41 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 11, 2023 at 9:50 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KSNB) - The championship round of the NSAA Class C2 state boys basketball tournament began in Lincoln Saturday. No. 2 Amherst went up against No. 1 Freeman at Pinnacle Bank Arena in a rematch of last year’s state quarterfinals — where the Broncos upset the Falcons in the 8-1 matchup.

The Falcons took a 22-8 lead into halftime before the Broncos went on a scoring run in the third quarter to cut the deficit to just four going into the fourth quarter. In the end, Freeman defeated the Broncos 53-35 to win its first state title since 2010.

“Super proud and they’ll always hold a special place in my heart,” Amherst boys basketball coach Eric Rippen said. “That’s why it makes it so tough that it’s over. I hope a lot of these young kids look to what these guys did and know that it’s possible. A small town in Amherst, Nebraska, can take a group all the way down here to big Lincoln and compete with anybody.”

The Broncos, competing in a state championship game for the first time since 1987, finished the year as state runner-up.

See embedded video for highlights.