Winning it All: H/LHF boys complete dream
LINCOLN - Jacob Sjuts led the way with 15 points, sank three huge 3-pointers and the Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family defense came up big once again in a 61-46 Class D-1 state championship victory on Saturday over Fremont Bergan.
Sjuts led three other teammates in double figures and led the way from beyond the arc, hitting 3 of 4 for a team that was 6 of 10 overall.
His first make from distance came just before the first-quarter buzzer, sending the Bulldogs to the bench with a 14-13 advantage.
Other than two possessions in the third quarter, H/LHF held the lead the rest of the way.
Up four to begin the fourth, Sjuts hit his final 3 on a shot that was, at least psychologically, the nail in the coffin.
His corner look from the left side hit the rim once, twice, sat on the back iron and eventually rolled into the cylinder and through the hoop. It extended the lead to 46-39 and forced a Bergan timeout. The stoppage did little to stem the tide though.
Older brother Tyler Sjuts came down on the next possession, banged home another triple and the Bulldogs could taste a title.
Bergan only came as close as seven the rest of the way and had to watch helplessly as H/LHF sank 12 of 14 free throws over the final six minutes claiming a historic, first-ever state championship for Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family since the programs combined six years ago.
The Bulldog defense held the Knights to 16 for 49 shooting (32 percent), forced 14 turnovers and led for all but just over six minutes in the game.
Senior Ethan Hanzel had 13 points in his final game and was a major force in the first half, scoring 11 of his total and setting the tone in a battle with Bergan post Riley Lindberg.
Lindberg, a 6-4 senior, was held just four and only attempted six shots.
Turner Beller had 11 points and the first two of the game for the third game in a row. Bret Hanis added 10.
H/LHF hit on 46 percent of its shots, 6 of 10 3-pointers and was 19 of 21 from the line.
“It’s awesome. I’ve never felt anything like it before,” senior Dylan Hanzel said. “The emotions...you almost want to cry, want to cry because you’re so happy.”
For more on Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family’s state championship, be sure to pick up Tuesday’s edition of The Telegram.