In a battle of two quality teams, Nebraska’s top-ranked team, Millard North (11-0) held on to beat Iowa’s Class 4A third-ranked Abraham Lincoln (6-2) 85-78, despite a furious fourth-quarter rally.
After trading off on their first two baskets, Millard North took some early control thanks to a 12-2 run midway through the first quarter. The Mustangs grew their lead to as big as 12 points but a pair of back-to-back 3s by junior Josh Dix pulled the Lynx within six points by the end of the opening quarter.
That momentum carried over for AL as they trimmed the lead down to as small as three points, as senior Noah Sandbothe along with Dix had the Lynx looking to go in front.
Dix ended the night with the game-high 32 points, Sandbothe followed with 18 of his own. Hunter Sallis scored 26 to lead the Mustangs.
However, the visiting Mustangs regained momentum by halftime, outscoring the Lynx 18-6 in the final six minutes of the first half.
“We played a similar team like this in Kansas earlier and just didn’t compete for most of that game,” Lynx head coach Jason Isaacson said. “Tonight was about taking advantage of the opportunity and we did compete much better, we just did it in spurts, we weren’t constant enough.”
“We’ve just got to execute some things. Saint (Thomas) drilled four threes in the first half. One of their bigs had around 14 points on just dunks, that and giving up middle drives, it’s some little things that we need to clean up and keep getting better at.”
Though the Lynx started the third quarter with a 6-2 spurt to attempt another rally, Millard North quickly responded and kept their lead at double digits, throughout the third quarter.
The Mustangs boosted their lead to as much as 18 points before the Lynx tried to make a run of their own. AL outscored the Mustangs 21-10 in the final 4:46 of the game, but the run came just a little too late.
“They’re such a good team, you have to be on point for the entire game,” Isaacson said. “We were on point for some good spurts of the game, but again they’re so good you have to execute everything. The guys fought hard, we had a foul that wasn’t executed in the final seconds, but very proud of how the kids fought.”
The Lynx will take on another one of Nebraska’s best teams in Bellevue West, which ranks second in Nebraska on Friday at 8:30 p.m. at the Mid-America Center.
1 2 3 4 Final
MN 26 19 19 21--85
AL 20 11 17 30--78
MN: Hunter Sallis 26; Saint Thomas 22; Tyler Sandoval 22; Jasen Green 7; David Harmon 4; Jadin Johnson 2; Collin Monie 2
AL: Josh Dix 32; Noah Sandbothe 18; Jamison Gruber 15; Christain Tidane 7; Lennx Brown 6