Published Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 9:52 pm / Updated at 1:59 am
basketball
Gretna continues hot streak as Dragons advance to state

There's little doubt about the Class B team breathing the most fire entering next week's boys state basketball tournament.

Seventh-ranked Gretna beat the fourth team ranked ahead of it in 12 days with its 61-48 win against No. 3 Ralston on Tuesday night in the District B-2 final at Omaha Northwest.

The Dragons (17-7) earned their third trip to state in six seasons the hard way, with district wins against sixth-ranked Omaha Gross, No. 1 Elkhorn South and the Rams in four days.

“That's a great win for us,” Gretna coach Brad Feeken said. “There's no one in the state we don't think we can beat, either.”

Hard to blame Feeken and company after a district run that followed a victory over No. 4 Norris in the regular-season's final week.

Tuesday's sizzling start aided the Dragons, who held Ralston (19-6) without a field goal for the first seven minutes to build a 17-4 lead before the Rams scored from the field.

“They kicked our butt,” Ralston coach Bill Heard said of the start. “We were awful.”

Gretna led by as many as 18 in the second quarter, threatening to turn it into a rout before halftime. Ralston would battle back, though, closing within single digits on a couple of occasions late in the third quarter and early in the fourth.

Each time, the Dragons put an end to comeback thoughts with a three-point play. The clincher came with less than four minutes to play when Mitch Drey scored and was fouled to push the lead back to 11.

“Drey's been our guy since day one,” Feeken said. “I can't say enough about him.”

The 6-foot-5 senior scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half and added 11 rebounds in support of 21 points from teammate Trevor Leiting. It was three Leiting 3-pointers — part of six in the game's first 13 minutes for Gretna — that set the tone. The Dragons hit 8 of 10 3-pointers overall.

Though it was thought that the Rams were in the state tournament no matter the result Tuesday, Heard said that wasn't the mindset going in. He admitted, though, that he was concerned early with his team's disposition.

Heard was asked about cutting the Gretna lead to eight in the fourth quarter and said: “I don't know that I ever felt like we really had a chance to win.”

The Rams got 22 points from Jake Goltl, but the senior was 1 of 6 from the floor in the fourth quarter — a banked-in shot from the top of the key — and 2 of 5 from the foul line as Ralston tried to rally.

Ralston (19-6) ........7 9 21 11—48
Gretna (17-7)........17 13 17 14—61

R: Andrew Chleborad 1-7 0-0 3, Matthew Goltl 7-19 6-10 22, Daniel Moore 0-2 0-0 0, Joshua Belling 2-5 2-2 7, Jacob Evans 1-1 2-2 4, Tonio Fidegnon 1-3 4-4 6, Zachary Flott 1-7 4-4 6 Totals 13-44 18-22 48.

G: Trevor Leiting 5-6 8-9 21, Nathan Skrdla 3-5 0-0 7, Michael Johnson 1-3 0-0 3, Jackson Kallman 1-2 3-3 7, Jordan Batenhorst 2-5 0-0 5, Mitch Drey 6-9 4-8 18 Totals 18-30 15-20 61.

3-point goals: R 4-15 (Chelborad 1-6, Goltl 2-7, Belling 1-2), G 8-10 (Leiting 3-3, Skrdla 1-1, Johnson 1-1, Kallman 0-1, Batenhorst 1-2, Drey 2-2). Rebounds: R 23 (Flott 8), G 27 (Drey 11). Turnovers: R 3, G 10. Technical fouls: None. Fouled out: Evans, Batenhorst. Field goal percentage: R .295, G .600. Free throw percentage: R .818, G .750. Att: 600 (est).

Contact the writer:

402-850-0781, nickrubek@gmail.com, twitter.com/nickrubek

>> Video: See highlights from Gretna's win over Ralston:

Contact the writer: Nick Rubek

nickrubek@gmail.com    |   402-850-0781    |  

Nick Rubek covers Nebraska football, Omaha Beef football and high school sports throughout the state, including football, wrestling and soccer.

TEAM TRACKER »
GAME OF THE WEEK »
Each week during the high school sports season, NEPrepZone.com highlights a matchup in the ongoing "Hiland Dairy Game of the Week" series. Previous matchups »

Refuel with Hiland »


SEARCH
ON TWITTER »
LIVE CHAT
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
2013 All-Nebraska football, volleyball teams
View The World-Herald's selections to the 2013 All-Nebraska football and volleyball teams.
2013 Super Six football team
Meet The World-Herald's 2013 Super Six team, honoring the area's top college football prospects.
All-Nebraska basketball teams 'shake' it up
Being known more for their ability to shake off a defender than for their dance moves didn't stop our 2013 All-Nebraska basketball selections from busting a few "Harlem Shake"-inspired moves.
Facebook: Nebraska Prep Zone Page
The Nebraska Prep Zone Facebook page is your home on the social web to get the latest Nebraska prep sports news, photos, updates and more from around the Midlands.
Map: Nebraska Stadiums
Need help finding a stadium in the state of Nebraska? We've got you covered with this interactive map of high school and college facilities from across the state.
Nebraska high school all-time swimming leaders
See a complete list of the all-time leaders from Nebraska high school swimming and diving competition.
Nebraska high school all-time track charts
See a complete list of the all-time leaders from Nebraska high school track and field competition.
The disappearance of small-town football
Friday night lights across rural Nebraska are going dark. But one town, in its last season of gridiron independence, proved that school spirit is stronger than ever.
Western Iowa high school all-time track charts
See a complete list of the all-time leaders from Western Iowa high school track and field competition.