Omaha South and Papillion-La Vista won’t know their first-round opponents for the Class A boys basketball state tournament until the McCook-Scottsbluff and Lincoln Southeast-Lincoln Southwest district finals are played Tuesday.
McCook is a team that impacts the wild-card points for North Platte, which is Class A’s one wild-card team in the state field despite the Bulldogs (16-7) losing at home to Papillion-La Vista South (8-15) in the district semifinals. McCook (18-6) and North Platte met twice this season.
A McCook loss to Scottsbluff in the B-6 final would drop North Platte to the No. 7 seed at state, with the Bulldogs drawing Omaha South. The Southeast-Southwest winner would be the No. 6 seed and play Papio.
If McCook wins, the No. 6 seed would be Southwest (16-8) if it wins or North Platte if Southeast (15-8) wins.
Two first-round matchups at state in Class A appear set — No. 1 seed Omaha Central plays Tuesday night’s District A-6 winner, either Omaha Bryan or Papio South, and No. 4 seed Omaha Benson draws No. 5 seed Millard West.
Bryan-Papio South is a 7 p.m. game at Bellevue East. Papio South, in its 10th year, never has qualified for state. Bryan (9-14) is trying to qualify for a school-record fifth consecutive season.
In Class B, which has its district finals Tuesday night, Elkhorn South’s ticket to state depends on wins by either Ralston or Scottsbluff. The top-ranked Storm lost to Gretna 55-50 in Monday’s B-2 semifinals, with Gretna advancing to play Ralston at 7 p.m. at Omaha Northwest.
If Ralston and Scottsbluff win, Elkhorn South and McCook are Class B’s wild cards. If Ralston loses and Scottsbluff wins, it’s Ralston and Elkhorn South. If Ralston wins and Scottsbluff loses, it’s Scottsbluff and Elkhorn South. If Ralston and Scottsbluff lose, they are the wild cards.
Class B district finals Tuesday:
>> B-1, Beatrice (12-9) vs. No. 4 Waverly (17-7), 7 p.m. at Lincoln Southeast: Waverly won at Beatrice 56-35 on Feb. 16. Waverly last was at state in 2009.
>> B-2, No. 7 Gretna (16-7) vs. No. 3 Ralston (19-5), 7 p.m. at Omaha Northwest: First meeting of the season.
>> B-3, Bennington (10-12) vs. No. 9 South Sioux City (12-12), 6:30 p.m. at Fremont High: Bennington hasn’t been in the Class B state field since 1933, when there were just two classes.
>> B-4, No. 10 York (18-5) vs. Seward (8-13), 7 p.m. at Lincoln Northeast: Seward lost at York 38-35 on Feb. 8.
>> B-5, Grand Island Northwest (20-5) vs. Aurora (13-9), 7 p.m. at Grand Island High: Northwest lost at Aurora 46-35 on Feb. 16 to drop from the ratings.
>> B-6, McCook (18-6) vs. No. 2 Scottsbluff (20-5), 7 MT at Cougar Palace, Scottsbluff: Teams have split their two meetings.
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