It was a battle all the way to the end as the Cyclones fell to Humphrey St. Francis in the first round of the Class D1 state tournament Thursday. The #5 Flyers avenged a regular-season loss to #4 Clearwater-Orchard to get the 62-53 upset at state. (On December 18, O-C got the 54-44 win in Humphrey.)
In front of a sea of green at Lincoln Southeast High School, Thursday's game started out quickly as both teams traded buckets and the lead switched back-and-forth. Clearwater-Orchard held a slim 15-14 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 24-21 advantage at the half.
Sparked by the Flyers' 3-point shooters, St. Francis took control of the end of the third quarter and headed into the final quarter with a 39-36 lead.
Humphrey St. Francis extended their lead in the fourth quarter and went on to win by nine.
They advance to play Friday morning against top-seeded BDS, who defeated #8 Sutherland, 59-33, in the first D1 game of the state tournament Thursday morning. Tip off is set for 9 a.m. Friday in the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
The Cyclones end their season with a 24-2 record.
Junior Andy Kerkman led O-C with 22 points, followed by Jagger Smith with 11, Brenden Cleveland and Zach Martin with 6 each, and Travis Kerkman with 4.