For the eighth time in nine years, the Scottsbluff Bearcats are heading to the boys state basketball tournament in Lincoln. They earned a berth with a 57-49 win over Seward Monday afternoon in the Class B District 6 final at Seward High School.
The teams traded runs in the first half, with each squad holding leads. The Bluejays held a narrow 15-13 lead after one quarter, and extended their advantage to 28 -17 midway through the second period. But following a Scottsbluff timeout, the Bearcats ended the half on an 8-0 run, and only trailed 28-25 at intermission.
In the second half, the Scottsbluff defense took over, and the Seward offense went ice cold, scoring just six points, all free throws, in the third quarter. The Bearcats pumped in 18 in the period, and had a 43-34 lead heading into the final quarter. The Jays shooting woes continued in the 4th quarter, as they only made two 3-point field goals. Seven free throws helped get Seward close the gap to 45-44 late in the game, but back-to-back jumpers by Scottsbluff junior guard Jasiya DeOllos got the lead back to five, and the Bearcats put the game away at the charity stripe.
De Ollos led Scottsbluff (14-10) with 15 points, and seniors Harold Baez and Connor McCracken added 12 apiece. Seward was led by senior Nate Lliteras who scored 15 points. Senior Joseph Krause added 13, and Derek Holtorf finished with 10. The Jays end their season at 18-6.