March 8, 2021 -- Lincoln Journal Star
We'll see a new champion in Class D-1 this year. Can Burwell cap a memorable school year with state gold?
Wednesday's first-round games
At Lincoln Southeast
No. 1 Burwell (24-0) vs. Central Valley (17-6), 11 a.m.
No. 7 Howells-Dodge (18-8) vs. No.9 Walthill (19-4), 1:30 p.m.
No. 2 Humphrey/LHF (20-5) vs. No. 10 Southern Valley (19-4), 4 p.m.
No. 3 North Platte St. Pat's (21-5) vs. No. 4 Ansley/Litchfield (20-4), 6:30 p.m.
Players to watch
Tycen Bailey, Ansley/Litchfield: The 6-foot-3 guard produces in many ways. He can score (13.3 ppg), rebound (7.5 rpg), pass (73 assists) and defend (85 steals and 25 blocks).
Clayton Berry, Southern Valley: The 6-1 senior is averaging 18.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per agme; also leads team in assists and is second in steals.
Barak Birch, Burwell: The 5-10 senior averages 15.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per contest for the unbeaten Longhorns.
Jalen Merrick, Walthill: The 5-8 senior guard averages 17.1 points and 4.1 steals per contest.
Ty Nekoliczak, Central Valley: The 5-10 senior can take over games (19.7 ppg), but he also gets his teammates involved (114 assists).
Kaden Sheridan, Walthill: The 5-8 senior averages 19.5 points per contest and has been a handful for opponents on the defensive side, too (102 steals).
Blake Sindelar, Howells-Dodge: The 6-2 junior guard has been a stats machine this year (19 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 4.3 apg and 2.5 spg).
Jason Sjuts, Humphrey/LHF: The 6-5 junior has been one of the top lower-class players since his freshman year; averages 16.2 points, 4.8 boards and 4.8 assists per game.