Boys State Hoops: The Goods On Class D-1, Where Some Battle-tested Teams Seek Gold

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.


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