From the outset of the 2018-19 season, everyone had a sense that the Lincoln Pius X boys basketball team would dominate the Class B state tournament in March.
The sense proved to be true.
The Thunderbolts missed two chances in regulation and in the first overtime to win the game, but it took a 12-0 run in the second overtime for Pius X to earn the 71-59 victory over Omaha Roncalli to win the Class B state title Saturday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The win for the Thunderbolts give them their sixth boys basketball title in school history and first since 2004.
Charlie Easley capped his high school career with 25 points to lead Pius X. He nailed a three-pointer to start the second overtime and recorded 12 rebounds, six assists, while collecting three blocked shots and three steals.
Austin Jablonski added 15 points in the victory, while fellow Pius X teammates Kolbe Rada and Mitch Sebek each had 10 points. Rada sank two free-throws to extend the Thunderbolt lead to 64-59. Easley added three more free throws, then Jablonski scored off an Easley steal and Jablonski had a dunk to seal the win.
With all the drama in the fourth quarter and overtime, it was back and forth in the first quarter that featured seven lead changes and the game being tied three times. But it was Pius X who closed out the first half with a 12-3 run to lead Roncalli 36-29.
Pius X (27-2) had six point lead in the fourth quarter with less than six minutes remaining, but a 6-0 spurt from Alex Rodgers and two baskets from Taiden Red tied the game at 52. Easley’s shot attempted at the end of regulation prompted overtime.
Jablonski’s basket in the first overtime gave Pius X a 59-56 lead. But Jack Dotzler answered with a three-point play to force a 59-all tie into the second extra frame.
Red led Roncalli (25-3) with 20 points, Rodgers had 16 points while Dotzler added 15 before fouling out.
Follow Jeff Motz on Twitter: @JeffMotzKFOR