LINCOLN–(KFOR Feb. 5)–In a tight, low-scoring game Friday night, the Lincoln Northeast boys basketball team clinched the LPS championship in dramatic fashion.
With just over three seconds left, junior guard Zander Beard dribble-penetrated to the basket and passed off to 6-7 senior center Connor Renard, who scored the game-winning basket to give the Rockets at 46-44 victory over Lincoln North Star at the Ed Johnson Gym, in a game heard on KFOR.
Northeast (10-5) had gone 5-0 against other LPS teams in regular season play (excluding the 63-60 loss to Southeast in the quarterfinals of the Heartland Athletic Conference Tournament on Dec. 29).
Northeast’s biggest lead was 44-39 in the fourth quarter, when 6-4 senior guard Pierce Bazil broke a 39-all game with a three-pointer and Renard scored on a layup with 1:50 remaining.
North Star (7-7) kept hanging with the Rockets, as Josh Brown hit a mid-range jump shot with 1:24 left and after a series of turnovers, 6-8 sophomore center Brennon Clemmons, Jr. sank a three-pointer with 22 seconds to go, which then set up Northeast’s final play for the win.
Bazil led Northeast with 15 points and his younger brother, 6-6 sophomore Porter Bazil, added 10 points in the victory.
North Star was led by Kwat Abdelkarim’s game-high 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Clemmons added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Gators.