The Lexington hoops squads battled some of the best at the GNAC Tourney that was held in North Platte Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 
In the Minutemaids opening contest they went toe-to-toe with Kearney. Lexington fell behind early and their late charge wasn’t enough, as Kearney netted the 56-31 victory over the Minutemaids on Thursday. 
Lexington trailed 17-8 at the end of the first quarter and then 32-14 at halftime. Entering the final quarter of regulation, the Maids hoped to dent the 44-23 deficit. 
The Lady Cats were able to hold off the late charges by the Lexington hoopsters 12-8 during the fourth quarter to net the 56-31 win. 
In the Minutemen’s opening contest, they were edged by Norfolk, 59-49 in a closer than the score indicates contest. 
Lexington was shooting a high percentage during the first quarter of play, as they led by two-points, 14-12 against the highly touted Panthers. 
The Lexington boys continued to flourish on the offensive end during the second stanza as they flexed the net for 13-points to hold a 27-24 lead at the break. 
During the third quarter of play, Norfolk switched defenses and gained ground on the scoreboard, as the Panthers outscored Lexington 18-13 during the initial eight minutes after halftime to  then take a 42-40 into the fourth quarter. 
Lexington was able to charge back in the fourth quarter and take the lead with just four minutes to play, but it was Norfolk that was able to turn the tide at the charity stripe to escape with a 59-49 victory. 
Dylan Richman led the Orange and Black with 17 points. 
Jake Leger dropped in 10 points for Lexington. 
In the consolation semifinal round, the Minutemaids were defeated by North Platte, 47-41 in a hard-fought battle on the hardwood. 
In the Lexington boys consolation semifinal match-up, the Orange and Black fell behind early and weren’t able to recover as they were defeated by the Discoverers, 60-47. 
Lexington hung close during the first quarter as they trailed Columbus by two-points, 14-12 before the Discoverers exploded to a 36-20 lead at the break. 
The Discoverers were able to hold off all late charges to win 60-47. 
Lexington’s Nick Saiz and Andrew Saiz had 13 and 10 points, respectively. 
In their final contest, the Lexington girls were defeated by McCook, 58-44 in the seventh place game. 
The Minutemen defeated  McCook in an offensive shootout 64-59 to finish seventh overall. 
Dylan Richman led Lex with 16 points. 
The Lexington grapplers were a force to reckoned with at the Beatrice Invite. “It was exciting to see that every person on our team won at least one match,” stated Lexington head coach Joey Morrison. Minutemen Alam Alvarez and Danny Ibarra fared quite well in their respective weight divisions, by winning gold medalist honors at 120 and 126 lbs. Taking home silver medalist honors was Pascual Francisco (106 lbs), Dakota Hernandez (132) and Edwin Perdomo (220). Mike Nguyen (113) and Luis Nunez (285) won bronze medalist honors. 
Open weight classes added up, as Lexington capitalized and won a 51-28 wrestling dual over Cozad. Roberto Cohetero (112 lbs.), Mukoma Issa (119), Julio Levia (130) and Eric Freeland (285) were Minutemen winners. Tanner Sturgeon and Ryan Levell were victorious for the Red and Black. Sturgeon shutout DJ Ward 8-0 in a 145 lb. match and Levell recorded a pin over Lex’s Aaron Bliven in 1:45. 
Lex exploded in the fourth quarter offensively to earn a 45-40 victory over Holdrege. The pair were deadlocked at 13-13 at the end of the first quarter and the Dusters stormed ahead 27-18 at the break. The Minutemen sank 14-of-16 free throws during the fourth quarter to earn the victory. Bryant Bernal and Matt Cunningham netted 15 and 13 points for the Orange and Black. 
Cozad’s wrestlers won six matches and collected three open weights on their way to a 48-20 dual win over Lexington. Micah Chrisinger, Tyler Sturgeon, Joel Pflaster and Justin Kinnan picked up pins for the Haymakers. Justin Teeters came up with a pin at 171 pounds for Lexington. Kyle Banzhaf picked up a big win for Cozad at 112 pounds as he earned a 13-6 decision over Devin Dennis. Chaney Chee re-turned the favor for Lex, edging Andrew Chrisinger of Cozad, 5-2 at 125 pounds. Lex’s Jason Libal broke a 7-7 tie in the final seconds for a 12-7 win over Justin Lemmer. Bryan Gnirk won by technical fall at 215 pounds for Lexington while teammate Jordan Homan edged Cozad’s Seth Wiesen, 5-2. Ryan Wolf scored an 8-1 win for the Haymakers over Nick Smith at 160 pounds. Logan Hart, Jordan Kinnan and Heath Jacob all received forfeits for Cozad.
The Cozad wrestlers finished second in the David City Aquinas Invitational. Eight of Cozad’s nine finished fourth or better. The Haymakers took two firsts, five thirds and a fourth. Champions for CHS were Chris White and Nick Maaske at 135 and 140 lbs. 
The state-ranked Lady Swedes met another high-powered squad on the road at Centura and fell in girls basketball by a count of 62-54. Michelle Sitorius lead the Swedes in scoring with 19 points. Brandi Mitchell with 12 points was the only other Gothenburg player to crack double digits. 
When the tough get going – there’s Jeff Sykes. That was evident as Lexington met a strong Minden challenge and col-lected an 84-63 decision. Sykes led the charge with 20 points. Aaron Brand was close behind with 19. Gary O’Donnell and Scott Reynolds contributedly greatly with 14 and 12 points, respectively. 
Lexington protected its state rankings in girl/boy basketball, cruising past Ainsworth in a doubleheader. Coach Randy Carpenter’s Minutemaids, the No. 8 team in Nebraska’s Class B rankings, doubled-up on the Lady Bulldogs, 54-26. Jill Laux finished the night with 18 points and got good scoring support from Mandy Bliven, who netted 13 points. In the boy’s game, Jeff Sykes keyed the assault with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Balanced scoring support was evident with an 18 point effort from Aaron Brand and Bill Tjaden’s 11 points.
An overtime proved fatal for Cozad in a Southwest Conference girl’s basketball showdown 60-51 with host Holdrege. The home-standing Dusters outscored Cozad 10-1 in the decisive period. Holly Waring finished the night with 15 points for the Haymakers. Vicki Harris scored 10 points for the Red and Black Cagers.
Lexington swept seven weight classes enroute to a 41-23 Southwest Conference wrestling dual win over Cozad. Coach Jim Bonesteel’s Haymakers gained seven solo crowns, including an 8-5 decision by Peter Gomez over Chad Franzen in the 119 lb. weight division. Mike Dorsey (136 lbs.), Jason McCoy (140), John Smock (145), Todd Laird (152) and Matt Burkholder (160) also prevailed for the Haymakers. Brad Holbrook (103), Mike Warta (112), Chris Lynch (125) and Tim Rios (130) all got their arms raised for Lexington. 
Roger Hansen of Minden took home the top prize in the Tri-City TRIBUNE Football Fever Prediction contest for the Bowl Weeks the competition with just eight missed predictions.
With the win, Hasen takes home $25 for his predicting efforts. 
Finishing with nine missed predictions were Kathi Yerg of Lexington and Eric Salleng of Cozad. 
Yerg was just two points away from the tiebreaker score to fnish in second place overall. 
Earning third place accolades for his efforts was Eric Salleng of Cozad with a tiebreaker score that was just six points pack from Yerg. 
After the entries were all compiled from the whole prediction season, there were two lucky winners that took home grand prize checks. 
In the winners sweepstakes drawing, Elwood participant Steve Scoville’s name was drawn for the winners $70 winnings. 
Selected as the winner of the consolation grand prize ($30) drawing was Eric Salleng of Cozad. 
Taking advantage of great field position, the Boone Central Redbirds were able to strike quickly and defeat Gothenburg 38-20 in the Nebraska Class C-1 State Football Playoffs. The Cardinals grabbed an early first quarter lead 14-7 and pushed on the accelerator to the tune of 10 unanswered points to lead 24-7 at the intermission. Boone Central was able to reach pay dirt twice during the third quarter to add insurance touchdowns to lead 38-7 with just one quarter remaining in regulation. Gothenburg was able to score a pair of touchdowns in the final minutes but it was too little, too late and Boone Central scored the win. Logan Sheets led the Swedes rushing attack with 35 yards on 11 carries. 
Haymaker Jason Luong ran for 294-yards and three touchdowns to power Cozad past Aurora 27-21 in the State Class B Football quarterfinal round.  The Red and Black’s other score came on a Kyle Gill completed pass to Brandon Woldt that covered 25-yards in the second quarter. Ryan Levell led the Haymaker defense with 10 tackles. 
Eustis/Farnam volleyball reached the promised land by defeating Haymakers Springs 23-25, 25-15, 25-20 and 25-13. Jacey Schultheiss and Lindsey Ferrell both had 19 kills to pace the Lady Knights. Jordan Reiker contributed greatly with nine kills. E/F setter Kenzie Banzhaf dished out 38 set assists in the match. Keeping the ball alive for the Silver and Black was Katie Fagot with 13 digs. 
Chase County dashed the hopes for the Gothenburg volleyball squad in the semi-final round, then went on to claim the Class C1-11 Sub-district crown. In the opening round, Gothenburg posted a 15-2, 11-15, 15-0 hard-fought win over Cozad. Ashley Bokelman served up a pair of aces and scored 20 points in the match for the winners. Kiley Peterson led the hit parade for  the Lady Swedes with a match-high nine kills, while Michelle Faust and Jamie Gonzales chipped in with four and three kills, respectively.
Lex never trailed until the final play of the game, as Seward edged the Orange and Black 14-13 in overtime on the gridiron. Dusty Rowe had a big night offensively for the Minutemen, as he ran for 121 yards on 31 carries. Jake Mandelko finished with 63 total yards. As a team, Lexington  had 224 total yards while running for 188 yards.
The Lady Swedes of Gothenburg finished third in the SWC Volleyball Championships. Coach Shelly Tvrdy’s Lady Haymakers earned fifth for Cozad High School. In the consolation finals match for third place overall, Gothenburg downed Holdrege 15-13, 15-12. Cozad defeated the host Lady Indians for fifth, 15-12, 15-11.
Playing in the rain, the Sidney Red Raiders found themselves swamped in the first round of the Class B football playoffs. The Minutemen ended the Red Raiders’ season with a lopsided 41-14 victory. Lexington’s Shawn Church rushed for 176 of the Minutemen’s 309 rushing yards. More remarkable is that Church had only nine carries, making for a whopping 19.6-yard average per carry. Eric Otto ran for 73 yards. Quarterback Brad Carpenter completed a pair of passes for 88 yards total, most of which came on an 84-yard TD strike to Blake Thorell. 
Playing with gumption, Cozad dominated a regular season football finale at Ord. Coach Gene Hunting’s Haymakers, who played flawlessly early, built a commanding first half advantage then coasted to an easy victory over the Chants, 42-26. Ryan Kauffman’s pass receptions, thrown by Eric Ostendorf, and rushing efforts by Shane Hatcher, Casey Macken and Ryan Walter were keys in Cozad’s offensive success. Defensive efforts were spurred by Matt Hunting, Macken, Kauffman, Todd Linke and Mike Brownfield.
Minden’s Chris Fitzsimmons  went to the air for 177-yards to power the Whippets past Gothenburg, 36-8. The Swedes saved themselves from a shutout when quarterback Jason Viergutz connected with Chris Galas for a 20-yard scoring pass in the third quarter.
Cozad’s perseverance on the hardwood sent McCook home and advanced the Red and Black to the district semi-finals. The Haymakers lost the first set to the Bisons, 15-9 after leading 4-0, then fell behind 9-3 before pulling out a 15-13 win in the second set. The final set was all Cozad, as the Haymaker’s stomped to a 14-6 advantage, then held on to take another 15-13 victory. The Haymakers’ were led in scoring by Nicole Gibson with 10 points. Vicki Harris was the top hitter with a 17-24 effort. 
Lexington’s defense dominated Grand Island Central Catholic as the Minutemen ended their regular season with a 14-6 victory. The Minutemen defense was led by Chad Muma and Troy Higgins, who limited the host Crusader’s to 124 yards of total offense. Muma had eight tackles and; Higgins blocked a punt and recorded a quarterback sack to go along with his eight tackles. The Minutemen rushed the pigskin 44 times, totaling 198 yards. Ed Ford picked up 100 yards on 27 carries and Mike Wengert added 58 on just 12 carries.