Wayne boys beat Bears in battle of ranked area teams


LAUREL – A wild ebb-and-flow between two area teams who are ranked in the Lincoln Journal Star came out in favor of the Wayne High boys, as they closed with a big finish to defeat Laurel-Concord-Coleridge 77-57 in action Tuesday at LCC High School.

The Blue Devils, ranked ninth in Class C-1 in the Lincoln Journal Star, got out to a big lead early. Payten Gamble hit a pair of 3-pointers and Mason Lee capped a 16-4 start with a two-handed dunk off a LCC turnover to stake the Blue Devils to the early lead.

Class C-2 No. 4 LCC would answer, though, going on a 15-2 run that was highlighted by an Izac Reifenrath 3-pointer and a three-point play by DJ Spahr that pulled the Bears to within one at 18-17 after one period.

LCC’s defense forced Wayne’s hand and they closed the first half with a 9-0 run, highlighted by baskets from Spahr and Mason Forsberg, to take a 33-28 halftime advantage.

LCC led 40-32 early in the third before the Blue Devils rallied. They tied the game at 42-42 midway through the third, and LCC got its last lead at 49-48 on a 3-pointer by Trey Erwin before the Blue Devils made their decisive run.

Wayne ended the third quarter on a 9-0 run, with a pair of baskets by Grayson McBride, a Jack Evetovich jumper and a 3-pointer by Gamble to take a 57-49 lead into the fourth quarter. Wayne’s momentum carried over in the final eight minutes, and the Blue Devils ended any hope of a Bears comeback when Gamble made a steal and then completed the play with an acrobatic reverse layup that made it 63-51. The Bears never got closer than 12 after that.

Evetovich and Gamble both had 17 points and McBride added 15 for the 10-3 Blue Devils. Lee put in eight points, Will Anderson had four and Tyler Pecena and Beau Bowers each had two.

For the 10-3 Bears, Forsberg had 19 points, Jayden Reifenrath added 13 and Spahr and Izac Reifenrath each had 11. Erwin put in three points.

In the girls game, LCC matched Wayne early on from the outside, but the visiting Blue Devils were able to build a 20-point lead and come away with a 59-46 win.

The Lady Bears shot the ball well from the outside and got 3-pointers from Lorna Maxon and Katelyn Cook to take an early advantage, but were matched by Wayne’s long-range duo of Kelsey Boyer and Kylie Hammer, who combined to hit six treys on the night.

Wayne led 15-9 after one period and built their advantage to 11 by halftime. Their momentum continued through the third quarter, with Boyer hitting a pair of threes and Hammer scoring three straight baskets for Wayne as they were able to build a 20-point cushion before settling on the 13-point win to improve to 10-4 on the season.

Hammer led three Blue Devils in double figures with a game-high 22 points, with Boyer adding 17 and Frankie Klausen coming off the bench to score 10 points. Allison Echtenkamp, Kiara Hochstein, Morgan Keating, Jamie Gamble and Gabi Meyer all had two points apiece.

LCC, now 3-10, was led by Cook’s 16 points with Maxon adding 15. Sydney Chapman put in six points, Madysyn Holloway had four, Ashley Wolfgram scored three and Katie Leapley had two.

The Wayne girls play at Norfolk Catholic on Friday, while the boys are home to face Guardian Angels Central Catholic. Both LCC teams play Friday at Creighton.