MURDOCK, NE – The Elmwood-Murdock boys basketball team may have been the most surprising team at the Nebraska School Activities Association Boys State Basketball Championships last winter.
Ranked #5 in the 2016 tournament, the Knights beat #4 Southern Valley in the first round, topped unbeaten #1 Winnebago in the semi-finals, before falling to #2 Hastings St. Cecilia in the C2 title game.
Elmwood-Murdock has been hungry for another shot at the championship trophy ever since. Head Coach Matt Shelsta says his guys did more in the offseason to take the next step to a state championship.
“We’ve got some people that want more, they want to win this thing. They’ve dedicated themselves in the weight room, to offseason workouts and getting better and improving. Now, it doesn’t guarantee anything that you’ll win or get their again, but we’ve prepared the right way.”
The Knights will get the chance to get back to the C2 title game this week at the 2017 NSAA Boys State Basketball Tournament in Lincoln. Elmwood-Murdock secured the #2-seed with a 23-3 record and will play the #7 Oakland-Craig Knights (16-7) Thursday at 7 p.m. at Lincoln Southeast High School.
Shelsta calls Oakland-Craig the most talented team they have seen this season with their ability to shoot, their athleticism, and the ability to get to the rim.
“They’re going to be tough to stop. I don’t know if we’ll be able to stop them. We just kind of hope we can keep up with them offensively and get a couple stops here-and-there that’s going to be a factor. Oakland-Craig is a very talented team and people will see that Thursday night.”
The 2016 championship game was their first appearance in the title since 2008, when the Knights won it over Grand Island Central Catholic.
Follow Elmwood-Murdock through the state tournament and listen to the games live on B103, B103.fm and the B103 app.