After three years of being water boys, Blake Miller and freshman class get a crack at state

After three years of being water boys, Blake Miller and freshman class get a crack at state
Lourdes Central Catholic celebrates its third straight Class D-1 state championship on March 10, 2018. CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD

NEBRASKA CITY – Freshman Blake Miller, Will Funke and Zach Tesarek may not have been on the Pinnacle Bank Arena floor for Lourdes Central Catholic’s first three state championships, but they’ve been heavily involved with the Knights boys basketball program since they won their first state championship three years ago.

Miller and Funke watched their older brothers (Hayden and Ben Miller, and Jack Funke) win three consecutive state titles for the school out of Nebraska City. This year’s freshman class will have their first chance to play in the Nebraska School Activities Association State Basketball Championships this week after defeating No. 2 Overton, 49-28, in the Class D1-2 District Final on Feb. 25.

The Knights (8-16), who will be the No. 8 seed when tournament play begins Thursday morning at 9 a.m., play No. 1 Elm Creek (21-3) in the Class D1 quarterfinals at Lincoln East High School. The game will be carried live on Otoe County Country (KNCY 1600 AM, 105.5 FM and ncnsportsnow.com).

The journey back to the state tournament for the fourth consecutive season has given head coach Joe Tynon a chance to reflect on many memories of the first three state championships, including a moment that involved his current freshman guard, Blake Miller.

“We made a nice little run there against Walthill (2016 Class D1 State Championship) in third or fourth quarter and they call a timeout. Everybody was kind of excited and jacked. Blake jumps up, trips on the floor and falls down on his face. You can see me in the video just sitting there laughing at him, because it was just one of those things. Now, he’s getting an opportunity to play in the state tournament as a freshman himself, when he was just a water boy.”

The 6’2″ Miller leads Lourdes in scoring (16.5 points per game), rebounds (5.0 per game) and steals (3.0 per game). He finished with 19 points and 8 rebounds against the Eagles in the district final.

Lourdes Central Catholic was 1-11 on Jan. 15. They are 7-5 since and are winners of three-straight.

C1: Auburn vs. Grand Island CC

When: 9 a.m. Thursday

Where: Bob Devaney Sports Center

TV: News Channel Nebraska

D1: Lourdes Central Catholic vs. Elm Creek

When: 9 a.m. Thursday

Where: Lincoln East High School

Radio: KNCY 1600 AM, 105.5 FM, ncnsportsnow.com

D2: Johnson-Brock vs. Humphrey St. Francis

When: 9 a.m. Thursday

Where: Lincoln Northeast High School

Radio: B103 (103.1 FM, b103.fm)

D2: Falls City Sacred Heart vs. Blue Hill

When: 10:45 a.m. Thursday

Where: Lincoln Northeast High School

Radio: B103 (103.1 FM, b103.fm)

Follow Hunter on Twitter: @TheBurnRadio

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