The St. Mary's Cardinals wrapped up their season with a 26-3 record and the Runner-up trophy from the D-2 Nebraska State Championships this past weekend held in Lincoln.
The boys started their journey on Tuesday, March 8 when they faced the Shelton Bulldogs and won 60-42.
The Cards had a relatively easy time against the 19-7 Bulldogs. The Cards led at half 35-23. The Cards cruised to a victory over the Bulldogs with Hedstrom hitting 21 points, Blake Benson 14 points and Isaac Everitt 12 on the night.
In game two on Wednesday night at the Bob Devaney Sports Center the Cards pulled off an impressive 65-36 win over the Osceola Bulldogs. The Cards were expecting a hard game as the Bulldogs had fallen by only three to Parkview Christian a few weeks previous.
The Cards had three players in double digits and took the lead early going up 20-10 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter saw Osceola find their feet and matched the Cardinals scoring with both teams putting up 14 points but the Cards retained the lead 34-24 at the half.
The Bulldogs ran out of gas in the second half and the Cardinal defense held them to 12 points while the Cards hit the buckets at will throwing up 17 in the third and 14 in the fourth.
Hedstrom led again with 20 points and 10 rebounds, Adam Everitt 16 points and Isaac Everitt 10.
On Saturday, March 19 the Cards faced a buzz saw in Parkview Christian for the D-2 Championships at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Cards fell to the Patriots 64-48.
The Cards had trouble facing the taller players the Patriots had to offer and between the size and the speed the Cards had trouble dealing with the competition.
It took only half of the first quarter to figure out the Cards were in trouble as the Patriots were hitting 50 percent of their field goal shots compared to the Cards 40 percent. At the end of the first the Cards trailed 17-9
The second quarter was better for the Cardinals as they started making their shots but the Patriots kept the fast pace up.
"It was a rough shooting night for us going 5-29 from threes which is tough because we are one of the better shooting teams in D-2 but sometimes it just doesn't seem to fall in. We dug ourselves in a hole early and just couldn't quite get out of it. They were fast and athletic and hit some timely shots against us and pulled away for good in the 4th," said Head Coach Luke Bulau.
"We had a very successful season this year ending at 26-3. We scheduled some tougher competition and that seemed to help us down the stretch. Multiple records were broken this season with Aidan Hedstrom becoming the career leading scorer at St. Mary's with 1,728 points. Blake Benson became the season record holder for 3 pointers in a season with 66. And Tate Thompson set the season and career charges with 16 and 35 respectably. And as a team we set the record for most points in a season with 1,928 which is almost 70 points per game. This team will go down as one of the best to lace em' up for the St. Mary's Cardinals," commented Coach Bulau.
"I'm going to miss these six seniors tremendously. They were a fun group to be around and were all very coachable. They went 68-13 in my 3 years with them and that is a credit to their work ethic and their determination to win. They have all been playing together their whole careers at St. Mary's which in today's age is a noteworthy thing. Just a very classy group of young men that will do great things in the future," said Bulau.
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