FRIEND, NE — Before the two schools team up for all NSAA activities next school year, Friend and Exeter-Milligan boys basketball teams had one last battle on the hardwood with quite a bit on the line. 

The two squared off for the D2-2 subdistrict championship Thursday with the winner guaranteed a spot in a district final — the final round before the state tournament. 

Friend prevailed 72-41 behind hot shooting nights from Breckan Schluter, Spencer Eberspacher and Mason Vossler. The three combined for 46 of the Bulldogs' 72 points. 

Exeter-Milligan was paces by the 14 points of Draven Payne.

Friend jumped out early in the opening minutes of the quarters. The Bulldogs started the game on a 12-0 run, began the second period on a 7-2 run and the third quarter opened with an 8-2 run by Friend. 

In its two subdistrict games, the Bulldogs outscored their opponents by a combined score of 140-60 with Thursday's result and a 68-19 win Tuesday over Meridian in the subdistrict semifinals. 

With the win, the Bulldogs earn an automatic bid to the Class D2 district finals. Due to weather in northern Nebraska causing postponements of other subdistrict title games, Friend will not learn its opponent for the next round until either Friday night or Saturday morning (Feb. 24-25). 

The boys basketball district finals will then be played either Monday, Feb. 27, or Tuesday, Feb. 28. 


B-1 - Norris 63, Crete 61 (2OT)

C1-1 - Auburn 43, Syracuse 19

C2-1 - Freeman 39, Tri County 35

C2-10 - Hastings St. Cecilia 29, Thayer Central 27

D1-1 - Johnson-Brock 68, Pawnee City 43

D1-3 - McCool Junction 56, BDS 43

D2-1 - Falls City Sacred Heart 74, Diller-Odell 32