CRETE, NE — The Crete Cardinals brought a five-year state tournament berth drought to an end Tuesday night on its home floor. 

Crete defeated the Waverly Vikings 60-41 in the B-5 district final. With the win the Cardinals advance to their first state tournament since 2018. 

The Cardinals jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead behind two buckets from Mason Crumbliss before Waverly jumped in with back-to-back two-pointers of its own. 

From there, the first quarter was back-and-forth as Crete led 14-12 heading to the second quarter. 

Waverly kept things close in the second, but the Cardinals held a slim 18-17 lead part way through the period. Crete closed things out strong, expanding its lead to 28-22 at the break. 

The two squads traded blows in the third quarter where Waverly battled to tie it, but again Crete ended the period strong and led 43-37 heading to the fourth. 

Crete then dominated the fourth quarter outscoring Waverly 17-4 in the frame to take the win. 

The Cardinals advance to the boys state basketball tournament for the 45th time in program history. That is the sixth-most all-time in Nebraska trailing Hastings (59), Lincoln High (57), Creighton Prep (56), Norfolk (50) and Omaha Central (48). 

Waverly's season ends at 12-11. The Vikings were denied a third consecutive trip to Lincoln with the loss. 


Aidan McDowell - 19, Ben Ehlers - 14, Jabin Gardiner - 11, Mason Crumbliss - 10, Trace Egge - 6

Preston Harms - 12, AJ Heffelfinger - 12, Sam Schernikau - 7, Cooper Skrobecke - 4, Carter Gullion - 3, Kalev Allick - 2, Keaton Rine - 1


Crete       14  14  15  17 - 60

Waverly  12  10  15  4  -  41