Gators stifle Spartans despite late run

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Gators stifle Spartans despite late run

Spartan senior guard Connor Riekenberg drives past Gator junior guard Luke Juracek. The Spartans lost to the Gators 78-73.

Spartan senior guard Connor Riekenberg drives past Gator junior guard Luke Juracek. The Spartans lost to the Gators 78-73.

Photo by Luke Borgmann

Spartan senior guard Connor Riekenberg drives past Gator junior guard Luke Juracek. The Spartans lost to the Gators 78-73.

Photo by Luke Borgmann

Photo by Luke Borgmann

Spartan senior guard Connor Riekenberg drives past Gator junior guard Luke Juracek. The Spartans lost to the Gators 78-73.

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The seventh-ranked Lincoln East boys basketball team took on the unranked Lincoln North Star Gators on January 29 at Lincoln East High School.  This game was long awaited, as the game was delayed two weeks due to weather. “Having to wait hurt us a little bit, but the important preparation is right before the game,” said senior forward Wes Dreamer. “We kinda got off focus a little bit having to wait that two weeks.”  The Spartans started off slow, falling to a 22-11 deficit after the first quarter. The scoring drought continued throughout the second quarter, along with multiple turnovers, leaving the Spartans down 37-15 at halftime. But the second half told a completely different story, as East cut the Gator lead to 5 late in the fourth quarter.  Yet the late run by the Spartans was stopped short by strong performances from Gator upperclassmen, helping them to a 78-73 win. “I think we did alright in the second half. We did good in the fourth quarter,” said Dreamer. “We started picking it up a little bit, but it was still too late.” Gator junior and Husker recruit Donovan Williams started off strong, and finished with 26 points, while Gator junior Jared Lopez added 23.  East was led by senior guard Connor Riekenberg with 20, followed by 19 from Dreamer. East falls to 12-3 on the season, while North Star improves to 9-7 respectively. The Spartans will take on Omaha Burke (6-10) at Burke on Friday, February 1 at 5.