Iowa vs. Nebraska, 01.27.2018

Nebraska guard James Palmer Jr. flexes to the crowd after scoring during Saturday's home game against Iowa.

Kayla Wolf, Lincoln Journal Star

Don’t look now, but a couple of basketball teams in Lincoln are putting on their dancing shoes and beginning to do a few stretches.

The Nebraska men’s and women’s basketball teams are hot and making strides toward high Big 10 Conference finishes and shots at going to their respective “big dances” in March.

The women battered No. 25 Iowa on the road last weekend to move into third place with a 7-2 conference record and 16-6 record overall. After sitting at 4-3 following the month of November, the Husker women have bolted to a 12-3 mark in their past 15 games. Coach Amy Williams’ first squad went 7-22 last year with a 3-13 conference record, but the team has rebounded quite nicely in Year 2.

The Nebraska men’s team is loaded with talent. The biggest concern coach Tim Miles had going into the season was putting all the pieces of the puzzle in the right places and waiting for the team chemistry to come together. After their 98-84 romp past Iowa on Saturday, the Huskers are 7-4 in the Big 10, which is good enough for fourth place, a half-game ahead of Michigan. The Huskers are 16-8 overall and need to have a strong run down the stretch and a decent showing in the conference tournament to punch their dance ticket. Four of their final games are in Lincoln and the Huskers are more than capable of winning all seven of those games.

It will be very interesting to see if one, or both, of the squads can do a bit of dancing in March.

SCHS wrestling

The Schuyler Central High School wrestling team continues to march toward a strong end-of-the-season run.

After another strong performance and third-place finish at Saturday’s Raymond Central Invite, the squad prepares for the Central Conference Tournament this weekend in Aurora. Lakeview, York and Grand Island Northwest will all figure to give the Warriors a good battle for the team title.

The formula for invitational success this year for Schuyler has been to not depend on several individual champions, but to bank on one or two of those performances each meet surrounded by eight to 10 other wrestlers finishing with second- through sixth-place medals. The quality of depth has been evident all season long and coach Jeremy Hlavac has used that depth to develop another outstanding squad.

The thing to remember is this is also a very young team. Most of the varsity wrestlers will be returning for at least one more season of competition. A solid conclusion to this season is a real possibility, more of a probability. Good luck to the grapplers this weekend at the conference meet.

High school football

The NSAA will be releasing its high school football schedules in the middle of February.

This will be a very strange season for Class B district and season schedules. There has been major shuffling in classification changes with several schools moving from Class B to Class A and others moving from Class B to Class C-1.

What does this mean for Schuyler Central? There will only be 22 Class B teams during the 2018 football season. Sixteen of those teams qualify for the state playoffs. That means only six Class B teams will not qualify for the postseason.

Again, it will be very interesting to see how all of the scheduling shakes out. We will know more after Valentine’s Day.

Just for giggles: Philadelphia 28 – New England 24

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