Three games, each time the Chargers narrowing the gap.
But even when it looked like Riverside had finally bested their conference rival in Friday’s state tournament semifinal, the Flyers found a way to crush Charger hopes in the end.
After losing 66-56 and 50-42 decisions to St. Francis during the 2015-16 regular season, Riley Swerczek’s 3-point field goal in the waning seconds appeared to have finally boosted Riverside over the Flyers at Lincoln’s Bob Devaney Sports Center. A 39-37 Riverside lead – 12 more seconds and the Chargers would play for a D2 state championship.
Eventual champion St. Francis dashed those hopes seven seconds later. Kyle Wemoff splashed his own corner 3-pointer for a 40-39 stunner, sending HSF to the tourney final, where the Flyers would knock off #1 Mead 33-31.
The excruciating loss sent disappointed Riverside to Saturday’s D2 consolation contest. The Chargers blasted Parkview Christian 68-49 to claim third place for a second straight year, but Riverside players, coaches and fans will long remember Friday’s heartbreak and what might have been.
Even with that memory, Charger Coach Joe Imus also wants his team to remember the overall success of a terrific 23-4 season.
“The loss really stung for all of Riverside, but most kids never get the opportunity to play in a state semifinal and have the success that our kids got to experience,” Imus noted.
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