Buck's Beat

Some notes, items and thoughts while pondering the concept that your team just broke the school record but still finished seventh in the meet.

-- Kearney High tennis has already played its last home match of the season.

-- We all know how today will go in Lincoln: Andrew Bunch starts, and if all goes well, we will see Matt Masker in the fourth quarter. If it doesn’t go well, Adrian Martinez will drink a magical healing potion like Aaron Rodgers. He might have already taken a sip.

-- Buena Vista sophomore Eric Pacheco, a Kearney Catholic graduate, ranks second in NCAA Division III in receiving yards per game (219.5). He has 13 catches for 439 yards and five for touchdowns. He already has a pair of touchdown catches of 80 yards or longer. He also has a 63-yard punt return for a touchdown and ranks fourth in Division III in all-purpose yards per game (270.5).

-- Ohio University junior defensive lineman Brian Arp, a Kearney High graduate, had one solo and two assisted tackles in the Bobcats’ season-opening win over Howard. Today (Saturday) the Bobcats will play Virginia at Nashville, Tenn. The game was to be played at Charlottesville, Va., but was moved because of the hurricane.

-- Washburn setter Shayla Conner, a Kearney Catholic graduate, was named the MIAA Specialist of the Week. Conner had double-doubles in three of her four matches and finished the weekend averaging 30.5 assists and 13.25 digs per match. And, she had 10 kills and five ace serves. The undefeated Ichabods host No. 1-ranked and unbeaten UNK at 3 p.m. today.

-- Obviously the most surprising football team in the region is the Ravenna Bluejays. After going 1-24 the past three years, the Bluejays are off to a 3-0 start. That’s a nice way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the unbeaten, untied, unscored upon team of 1968. Now, the bad news. Because of its high enrollment (one of the five biggest Class C2 schools), the Bluejays are ineligible to compete in the state playoffs.

-- The MIAA has changed the format of the men’s and women’s basketball tournament, reverting to the format it used before the expansion five years ago. The number of teams that qualify for the tournament has been reduced from 12 to 10 and the first-round games at campus sites have been eliminated. All games will be played at Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium with the first games on Wednesday. The finals will still be played on Sunday. Eliminating the 11th and 12th seeds won’t shift the balance of power in the league. Not playing Monday- or Tuesday-night games on campus sites means teams will return home before going to Kansas City instead of playing a final regular-season road game then having to travel across the league footprint to play a couple days later.

buck.mahoney@kearneyhub.com

@HubSports_Buck

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