Not many nights at a high school basketball game do fans and coaches get to witness a player go off for more than 30 points.
Pair that stat line with a matchup between two top five ranked teams in the state and you just might have one the most entertaining games of the season in the entire state.
Thursday’s night Subdistrict C2-2 championship game between second-ranked Sutton and fifth-ranked Tri County presented both.
Tri County sophomore Cole Siems scored the third-highest total of his career, netting 32 points, 18 of which came in the fourth quarter on Thursday evening at Fairbury High School. Siems sank four 3-pointers in the final eight minutes of play.
While the scoring outburst was eye popping, Siems’ high-scoring night wasn’t quite enough for the Trojans to claim a subdistrict title. Sutton’s Garrett Nuss (15), Seth George (12), and Jordan Davis (10) each hit double digits in the scoring column, combining 39 points in Sutton’s 63-59 win.
“I think it was a really good high school basketball game. Two really talented teams, both ranked in the top five by the Lincoln Journal Star. And I think that shows we both deserve that ranking,” Tri County head coach Cory Jensen said.
The Trojans put the No. 2 team in Class C-2 on the ropes in the first quarter. Tri County surged to a 15-11 lead after one quarter of play, but the Mustangs responded, outscoring the Trojans 20-6 in the second quarter to take a 31-21 lead at the break.
“I don’t know what it was (why second quarter was bad). Throughout the year I mean generally our guys, second quarter is generally not the best. I think part of that is depth,” Jensen said.
Tri County made no substitutions in the game and despite the fact Jensen’s squad played arguably its best quarter in the final one.
Siems scored 18 of his team’s 20 points in the final frame. The sophomore’s point total in that time span was greater than the entire Sutton team as the Mustangs totaled 16 points in the final quarter.
Jensen noted his point guard’s aggressive and says whether it’s scoring or dishing the rock at a high rate, Siems can hurt an opponent in a variety of ways any given night.
“He always has that extra level he goes to. I mean he can get into the zone a lot. But sometimes he likes to distribute and get some assists,” Jensen said. “He likes to get other guys going and I guess he did his own little self-assessment where he figured this game was one where he needed to get going himself. He played really well. Him and Creighton were really aggressive. We just needed a couple of more buckets to fall.”
So what clinched the game for Sutton?
Efficient rebounding and knocking down their shots at the free throw line. 
Sutton’s 6-foot-4 standout guard, Davis, made 4-of-6 free throws attempts in the final quarter and George added a pair of free throws in the last frame to close out the game.
Sutton earned a three-seed in the Class C-2 District Finals with the win and they’ll play 14-seed Centura on Saturday.
Tri County will play Yutan in the C2-7 District Final on Monday at 7 p.m. at Norris Middle School Gym. Tri County is a 10-seed and Yutan is a seven-seed for the matchup.