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Luke Christen and Mullen named NTV's Athlete and Team of the Week

Mullen with a state basketball history dating back to 1919 and the Bronco boys had only two state victories to their credit.

Until 2017.

Mullen rattled off three straight wins to capture the D2 state championship.

Hello, Nebraska.

"It's still sinking in," said senior Lance Moore.

The Bronco trifecta coming by almost the slimmest margin possible, a total of four points.

"It's crazy to only win by one, and then two, and then one again," Moore said.

"We knew our first game was a tough draw, and we knew if we won that game, we were in for the real deal."

Mullen opening with a 45-44 victory over Humphrey St. Francis. Senior Luke Christen had a chance to pad the Bronco lead but missed two free throws before the Flyers last gasp was off the mark.

From there, Christen lived up to his nickname, "Mr. Clutch", as he's known in the sandhills of Nebraska.

Against the top-seeded Chargers of Riverside, Christen got the call when there was only four seconds left on the clock.

"Earlier in the year, we've had that same play. It's called box," said Christen. "It was going through everyone's mind that was going to be the play."

Calm, cool, and collected, Christen came up with the game-winning bucket and sent Mullen to its first ever title bout.

In the state championship, the Broncos held their first healthy lead of the tournament, up 19-10 late in the second quarter. Yet Mead was able to rally back and actually claim the lead, 28-27, with :16 to play.

Mullen had the ball underneath the hoop on an inbounds play and 9.5 on the clock. Moore flipped it in almost immediately and Christen stepped into the paint with a baby hook catching nothing but the bottom of the net.

"It was open, it was there, and luckily I could put it in the hoop," Christen sheepishly said. A surprising reaction for someone with ice in his veins and celebrating his birthday at the same time.

"It's amazing to be a part of that legacy and be the first team in history to win the state title," senior Brode McIntosh says. "You can tell around town the state title has really put a good mood on everybody."

The books were re-written by this group.

They had plenty of time to reflect on the next wave of history during their five-hour bus ride back from Lincoln.

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