GRAND ISLAND — Kenesaw head coach Jack Einrem knew the type of challenge his team had in the Class D-1, district 2 final.
The Blue Devils' stout defense, which was allowing just 37.7 points per game, had to be at its best against a High Plains Community squad that averages nearly 70 points with quick and tall shooters up and down the roster.
The Storm, who had no shot at a wild-card berth, did just enough to outlast the Blue Devils in a 62-57 win Tuesday night at Grand Island Central Catholic.
Kenesaw lost it first game of the season, but its season isn't over — the Blue Devils (23-1) received one of the wild-card berths in Class D-1.
"(High Plains) had to (win). You know, they've been there before, and they know what it's all about. They have the experience," Einrem said. "We played pretty well, but we just missed some shots. The coaches, we talked before the game and knew that would be the difference in the game."
Despite the loss, Kenesaw will be the No. 5 seed in the opening round of the Class D-1 state tournament and will play fourth-seeded Burwell (24-2) March 7 at 8:45 p.m. at Lincoln North Star.