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Led by Jared Butler and the rest of their brilliant backcourt, a defense that refused to give Houston an inch, and a coach intent on making the most of his first trip to the Final Four, the Bears roared to a 78-59 victory Saturday night in their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament semifinals in 71 long years.

St. Francis appeared to be warming up the bus for another trip to the Northeast Conference women’s basketball championship game. The Red Flash had just taken an eight-point lead on a pair of Jenna Mastellone free throws 3:10 into the second half, and Wagner’s top player – all-NEC forward Emilija Krista Grava – was on the bench with three fouls.

For the second straight postseason game, Bedford, the No. 4 seed, pulled a rabbit out of its hat, this time stunning No. 1 Tyrone on the road after being down most of the game, 62-60, on Saturday night in District 5-6 Class 4A boys’ basketball semifinal action.