They are finally here.
After a successful first two attempts at the Nebraska Girls Basketball Showcase, event director and Broken Bow girls head coach Kelly Cooksley has announced the matchups for the 2023 event to be held again at Kearney High School.
“I am extremely excited to announce the 2023 Showcase schedule,” Cooksley said. “This will be the biggest and best year yet. We feel the 2023 event has something for everyone and teams from all corners of the state.”
For the first time it will also feature a team from out of state as Olathe North from Kansas City will make the trip to play 2022 Class A semifinalist Millard South. Olathe North advanced to the semifinals of the Kansas Class 6A tournament last March and finished 23-2. They will face off in game six at 5:10 PM.
The Patriots return four starters and three double figure scorers — Mya Babbitt, Khloe Lemon and Cora Olsen — from last season’s 27-1 team that lost to Lincoln Southwest in the state semifinals. Olathe North has leading scorer Tyriana Stanford back for 2023.
“We are excited to feature 6A Kansas powerhouse Olathe North as our first out of state team to come to the Showcase,” Cooksley said. “I am thrilled with the line up and happy it represents the state as a whole with some Division 1 talent, small school versus big school matchups and many 2022 state tournament teams.”
Here are all the matchups and games times with 2022 records.
Game One | 8:50 AM | Elgin Public/Pope John (17-6) vs. Alma (19-5): Two teams that advanced to the district final round would both appear to have the pieces to contend for a state tournament trip in 2023. Alma returns their two leading scorers Addison Neal and Addison Siebels, while the Wolfpack had just one senior on their 2022 roster and leading scorer Keyera Eisenhauser returns.
Game Two | 10:30 AM | Amherst (19-7) vs. O’Neill St. Mary’s (20-7): Amherst won the Fort Kearney Conference title in 2022, and lost to state qualifier Sutton in the district final while St. Mary’s lost to Humphrey St. Francis in the Class D-2 semifinals in Lincoln. Hannah Herrick averaged 20 points per game for the Broncos, while St. Mary’s has top scorer Mya Hedstrom returning.
Game Three| 12:10 PM | Shelton (27-2) vs. Grand Island Central Catholic (22-6): Class D-1 finalist Shelton had just one senior on their roster in 2021-22 and bring back six players that averaged at least six points per contest including leading score Makenna Willis. They move up to play Class C-1 semifinalist GICC, which returns two of the top posts in the class in Lucy Ghaifan and Northwest Missouri State volleyball recruit Gracie Woods.
Game Four| 1:50 PM | Broken Bow (22-5) vs. Beatrice (16-6): Two more state qualifiers in game four as both teams lost in the first round in Lincoln in March. The Indians will break in a new lineup having graduated five seniors, MaKinely Tobey (6.4 points) the leading returner. The Lady Orange will have leading scorer Addison Hatcliff (9.8 points) returning.
Game Five| 3:30 PM | Malcolm (22-5) vs. Bridgeport (26-2): In a game loaded with talent C-1 qualifier Malcolm will take on C-2 finalist Bridgeport. The Clippers bring back core group of to-be seniors — Alyssa Fortik, Diamond Sedlak and Emma Brown — that combined for 33 points last season. The Bulldogs bring back the talented sister act of Ruthie and Olivia Loomis-Goltl as well as double-figure scorer Brooklyn Mohrman. Ruthie just committed to Colorado on Wednesday.
COMMITTED! #gobuffs pic.twitter.com/mhkcpc7mWs
— Ruthie Loomis-Goltl (@ruthie_lg) April 28, 2022
Game Seven| 6:50 PM | Milford (15-9) vs. Pender (20-7): Milford loses just one senior off a district final team that lost to Gothenburg in the district final led by returning all-conference players Ayla Roth and Tanya Miller. Pender brings back their top-two scorers — Maya Dolliver and Avery Wegner — from a squad that lost to Ponca in the district final.
Game Eight| 8:30 PM | Elkhorn North (26-1) at Kearney (13-11): Two-time defending Class B state champions Elkhorn North brings the top player in the state — Britt Prince — and two new starters as they are on a journey for a third title in three years. Prince, who has over 20 Division 1 offers, scored 24.2 points per game last season. Leading scorer Tatum Rusher (12.9 points per game) returns for new Kearney coach JD Carson.