First round games in Classes C-2 to D-2 were played on Wednesday at three sites across Lincoln. Here are quick recaps of all the games that set up Thursday’s semifinals at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Recap assistance provided by Striv Academy students Jon Willis (Millard West) and Nathan Ladehoff (Sutton).
Crofton 62, Centennial 37
Top-ranked Crofton got off to a hot start with a 10-2 in the first five minutes of their game against 8th-seeded Centennial and never looked back in cruising to a 62-37 win over the Broncos.
In gaining leads of 30-14 at the half and 47-24 after three quarters, coach Aaron Losing’s team three players in double figures lead by Lacey Sprakel and Alexis Folkers with 15 points each. Ella Wragge added 12 points for Crofton which takes 24-3 record to Thursday’s 6:15 p.m semifinal against Bridgeport.
Kate Hirschfeld had 13 points to lead Centennial, who made their first state appearance since 1999. The Broncos finished 23-3.
Bridgeport 66, Lourdes Central Catholic 48
Bridgeport made the most of their long trek to Lincoln winning their first game here since 1989 as they controlled the the final three quarters against Nebraska City Lourdes in their 66-48 win.
Four Bulldogs were in double figures as Olivia Loomis-Goltl and Brooklynn Mohrman each scored 16 points, while Ruthie Loomis-Goltl had 14 and Sydney Nein had 10. Leading 46-37 after three quarters, Bridgeport outscored Lourdes 20-11 in the final frame.
The Knights’ Aspen Meyer led all scorers with 17 points. Lourdes finished the season 20-5.
BRLD 62, Wood River 41
Caragan Tietz scored 18 points as the Wolverines advanced to Thursday’s late semifinal with a 62-41 win over Wood River.
With the Eagles making their first trip to state since 1990, they got 16 of Boston Boucher’s 19 points in the first half as BRLD led 26-22. But, the Wolverines then controlled the second half outscoring the Eagles 36-19.
Alyssa Buchholz added 16 and Jordan Snyder had 13 for BRLD. Kiernan Paulk added 14 for the Eagles which finished 24-3.
Ponca 59, Guardian Angels Central Catholic 45
Ponca gave the Class C-2 semifinals a significant northeast Nebraska flair in earning a rematch with BRLD on Thursday night. The Indians lost to BRLD 63-53 on January 16th.
Against GACC, the Indians had eight players score, including six in a decisive 22-6 second quarter when they took control of the contest. Samantha Ehlers led the way with 14 points, while Gracen Evans had 12 for Ponca (20-4).
The Bluejays, playing without leading scorer Brenna Rief, got 10 points from Isabel Hass and finished the season 23-4.
Pleasanton 52, Elmwood-Murdock 32
The defending champion Pleasanton Bulldogs wasted little time taking control of their quarterfinal with Elmwood-Murdock as they jumped to a 17-4 first quarter lead behind seven points from senior Katie Lindner. E-M cut the lead to six the second quarter, but the Bulldogs still led 29-18 at the half and then 44-24 after three quarters.
Kaci Pierce led Pleasanton with 14 points, while Lidner added 10. Jayden Halferty (15) and Alexis Bacon (14) combined for 29 of the Knights 32 points.
Pleasanton will play Bergan in a 2020 state finals rematch on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Elmwood-Murcock finished the season 12-12.
Fremont Bergan 50, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 42
The Bergan-Pleasanton rivalry will continue in Thursday’s semifinals after the Knights got a 50-42 win over HLHF in the D-1 opening round. The teams met in last year’s state final and this fall in the state volleyball championship game, both won by Pleasanton.
Trailing 9-8 after the opening frame, the Knights took a 25-16 halftime lead as five players scored in a 17-7 second quarter. Senior Lauren Baker had 21 points and the Knights kept the Bulldogs far enough away with a 20-for-26 performance from the free throw line.
Kaitlyn Mlnarik added 10 points for Bergan, while Laci Frauendorfer scored 16 points for the Bulldogs, who finished the season 19-5.
Weeping Water 55, Bruning-Davenport/Shickley 45
Omaha recruit Grace Cave and Karley Ridge filled the scorebook for Weeping Water in their 55-45 win over BDS on Wednesday afternoon. Cave scored 26 points — 11 in a decisive second quarter — as the Indians built a 19-point lead after 24 minutes.
Ridge added 16 points for the second-ranked team in Class D-1. Macy Kamler had 23 points for BDS, which made a fourth straight state tournament appearance and finished the season 18-8.
Hartington Cedar Catholic 46, South Platte 37
The Trojans got out to a 21-14 halftime lead over South Platte and held the lead in the second half to earn a semifinal date with Weeping Water.
Brynn Wortmann scored all 11 Trojan points in the first quarter and 19 in the game as HCC moved to 19-7 on the season. Brooklyn Kuehn added 14 points for the Trojans.
Autumn Dickmander and Lauryn Stanley had nine points for the Knights, who finished the season 20-3.
Humphrey St. Francis 73, Sterling 41
The top-ranked Flyers looked the part on Wednesday as they sprinted to leads of 25-8 after the opening quarter and 43-16 at the half in clamping down on Sterling 73-41.
Nebraska recruit Allison Wiedner had 19 points and Kaycee Spriklin had 21 for the Flyers who moved to 23-0 on the season. Sterling got 15 points from Macy Richardson and 14 from Katy Boldt as they finished the season 15-8.
Mullen 53, Exeter-Milligan 30
Mullen earned a 2020 semifinal rematch with St. Francis with a dominating 53-30 win that turned late in the second quarter. Leading 21-19, the Broncos scored four quick points in the last 20 seconds before building a 41-26 third quarter advantage.
Nebraska-Kearney recruit Samantha Moore scored 16 points, as did teammate Taylor Svoboda for Broncos. Brooke McCauley added 10. Jaiden Papik had seven points for the Timberwolves who scored just 11 points after the break. E-M finished the season 23-5.
Falls City Sacred Heart 42, Maywood-Hayes Center 31
The Irish also earned a 2020 semifinal rematch with defending champion Wynot with a 42-31 defensive victory over Maywood-Hayes Center. Leading 20-16 at the half, the Irish held MHC without a field goal and just four free throws in the third quarter to take control of the game.
Erison Vonderschmidt and Rachael Magdanz each had 14 points for the 25-2 Irish. The Wolves got a game-high 19 points from Jaycee Weidner, while they finished the season 24-3 after also advancing to the state semifinals this fall in volleyball. FCSH and Wynot will meet in the 11:15 a.m. semifinal on Thursday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Wynot 49, Chambers/Wheeler Central 39
Defending champion Wynot handed CWC just their second loss off the season in a defensive-minded 49-39 win.
Trailing 16-14 midway through the second quarter, the Blue Devils finished the first half on an 11-3 run to lead 25-19 at the half and the Broncos never fully recovered. Karley Heimes had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Wynot (20-6).
Morgan Ramsey led CWC with 16 points as the Renegades finished the season 23-2.