Inside The Matchups: Thursday’s State Girls Basketball Semifinals


D2, D1, C2

Thursday’s girls basketball semifinals tip off at 9 a.m. with the Class D2 semi’s followed by D1 and C2. Here is what to look for in each of Thursday’s semifinal games.

Class D2

Humphrey St. Francis (23-0) vs Mullen 25-2), 9 a.m., Pinnacle Bank Arena

St. Francis is looking to make it to their third state final in four years. Nebraska signee Allison Weidner is the unquestioned leader for the Flyers. She scored 19 in the Flyers 73-41 quarterfinal win over Sterling. Prior to the tournament she led the team in scoring (25.8), rebounding (6.8), assists (6.5) and steals (6.5). Junior forward Kaylee Stircklin led the team with 21 points on Wednesday.

Mullen’s unquestioned leader is Samantha Moore. The UNK signee had 16 in a 53-30 quarterfinal win over Exeter-Milligan. Junior forward Taylor Svoboda scored 16 in the Wednesday win and came into the tournament averaging 11.3 per game.

Can Mullen control the pace enough to slow down the Flyers and come away with the win is the biggest question. St. Francis have scored over 80 points in four games this season.

Falls City Sacred Heart (25-2) vs Wynot (20-6), 11:15 a.m., Pinnacle Bank Arena

The perennial powers meet again in the state tournament. Wynot is looking for a 3-peat and Sacred Heart is hoping to get back to a final for the fourth time in five seasons.

Sacred Heart is led by forward Erison Vonderschmidt. The junior scored 14 points and hauled in 10 rebounds in the 42-31 Irish win over Maywood-Hayes Center on Wednesday. Wynot junior forward Karley Heimes had 16 points and 10 rebounds in the Blue Devils 49-39 win over Chambers/Wheeler Central.

Class D1

Pleasanton (26-1) vs Archbishop Bergan (16-9), 1:30 p.m. Pinnacle Bank Arena

Pleasanton is looking to repeat as champions in 2021 and pull off the volleyball-basketball double. The Bulldogs only loss came to C1 Adams Central on Jan. 9. Coming into the tournament four players were averaging double figures led by senior guard Kaci Pierce (12.4).

Bergan lost to Pleasanton in the final last season after winning the title in 2019. Senior wing Lauren Baker leads the Knights in scoring at 17 points per game and is playing in her fourth state tournament.

Weeping Water (22-5) vs Hartington Cedar Catholic 19-7), 4 p.m. Pinnacle Bank Arena

Led by Omaha signee Grace Cave, Weeping Water is looking to make the first state championship game in school history. Cave, a senior guard led the Indians with 26 points in their 55-45 quarterfinal win over Bruning-Davenport/Shickley.

Senior guard Brynn Wortmann leads Cedar Catholic in scoring (16.6) and had 11 of her game-high 19 in the Trojans 46-37 quarterfinal win over South Platte.

Which lead guard can stay out of foul trouble and get their teammates involved the most while continuing to score themselves will be the key.

Class C2

Crofton (24-3) vs Bridgeport (24-3), 6:15 p.m., Pinnacle Bank Arena

Crofton is looking to make their 11th title game since 2000 and first state title in five years. Senior Lacey Sparkel came into the tournament averaging 17.5 points and 6.4 rebounds. In the Warriors 62-37 quarterfinal win over Centennial Sparkel and junior guard Alexis Folkers had a team-high 15.

Bridgeport’s most recent tournament appearance was in 2010. The Bulldogs are led by sisters Ruthie and Olivia Loomis-Goltl. Ruthie, a 6-2 sophomore center came into the tournament leading the Bulldogs in scoring (20) and rebounding (8.1). Olivia is second on the team in scoring (17.8) and rebounding (6.8).

Will tradition and a winning culture win out or will the bright lights be too much for the young but talented Bulldogs?

BRLD (21-4) vs Ponca (20-4), 8:30 p.m., Pinnacle Bank Arena 

The No. 7 seed Wolverines have won 14 straight after their 56-41 quarterfinal win over Wood River. Prior to the state tournament, 6-2 junior Jordan Snyder led BRLD in scoring (14.1) and rebounding (7.1).

Ponca is led by Sophomore’s Samantha Ehlers (12 ppg) and Ashlyn Kingsbury (11.9).

The post matchup between Snyder and Ehlers will be one to watch.

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