Nebraska Girls Basketball Showcase: GICC Upsets NBC, AC Tops Bridgeport, 5 Stars


The first non-Covid Nebraska Girls Basketball Showcase. Teams from across the state made their way to Kearney for the eight game slate of games. It was a day filled with an all-women’s referee crew, dance teams and a day to celebrate girls basketball.


Class D-2 Anselmo-Merna 53, Cross County 52 (OT): The Coyotes overcame a 45-39 deficit in the final 2 ½ minutes to force overtime. Jaide Chandler scored six of her 25 points in the extra session for A-M as they moved to 8-4 on the season. Shaylyn Safranek added 15 points for A-M, while Chloe Sandall had 14 points and seven rebounds for Cross County. 

Class D-2 No. 5 Maywood-Hayes Center 33, Blue Hill 30: The Wolves jumped to a 13-3 first quarter lead but then went cold against the Bobcats zone. Blue Hill led 24-23 to the final frame but Olivia Hansen got a 3-point basket that gave MHC the lead and then held on. Hansen and Stevie Handsacker each had 10 for the Wolves. Abigail Meyer had seven points and 11 rebounds for Blue Hill. 

Class C-2, No. 9 Clarkson/Leigh 47, Northwest 36: After jumping to a 19-12 first quarter lead, Northwest was shut down the rest of the game by a stifling Patriot man defense. Despite leading 25-23 at the half, the Vikings managed just two second half field goals and were just 11-for-20 from the line. Meanwhile, the Pats got 21 points each from sophomore Chloe Hanel and senior Kennedy Settje to move to 9-3. 

Class B, No. 5 Adams Central 50, Class C-2, No. 2 Bridgeport 46: After an up and down first half that saw Bridgeport lead 29-25, the Patriots locked in on defense. AC allowed just five second half field goals and successfully navigated the Bulldog press for a 50-46 win. After Olivia Loomis-Goltl scored 13 points in the first half, Libby Trausch held her to just four in the second half which changed the tone of the game. Rachel Goodon had 14 for AC and Trausch added 11. Ruthie Loomis-Goltl had 16 for the Bulldogs who suffered their first loss of the season. 

Class C-1, No. 7 Broken Bow 53, Auburn 48: Broken Bow used a 19-9 third quarter to build a 44-32 lead but had to hold off Auburn in the fifth game of the day. Kailyn Scott scored 11 of her 17 points in the second half while twin sister Kya added nine. Melody Billings scored 21 for Auburn to lead all scorers as she got her squad within four points in the final minute.

Class C-2, No. 10 Oakland-Craig 55, Class B, No. 9 Sidney 42: Oakland-Craig got off to a quick start and Sidney never led in the Knights 55-42 win. O-C led 29-21 at the break and extended the lead to 44-30 after three quarters. Twin sisters Sadie (17) and Chaney (16) Nelson led the Knights while Rheagan Stanley had 10 for the Red Raiders who lost for just the second time this season. 

Class C-1 (RV) GICC 45, Class C-1, No. 1 North Bend Central 37: The Crusaders fell out of the coaches poll following a holiday tournament loss. They should re-enter with an emphatic week that saw them beat Northwest, Kearney Catholic and — on Saturday — top-ranked and two-time defending champion North Bend Central, 45-37. Jenna Heidelk scored 10 fourth quarter points, and 14 total for the Crusaders. Gracie Woods added a 10-point, 10-rebound double double for the winners. Sydney Emmanuel scored 15 for the Tigers.

Class A Kearney 39, Class B, No. 4 York 32: In a game dominated by defense, the Bearcats got just enough offense to keep the Dukes at bay. In a difference making second quarter, Kearney outscored York 11-4 to lead 22-15 at the half and the Dukes could never catch back up. Kierstynn Garner scored 13 points — seven in the second — and Tatum Rusher had 10 points all the second half. Masa Scheierman scored 13 for York. 

RISING STAR: Clarkson/Leigh sophomore Chloe Hunel goes to the basket against Nrothwest. Hunel had 21 points in a 47-36 win. (nebpreps photo / Dante Boelhower)

Five Stars

Her team didn’t win the game but North Bend Central’s Kaitlyn Emanuel showed why she is getting some significant buzz in the recruiting world. The 6-foot junior isn’t used to seeing the size that GICC possesses but a double-double and five steals with four very different defenders thrown at her certainly proved that size and length at the next level wont bother her.

There has been a lot of buzz in-state about the Loomis-Gotl sisters from Bridgeport after the multiple Division I including power conference scholarship offers in 2021. Olivia, the 5-10 sophomore guard had a strong game, albeit in a loss, that certainly translates as either a point or off guard at the next level. Her strength and ability to handle the ball under pressure while make quick decisions was on display.

Clarkson/Leigh sophomore guard Chloe Hanel is an unfamiliar name to most in the state. After Saturday she should be at least on the radar of girls basketball observers and even next level recruiters. At 5-11, her speed, strength and athleticism is something that is very projectable as her game continues to grow.

Adams Central junior Rachel Goodon (6-3) knew she was going to have a tall task defensively against Bridgeport. She had a few even momentum changing blocked shots in the paint while grabbing a game-high nine rebounds to go with her 14 points in the Patriots win.

Jaide Chandler was dominant in the scoring column for Anselm0-Merna. The 5-11 senior’s game-high 25 points set the event record for individual scoring.

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