Familiar Faces: St. Francis, Irish Advance to D-2 Final


Lincoln, Neb. — Familiar faces Humphrey St. Francis and Falls City Sacred Heart will meet in Saturday’s Class D-2 state championship after both teams gutted out semifinal wins. Both were rematches of the 2020 state tournament semifinals.

Humphrey St. Francis 65, Mullen 59

Top-ranked St. Francis (24-0) advanced to the finals for the second straight season — and third in four years — with a 65-59 win over Mullen, but had to score the last eight points of the game to do it.

After Shelby Welsh gave the Broncos a 59-58 lead with 1:04 left, the Flyers answered with an Alissa Kosch 3-point basket that gave them the lead for good.

The Flyers got out to a quick lead in the opening minutes and led by as much as 30-19 in the second quarter, before the Broncos battled their way back. They trailed 30-23 at the break and then took a 45-43 lead on a Samantha Moore 3-point basket midway through the third quarter.

It was back and forth after that, with Moore, Kosch and St. Francis, Nebraska pledge Allison Weidner doing most of the heavy lifting. Moore led the Broncos with 28, while Kosch had 28 and Weidner 31 for the Flyers. Taylor Svodoba added 10 points for Mullen (25-3).

SHE SAID IT: “Coming down to state you know it’s going to be a battle all the way through. You have to come prepared and know it’s going to be a dogfight. I think we did a great job under pressure and we didn’t crumble.” — St. Francis point guard Allison Weidner

BE COACHABLE: “She hit some huge shots, she had a big game. We have a lot of confidence in Alyssa. She is kind of our outside rock and boy she game through clutch today. She played solid as a rock and had a career game.” — St. Francis coach Bryan Reichmuth, on Alyssa Kosch’s 28-point performance

Falls City Sacred Heart’s Jessica Wertenberger (14) and Wynot’s Krystal Sudbeck battle for a loose ball on Thursday. (nebpreps photo / Marcus Scheer)

Falls City Sacred Heart 41, Wynot 27

The second-ranked Irish got defensive in turning back by defending champion Wynot, 41-27.

FCSH turned the tables quickly after trailing 17-15 at the half, locking down on the Blue Devils in the third quarter, and then held Wynot without a field goal for 7:13 in the fourth quarter as they cruised late.

Sacred Heart also survived a second quarter knee injury to starting point guard Rachel Magdanz, but sophomore guard DeLanie Witt was more than a capable replacement, as she scored nine points. Junior Erison Vonderschmidt led the way for FCSH (26-2) with 17 points and Olivia Eickhoff added 13.

Karley Heimes had nine points for Wynot (20-7) which will face Mullen in a 9:00 a.m consolation game on Friday. The D-2 final is set for Saturday at 3:45 p.m.

COACH SPEAK: “The old nemesis. Anytime you get down here, you know that you might see them. The prep isn’t that hard because we have seen each other so much (at state). It just comes down to can you handle that pressure.” — Sacred Heart coach Luke Santo

GOOD CHARITY: Sacred Heart made good from the line to keep Wynot just far enough away as well. They finished 17-for-25 from the free throw line, while the Blue Devils struggle to finish just 5-for-17.

Thursday At The Bank: C-2, D-1, D-2 Semifinal Photo Gallery

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