Nebraska girls’ squads battle in a jam-packed day 2 of state tournament action

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 11:31 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KTIV) - Thursday was a busy day down in Lincoln. 8 Siouxland teams battled it out throughout the day to see if they could survive and advance for a chance to win their class’s championship.

In the first game of the day, the Crofton Warriors took on the Cross County Cougars. The Warriors would win, 49 to 27. Junior Caitlin Guenther had a great game, and she knows her team is one step closer to their ultimate goal.

“Since the first day of practice our goal is to make it to state and obviously win some games down here,” said Guenther. “Every practice we’re going hard with each other and making each other better.”

Next up was an all Siouxland matchup with the Oakland-Craig Knights squaring off with the Ponca Indians. The Knights would win this one 36 to 22. Senior Chaney Nelson spoke after about how the Knights were able to maintain control throughout the game.

“We knew we were prepared; we knew going into every game that we’re going to have our runs and they are going to have their runs,” said Nelson. “Once they started to kind of pick it up, our coaches sat us down and said ‘listen, this is their run, now take back the game’ and so we just took a deep breath, and we took back our game and went on our own run.”

The Knights will now face Crofton on Friday with a trip to the state championship on the line.

Next game up was a battle between the Pender Pendragons and the Clarkson Leigh Patriots. The Pendragons would take this one 56 to 37, and junior forward Avery Wegner knew they could hold their own with their high-pressure defense.

“It all just came down to our defense,” said Wegner. “This whole week we’ve known the way to victory is good defense and in the first half the nerves got to us, in the second half we all just came together and knew that we had to shut them down with our defense.”

The next Siouxland team in action was the Guardian Angels Central Catholic Blue Jays taking on Southern Valley. The Blue Jays would take this one 67-46, and after the game, junior Kelsey Steffen was already focused on the next challenge: facing the Pender Pendragons in the semifinal round.

“We came out pretty strong against them the first time, but we ended up losing it by 3 points, which I think we are capable of coming back this time and maybe pulling it out,” said Steffen. “We’ll find out tomorrow.”

That game tips off at 3:15 pm Friday at Devaney.

One final matchup of the night contained 2 Siouxland teams as the O’Neil St. Mary’s Cardinals battled the Wynot Blue Devils.

The Blue Devils are the lower seed, but they sure didn’t play like it racing out to an early lead and never looking back. They would take this one 53-44. After the game senior Amber Lawson talked about the overall intensity out on the floor.

“Yeah, it was, we were really aggressive, both teams were and props to them because I haven’t seen many teams like that that we have played,” said Lawson. “But overall, it was an aggressive game.”

All these Siouxland teams will be in action Friday, with a trip to the state championship on the line.