Siouxland squads play for their championship hopes on day 3 of the Nebraska Girls State Basketball Tournament

Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 11:25 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KTIV) - Friday was day 3 of Nebraska girls’ state basketball in Lincoln. 6 Siouxland teams were still in action looking to punch their tickets to the state championship.

First game of the day was the Hartington Cedar Catholic Trojans taking on the Centuria Centurians. It was close throughout the first half, but a second half surge from Centuria was too much for the Trojans as they fell 65 to 45. Trojans Head Coach Craig Wortmann spoke after the game about his team and the effort they have shown all year.

“These girls, we’ve been to sate a lot of times in a row, and these seniors for sure have been here all 4 years,” said Wortmann. “They work hard all the time, practice and in the off season they are battling through and that’s why the tears come out at the end, because they’re struggling and working through as much as they can to get to that point.”

The Trojans will now play Ravenna in the third-place game.

Next up was an all Siouxland match up with the Crofton Warriors taking on the Oakland-Craig Knights. Pace was the name of the game early with both teams getting buckets out in transition. However, it was the Knights who would come out on top, winning this one 58 to 39. They’ll now be headed to the Class C2 state championship. Senior Sadie Nelson was overcome by emotion as she talked about how much this win means for her and the Knight program.

“I’ve lost so many times in the semi’s, my sister and I have never made it before, and it’s just the best team to be on with my twin sister our senior year,” said Nelson. “It’s just nothing I can explain. Our team is just so special, so amazing, our chemistry is always there, it is perfect, and of course, defense wins games, defense wins championships.”

The Knights will play on Saturday at 4:15 with the hardware on the line.

The team they face would be decided in the next game of the day: an all Siouxland matchup between Pender and Guardian Angels Central Catholic. The Pendragons would come out hot and would never let up, winning 54 to 41. Sophomore Maya Dolliver had a huge game with 24 points and led the way for the Pendragons as they will now advance to the class C2 championship. Since the start of the year every team’s goal is to be in this position, and Pender has made it a reality.

“We’ve been talking about playing at Pinnacle Bank Arena since the first day of practice, even before that in the fall season, and we wanted to make that dream come true,” said Dolliver. “So, we’ve been talking about it, we’ve been working for it, and we’re ready and now we’re going.”

Semifinal action was capped off Friday night with the Wynot Blue Devils taking on the Shelton Bulldogs. Wynot would grab ahold of the lead early and never let it up, and would go on to win 43 to 36, advancing to the Class D2 championship, and after the game senior Lauren Haberman shared her thoughts about the battle.

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” said Haberman. “I mean, we worked together as a team, we knew that they were going to be a strong team. And they’re big girls. We knew we had to rebound, and we got it done.”