Pender girls crowned class C-2 state champions, Wynot and Oakland-Craig finish as state runner-ups

Published: Mar. 4, 2023 at 11:10 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KTIV) - Three Siouxland teams were still standing on championship day at the NSAA girls basketball state tournament.

It was an all Siouxland showdown for the Class C-2 state championship featuring Oakland-Craig and Pender. Then it was Wynot facing Falls City Sacred Heart for the Class D-2 state championship game.

Oakland-Craig and Pender battled it out for most of the game, but it was the Pendragons who came out on top in this one taking the win 45-42.

Pender head coach Jason Dolliver had faith in his players ability to weather the storm and contain the Knights late push.

“It’s an emotional roller coaster, so when it’s up, take it and ride, and when it’s down, don’t go down with it. Stay even keel, stick together, stay strong, support each other. And that’s exactly what we did today when it got tough,” said Jason Dolliver, Pender head coach.

Sophomore Guard Maya Dolliver led the Pendragons in scoring this season, and now she gets to share this championship with her friends, the community of Pender, and her family.

“There is 12 of us out on this team, and it just makes us all so close. Being in a little small town you hang out with these people every day and we just created this very strong bond that’s just crazy, and playing with my dad and my sister is just a dream come true,” said Maya Dolliver, Pender sophomore.

The Wynot Blue Devils started out slow over in the Class D-2 championship game, but they kicked it into gear at just the right time to make a late-game push. This one went down to the very last possession where Wynot launched a three at the buzzer for the win, however the ball bounced to give Falls City Sacred Heart the one-point win. Wynot falls 33-32 finishing their run as state runner-ups.

“They’re in such a great group of kids, you know, they fought so hard. I mean, you know, we graduated for starters last year and played all summer and worked hard at it and played tough schedule. If you look at our schedule, we played some of the top teams in C2 and D1, and so we had some losses this year, but we were in it every game and they didn’t lose faith and they never lost their focus,” said Steve Wieseler, Wynot head coach.