Girls hoops champions crowned
State championship games were played on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
MILLARD NORTH 62, LINCOLN SOUTHWEST 43: Millard North won its first girls basketball state championship thanks to 31 points from Senior Lauren West in the final.
West recorded a double-double in the game, grabbing 12 rebounds. Millard North went on a 23-6 run in the second quarter to take control. The Mustangs’ lead was 16 at the break. The Silver Hawks cut the deficit to seven during the second half but weren’t able to come any closer.
Millard North went 16-1 during the last 17 games on the season.
“Just so proud of the team,” Diehl told to the Lincoln Journal Star. “It’s crazy to think of the journey that you go on. The grind never ends, and it’s just crazy that it ends in your goal.”
GRAND ISLAND NORTHWEST 49, CRETE 43: Northwest won its fourth state championship and first since 2014. The victory came after a momentous comeback in the semifinals against Waverly.
Waverly led 22-6 early in the second quarter before Northwest overcame the odds in a stunning comeback.
Junior Whitney Brown led the Vikings with 23 points.
Brown and three other Viking starters played all 32 minutes of the championship game after playing back-to-back games Thursday and Friday. Lauren Hauser scored 10 points and had five rebounds.
WAHOO NEUMANN 45, LINCOLN CHRISTIAN 29: It took Neumann nine years to win another state title after winning back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010, but the Cavaliers won their third state title on Saturday.
The Crusaders trailed 15-13 after a slow first half then tied the game with a driving layup to open the third quarter. Neumann answered on a 13-3 run to take control. The Cavaliers sealed the victory by going 12-for-14 at the free-throw line in the final period.
Hastings St. Cecilia 63, Crofton 45: Hastings St. Cecilia captured the school’s fifth state title in girls basketball.
The Bluehawks had three players score in double digits - junior Makenna Asher scored 18, senior Lexi Vertin added 17 and junior Thomas Tori tallied 11.
Tori recorded a double-double grabbing 12 rebounds.
Crofton closed a 17-point Hawkette lead to 49-45 with 4:20 left, but St. Cecilia scored the final 14 points.
Crofton, which counted on sophomore Lacey Sprakel for 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots, missed its final 10 shots and lost three turnovers after cutting the lead to four points.
FREMONT BERGAN 36, DUNDY COUNTY-STRATTON 27: Archbishop Bergan won its first-ever girls basketball state championship in only its fifth appearance at the state tournament.
Senior Haley Kempf led the Knights in points with 17 while classmate Allison Dieckmann added 10.
This game also set the record for the lowest scoring game in D-1 state championship history.
Began was down 27-25, but scored 11 unanswered.
This state championship comes after Archbishop Bergan also won a state championship in volleyball earlier this season. The volleyball title was also a school first for the Knights.
WYNOT 39, FALLS CITY SACRED HEART 38: Wynot’s dynasty continued as the team won its seventh state title and sixth in nine years.
The Blue Devils have been to the state championship game eight of the last nine years.
Wynot held a 30-16 lead in the third quarter and held on for the victory in a wild finish.
Karley Heimes led three Wynot players in double figures with 11 points. Katelyn Heine and Shaelee Planer each had 10.