|Lady Broncos beat Paxton, punch ticket to Lincoln|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Wednesday, 05 March 2014 17:50|
Brooklyn Nordhausen looks to the basket following an offensive rebound. (Diane Stamm | Wauneta Breeze)
By Diane Stamm
The Wauneta Breeze
With a win over Paxton Friday night, the Wauneta-Palisade Lady Broncos will return to the State Basketball Tournament.
“It was a great atmosphere,” said WP coach Betsy Johanson, “Wallace does a great job of hosting, and we had a great crowd. It is so fun to play in front of our fans.”
WP built up a 31-14 halftime lead en route to the 55-34 win.
The Broncos got off on the right foot with a three-pointer by Brianna Einspahr on the team’s second possession. WP briefly trailed 3-4, but regained the lead with two Tailor Lee free throws.
Despite a second three-pointer by Einspahr and a bucket by Lee, Paxton stayed close. With two more free throws by Lee, WP led 12-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Einspahr and Lee continued to power the Broncos in the second quarter. Einspahr hit her third three-pointer early in the quarter and a two-pointer by Lee gave WP a 17-10 lead with six minutes before half time.
The Broncos used those six minutes wisely, going on a 14-2 run to end the half.
Hannah and Brooklyn Nordhausen each had putbacks for baskets and Abbie Fanning closed out the half by scoring nine points, including pushing the ball upcourt and banking in a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
WP increased its lead early in the half with baskets by Sydnee Harchelroad and B. Nordhausen.
But the Broncos cooled off over the next 4:30 minutes, only managing a free throw by Lee and a putback by B. Nordhausen, while Paxton put nine points on the board.
B. Nordhausen continued to work hard on the offensive boards, adding another rebound and putback to her total and keeping the WP lead at 15, 40-25, with eight minutes remaining.
Paxton was never able to get closer. WP scored six points on three straight possessions, thanks to a conventional three-point play by Lee off an offensive rebound, a basket by B. Nordhausen, followed by Lee making one-of-two free throws.
After a Fanning basket in the paint, the Broncos went to work from the charity stripe. Lee made one-of-two free throws and Fanning hit both ends of a one-and-one.
Baskets by Nicole Strand and Cameo Rector rounded out the win.
Lee led the Bronos with 15 points, including making nine-of-13 free throws.
Fanning scored 13 points. She was a perfect six-of-six from the line.
Johanson said she was happy with her team’s performance from the charity stripe.
“We were making really strong moves and strong drives to the basket, so it was important to finish the way we did at the free throw line.”
B. Nordhausen finished with 10 points, attempting six shots and making five. Einspahr finished with nine points.
WP made 15-of-20 free throws while Paxton made five-of-nine free throws.
Johanson said the Broncos have been improving on defense over the last several weeks.
“We are doing a much better job anticipating the drive and stopping our defense from breaking down.”
Now headed to state, Johanson wants her team focused on the things that it can control.
“Our effort and attitude no matter the circumstances will continue to be our focus,” she said.
First Round Game
The Broncos will take on Falls City Sacred Heart Thursday morning at Lincoln Southwest. Tip off will be at 8:00 a.m. MT/9:00 a.m. CT.
FCSH is 25-2 on the season and seeded first in Class D2. The Irish have only lost to D1 schools BDS (18-6) and Friend (25-1). This will be FCSH’s third straight trip to the State Tournament. Last year the Irish beat Lindsay Holy Family in the third place game. Since the 1996 tournament, FCSH has only missed two State Tournaments, winning championships in 1998, 1999 and 2000, plus runner-ups in 2002, 2003 and 2007. The team was also third in 2008 and 2013.
“FCSH is a great basketball team. They’re quick and good shooters, so we will need to be solid on defense, and confident on offense on Thursday,” said Johanson.
FCSH is led by 6’1” sophomore forward Maggie Goltz. Goltz averages 12.4 points per game. Junior guard Abby Magdanz averages 11 points, senior guard Ashli Jordan 7.4 points, junior guard Elizabeth Magdanz 7.3 and 5’10” freshman center Haylee Heits 7.8 points.
Also in Class D2, Wynot and Bancroft-Rosalie will take the floor following the WP-FCSH game at Lincoln Southwest.
Thursday evening Giltner and Crawford will play at Lincoln North Star followed by Stuart and Sterling.
Several other teams from the area advanced to Lincoln.
Dundy County-Stratton defeated Ravenna 62-48 and earned the seventh seeed. The Tigers will play Hastings St. Cecilia at 1:00 p.m. MT/2:00 p.m. CT at Lincoln Southwest.
Arapahoe (23-3) beat Elm Creek to advance to the Class D1 State Tournament. The Warriors are also a seventh seed and will play Friend at 9:45 a.m. MT/10:45 a.m. CT at Lincoln North Star.
Class D1 Sutherland, which beat WP Feb. 7, will play North Platte St. Pats at 8:00 a.m. MT/9:00 a.m. CT at Lincoln North Star.