|Lady Broncos advance to district finals, play Wilcox-Hildreth Friday|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Friday, 26 February 2016 18:23|
Faith Simpson gets fouled on her way to the basket against Wallace. WP beat the Wildcats 50-35 and will take on Wilcox-Hildreth Friday for the district championship at Bartley. (Diane Stamm | Johnson Publications)
By Diane Stamm
The Wauneta Breeze
The Wauneta-Palisade Lady Broncos are one win away from a trip to the state basketball tournament after clinching a subdistrict championship Thursday with a win over Wallace.
Top-seeded WP received a scare in it’s opening game of subdistricts, hanging on to beat Eustis-Farnam 51-46 Feb. 16.
Both teams got off to a slow start. With 3:30 left in the first quarter the score was tied at five.
Back-to-back baskets by Colby Cox and Faith Simpson got WP rolling. Two free throws by Simpson and a conventional three-point play by Cameo Rector gave the Broncos a comfortable 14-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.
WP couldn’t shake the Knights, however. A steal and layup by Cox and a conventional three-point play by Simpson kept the lead at 11 points, 19-8.
Another steal and layup, followed by a three-pointer from Cox, increased WP’s lead to 24-9. Eustis-Farnam closed the half with a six-point run to make the Broncos lead 24-15 at halftime.
Eustis-Farnam carried the momentum into the second half.
Scoring was hot and heavy over the first four minutes of the third quarter. Despite baskets by Simpson, Cox and Ellie Lee, the Knights narrowed the lead to 31-28 and closed the gap as the quarter would down. Eustis-Farnam ended the quarter with seven-straight points.
By the time the fourth quarter began, WP found itself in a three-point hole, trailing 34-37.
Eustis-Farnam started the quarter with a layup which WP answered with steals and layups by Cox and Simpson.
Driving baskets by Cox and Rector around a jumper by Lee put WP back in the lead, 44-41.
Following a Knights’ basket, Cox made a three-pointer and Simpson added a basket.
The game turned into a free throw shooting contest over the final 1:22. Two free throws by Cox sealed the 51-46 win.
Cox led the Broncos with 23 points. Simpson scored 18 points. Each nabbed eight rebounds.
Simpson rounded out a double-double with 10 steals. Cox had four assists and five steals.
WP kept its season alive Feb. 18 with a 50-35 win over Wallace.
Both teams got off to a slow start. Wallace scored eight points in the first frame while Simpson scored all six of WP’s first quarter points and added the first basket of the second quarter.
Following five-straight points by the Wildcats, a Lee put-back jump started the Broncos.
Three-pointers and a driving basket by Cox gave WP some breathing room.
Another Cox basket brought the score to 20-14 before Wallace scored five-straight points.
As time ran down in the half, Tryssta Duvel hit both ends of a one-and-one opportunity. A basket by Cox and free throw by Lee helped WP maintain a four-point, 25-21 lead at halftime.
Wallace hung around in the third quarter when WP only made two field goals over the eight-minute span.
The Wildcats didn’t fare much better, but were knocking on the door with the season on the line.
Holding a 32-29 lead, WP answered the call.
The Broncos opened the fourth quarter with quick baskets by Cox and Reagan Skow, before adding free throws by Cox and Rector.
Leading 40-29, WP watched Wallace score five points to trim the lead to seven points.
A Cox layup broke the run and following two Lee free throws, Simpson increased the lead up to 46-33.
Free throws down the stretch gave WP a 50-35 win.
Cox scored 25 points and Simpson 15 for WP.
Simpson had 16 rebounds.
Rector and Simpson notched four steals. Cox had three assists.
District championship to be played Friday
Now 15-9, WP will head to Bartley Friday to take on Wilcox-Hildreth for a chance to go to the state tournament. The game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. MT/7 p.m CT.
Wilcox-Hildreth, seeded fourth in its subdistrict, defeated Red Cloud 19-17 in the D2-7 subdistrict championship game.
Also advancing to district championship games in Class D2 are Falls City Sacred Heart, Hampton, Lyons-Decatur Northeast, Spalding Academy, Wynot, St. Mary’s, Sandhills/Thedford, Mullen, Potter-Dix and Hyannis.
The girls’ state basketball tournament will be March 3-5.