WAUSA — The third and final act in the 2011-12 saga between Laurel-Concord/Coleridge and Cedar Catholic was just as riveting as the first two installments.
Even though it was Valentine’s Day, there was little love between the Lady Bears and the Lady Trojans as LCC held on to win 45-44.
“Going into this game I thought we were well prepared,” Cedar Catholic Coach Jason Folkers said. “The girls learned a new offense in a couple of days and I felt we executed it well.”
As with the other games of the season series between these two teams, neither could get a definitive upper hand and maintain a lead.
LCC scored first, but Cedar came right back to score. At the end of the first quarter, Cedar had a slight 15-14 edge, but everyone in the crowd knew both teams were just warming up.
Cedar’s full-court press confused the Lady Bears at times, but LCC decided to run a press in the second quarter that worked to their advantage.
LCC began finding holes in the Cedar press as the game progressed and took a 22-20 lead into the halftime break.
After a breather in the locker rooms, Cedar and LCC came back out to give the packed house another thrilling finish.
In the third quarter, Cedar showed the Lady Bears that being down at the half didn’t faze them. Cedar pushed back into the lead and maintained it until the frame expired.
In the fourth quarter, LCC’s offense found its way back to the hardcourt. LCC averaged the same amount of points in the first and fourth quarters separately as they scored in the second and third quarters combined.
In the waning seconds of the game, LCC had the lead and looked to put the game away. With the score at 43-41 in favor of the Lady Bears and 22.1 seconds remaining to play, Jade Cunningham nailed a pair of free throws to give LCC the four-point advantage.
Cedar took possession and tried to work the ball inside for a quick bucket. LCC tried to keep from fouling, but as Siera Becker brought the ball near the baseline, Cunningham failed to get her feet set and was called for a blocking foul.
Becker made the first free throw but missed the second attempt. Cedar rebounded, came
back around the free throw line and got a quick bucket to take the score to 45-44 with less than five seconds left to play. Time was quickly evaporating as LCC inbounded the ball and the Lady Bears only had to hold on a few seconds as time expired.
Although the players knew the outcome, there was confusion throughout the crowd at the end of the game as the scoreboard read 45-45. The officials had to have a short conference before correcting the error.
With Tuesday’s win, LCC swept their three meetings with Cedar. However, the difference in those three games was a total of seven points and included on overtime finish at the Great Northeast Nebraska Shootout in Wayne.
For the Lady Trojans, Katelyn Dickes was the top scorer for both her team and the game with 19. Lexi Steffen and Becker combined for another 15 points. The trio cleaned up off the glass as well, hauling in 22 of Cedar’s 28 rebounds. Becker pulled down 10 rebounds, while Dickes and Steffen tallied six apiece.
LCC relied heavily on Cunningham for their offense as she notched another 17 points into her career total. Katie Gubbels, Kiley Thompson, Cameron Eddie, and Mandy Nelson scored eight, seven, six, and five, respectively, through the game. Rebounding was a balanced effort as Thompson and Cunningham each brought down five and Nelson tacked on an additional four.
Free throws were the key to LCC’s win. Cedar had 13 attempts from the charity stripe, but only converted seven times. The Lady Bears had a few more chances than Cedar, but was able to capitalize hitting 12 of 17.
Despite the loss, Folkers said his team gave it their best and worked hard this season.
“These girls work so hard throughout the year, and improved from week to week. They have nothing to be ashamed of,” he said. “We didn’t end the year like we wanted to, but they have nothing to hang their heads about.”
With the loss, the Cedar Catholic Lady Trojans’ basketball season came to a close. However, the 2012-13 campaign looks promising as all five of Cedar’s starters will return.
The Trojans lone senior, Joslyn Wiebelhaus, will be missed, Folkers said.
“I just want to give Joz Wiebelhaus a big Thank You for all the time, effort, sweat, and tears she put into this program. She worked hard all the time and did everything we as coaches asked,” Folkers said.
LCC played again Thursday in the SubDistrict title came against Crofton. The Lady Warriors won that contest, 47-33 and will now take on Elgin/Pope John for the District title and the right to go to State.
LCC 14 8 7 16 – 45
Cedar 15 5 11 13 – 44
FG 15-46 16-44
3PT 3-15 5-19
FT 12-17 7-12
REB 30 34
AST 13 5
STL 13 3
BLK 0 1
TO 18 23
Fouls 14 17
Cedar – Katelyn Dickes, 19; Lexi Steffen, 10; Siera Becker, 5; Emily Schrempp, 5; Karly Noecker, 4; Joslyn Wiebelhaus, 1. LCC – Jade Cunningham, 17; Katie Gubbels, 8; Kiley Thompson, 7; Cameron Eddie, 6; Mandy Nelson, 5; Dani Huss, 2.
Cedar – Siera Becker, 11; Katelyn Dickes, 7; Lexi Steffen, 7; Emily Schrempp, 3; Liz Steffen, 2; Karly Noecker, 2; Kallie Leise, 1; Joslyn Wiebelhaus, 1. LCC – Jade Cunningham, 5; Kiley Thompson, 5; Mandy Nelson, 4; Katie Gubbels, 3; Audrey Kastrup, 2; Cameron Eddie, 1; Dani Huss, 1.
Cedar – Emily Schrempp, 4; Katelyn Dickes, 2; Lexi Steffen, 1. LCC – Audrey Kastrup, 5; Kiley Thompson, 3; Katie Gubbels, 2; Mandy Nelson, 2; Cameron Eddie, 1.
Cedar – Lexi Steffen, 2; Katelyn Dickes, 1. LCC – Kiley Thompson, 5; Katie Gubbels, 3; Cameron Eddie, 2; Audrey Kastrup, 2; Mandy Nelson, 1.
Cedar – Katelyn Dickes, 1.
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