SEWARD, Neb. — The primary task for Seward senior guard Hannah Tvrdy on Saturday was to play defense.
But she also found time to score a game-high 23 points as the Bluejays defeated visiting Waverly 50-34. The win lifts the four-time defending Class B champion to 10-3 and drops the Vikings to 9-3.
Seward, ranked second in Class B, led most of the way against fifth-ranked Waverly. The Bluejays led by 10 in the first half, then saw the Vikings creep within two in the third quarter before pulling away in the fourth.
A big key to the game was Tvrdy’s defense on speedy Waverly guard Cierra Tjaden, who finished with nine points. Seward coach Tom Tvrdy said he told his daughter before the game that her offensive production would be secondary Saturday.
“I told her that any offense she had would be icing on the cake,” the coach said. “But it seems like when she gets a tough defensive matchup that it also spurs her offensively.”
Tvrdy scored 12 points in the first half and 11 in the second. The 5-foot-10 Nebraska recruit sank three 3-pointers and was 7 of 11 from the field.
“I wanted to do a little more than just play defense,” she said. “I think everybody did a great job today, especially on our press.”
That full-court press gave the Vikings problems, especially in the pivotal second quarter. Waverly turned the ball over 10 times in the period, with the final one leading to a damaging 3-pointer by Taylor Seaman just before halftime.
“That play was a huge momentum swing,” Waverly coach Anthony Harms said. “We had a chance to cut it to three right there and instead we’re behind by nine.”
Trailing 24-15 entering the third quarter, Waverly scored the first seven points of the second half on layups by Tjaden and Alisha Loveless and a 3-pointer by Ashley Davidson. But a layup by Kourteney Zadina and a 3-pointer by Tvrdy put the Bluejays back in control.
The lead grew to 16 in the fourth quarter as the Bluejays outscored the Vikings 13-4.
“We had a good game plan today,” Tom Tvrdy said. “I think our press broke them in that second quarter to help us take a pretty good lead.”
“We couldn’t handle their pressure,” he said. “It speeded everything up and forced us into some turnovers that we usually don’t make.”
Zadina, who sank eight 3-pointers the previous night in a win over Schuyler, finished with 12 points for the Bluejays. Seaman added 10 points while Ashlyn Hanson pulled down eight rebounds.
Olivia Boender had nine points and nine rebounds for Waverly while Loveless added eight points.
The Vikings host Lincoln Lutheran on Tuesday night while Seward will host Class C-1 No. 3 Kearney Catholic on Thursday.
Waverly (9-3)..................................11 4 15 4—34
At Seward (10-3)....................10 14 13 13—50
W: Ashley Davidson 3, Cierra Tjaden 9, Nicki Larsen 5, Alisha Loveless 8, Olivia Boender 9.
S: Hannah Tvrdy 23, Lindsey Placke 3, Taylor Seaman 10, Jordan Nelson 2, Kourteney Zadina 12.
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