LINCOLN — Taking a 10-point first-quarter lead, then doubling that over the next eight minutes, helped power top-ranked Falls City Sacred Heart to a 57-42 victory over Sandhills/Thedford on Thursday in the opening quarterfinal game of the Class D-2 girls state basketball tournament.
By improving to 24-4, the Irish advanced to play 18-2 Osmond on Friday at 2 p.m. in the first D-2 semifinal game at the Pershing Center. Osmond defeated Deshler 42-27 in Thursday's second first round game.
Freshman Maggie Goltz led the way for the 24-4 Irish with 30 points, most of those coming on 12 field goals deep in the lane at Lincoln Northeast.
“We knew they were probably going to play man-to-man and then do a little switching,” Irish coach Luke Santo said. “They did that and we were really able to go inside and make that work.”
Things got better in the second half for the 20-7 Knights, who started hitting some shots and making some defensive stops. But when they made a few of the stops, Sacred Heart plays were nearby to get second and third chances that slowed Sandhills' momentum.
“We came out a little hesitant and were on our heels the first half,” Knights coach Scott Leisy said. “We did a pretty good job in the second half, made a few more 3's to get close but we still couldn't get some key rebounds to stop extra chances.”
The Knights outscored Sacred Heart 30-25 in the second half, including a 16-11 advantage in the fourth quarter. Kaitlin Martin led Sandhills/Thedford with 12 points, while Avery Taylor had nine and Taylor Marten added eight.
Falls City Sacred Heart (24-4)..................................16 16 14 11 — 57
Sandhills/Thedford (20-7)......................................6 6 14 16 — 42
At Lincoln Northeast
FCSH-Ashli Jordan 7, Abby Magdanz 7, Emma Scock 2, Elizabeth Magdanz 9, Kelsi Fouraker 2, Maggie Goltz 30.
S/T-Shaina Simpson 3, Kelsey Higgins 4, Taylor Marten 8, Kaitlin Marten 12, Sarah Miles 2, Jacy Spencer 2, Avery Taylor 9, Chantelle Milleson 2.