Patterson: Kearney Catholic keeps on winning

Shayla Connor, No. 13, Therin Baum and Megan Anderson, No. 31, apply pressure to North Platte St Patrick's Brook Boucher.

After capturing its first Class C-1 state title in volleyball, Kearney Catholic is continuing its winning ways in girls basketball.

The Stars are off to a 12-0 start following the volleyball team’s 36-0 season. Add those two records together and it’s been awhile since Kearney Catholic has tasted defeat.

“I think there is a carryover from volleyball,” coach Rick Petri said. “I don’t think our girls want to lose, no matter which sport you’re talking about.”

Petri’s squad went 18-5 last season but a few key injuries led to an early postseason exit in subdistricts. The team is healthy this year while returning all five starters.

Michaela Mestl and Therin Baum are averaging 12 points each to lead the way. The 5-foot-6 Mestl, one of the top athletes in the state, was a first-team All-Nebraska volleyball selection.

“Michaela’s quickness is a real strength for us,” Petri said. “She leads the team in steals and contributes in a lot of ways.”

Allie Prososki averages 10 points while Bailey Sokolowski and Megan Anderson average eight.

The Stars began the season with a 31-point win over Lincoln Lutheran and haven’t slowed down. The squad is averaging 74 points per game, though Petri knows the schedule is about to get tougher.

Kearney Catholic plays at 9-1 Hastings St. Cecilia on Saturday then plays Class B power Seward and undefeated Pierce next week.

“There’s a lot of tradition with those teams,” he said. “I think the next week or two will really tell us where we’re at.”

Petri said he expected his Stars to be competitive, but a 12-game win streak to start the season has come as a mild surprise.

“I thought we’d be good,” he said, “but I wasn’t sure we’d be this good. We just want to keep it going and get better with each game.”

Ratings update: Despite a few losses, each of the teams that began the season ranked No. 1 remain there.

Class C-1 Minden has lost twice but those setbacks have come against ranked Class B teams Grand Island Northwest and Holdrege. There’s no question about the top spot in C-2 where Crofton is off to an 11-0 start.

In D-1, West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic suffered its only loss to Crofton. Humphrey stays at No. 1 in D-2 despite losses to ranked D-1 teams Howells-Dodge and Emerson-Hubbard.

Tough week: Hastings St. Cecilia (9-1) is off to a solid start but the Hawkettes will really be tested this week.

First up is Class B No. 3 Grand Island Northwest on Tuesday night. On Thursday night is a road game against C-1 No. 1 Minden, and then a Saturday game against C-1 No. 3 Kearney Catholic.

Good luck to St. Cecilia coach Jahn Kile against that trio, which is a combined 32-3.

Top games this week:

Class C-1 — Tuesday: Sutton at Fillmore Central; Ashland-Greenwood at Platteview. Thursday: Hastings St. Cecilia at Minden. Friday: Pierce at Hartington Cedar Catholic; Columbus Scotus at Lincoln Christian. Saturday: Kearney Catholic at Hastings St. Cecilia.

Class C-2 — Tuesday: Mullen at North Platte St. Pat’s; Grand Island Northwest at Hastings St. Cecilia. Friday: Shelby/Rising City at Hampton.

Class D-1 — Tuesday: Wahoo Neumann at West Point GACC; Homer at Pender; Sutherland at Hershey. Saturday: Fillmore Central at Heartland.

Class D-2 — Tuesday: Deshler at Sandy Creek; Lindsay Holy Family at Elba/NLS. Saturday: Elwood at Loomis.

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