BEATRICE, NE – The Sterling Jets (10-3) found themselves trailing BDS 31-23 halfway through the third quarter of Monday’s first round action in the A Division of the MUDECAS girls’ basketball tournament.
Sterling wasn’t rattled, though. Instead, the No. 6 seed Jets rattled off a 21-6 run to end the game and top the No. 3 seed Eagles, 44-37, at the Beatrice Municipal Auditorium.
BDS (9-3) was doomed by 21 turnovers, compared to 14 by Sterling. The Jets also knocked down six three-pointers, compared to just two by the Eagles.
Sterling was led by senior Carly Wenzl, who logged a game-high 16 points. She knocked down three triples and was a perfect 7-for-7 at the free throw line.
Junior Colby Theis was solid, contributing 12 points in the victory. Ten of those 12 points came at the free throw line. The Jets got to the charity stripe 31 times, knocking down 22 of those shots.
The Eagles were just 5-of-9 at the stripe.
BDS got 14 points from both senior Jaydn Kleinschmidt and junior Macy Kamler. No other player scored more than three points for the Eagles.
BDS will now face No. 7 seed Johnson-Brock in a consolation game on Friday evening at 8 p.m. at Southeast Community College. Sterling moves onto Thursday’s semifinals to face No. 2 seed Falls City Sacred Heart at 3:30 p.m. at the auditorium.
FCSH took care of Johnson-Brock, 45-21.
Exeter-Milligan vs. Meridian
Junior Josiee Sobotka matched a season-best and career-best Monday with 23 points, and it was almost enough to lift No. 8 seed Meridian (7-5) to victory.
Alas, No. 1 seed Exeter-Milligan (12-1) made just enough shots down the stretch to outlast the Mustangs, 31-28.
In a back-and-forth defensive struggle that featured four lead changes and two ties, Exeter-Milligan used a 10-2 run late in the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter to build a nine-point lead.
Sobotka, however, willed her team back to life, scoring 14 of her 23 points in the game’s final eight minutes.
Meridian was never able to reclaim the lead in the fourth, thanks in part to Timberwolves’ junior Kate Jansky.
The top-scorer in Class D2 (20.9 ppg) was limited to three points in the first half, but Jansky hit a critical three-pointer in the final two minutes and finished 4-of-6 at the free throw line to aid E-M in victory.
Jansky led her team with 11 points. Freshman Emma Olsen logged seven. Sophomore Jaiden Papik had five.
Both teams were far from rhythmic offensively Monday. The game featured a combined 37 turnovers and a combined 10-for-31 effort at the free-throw line. Meridian was 3-of-10, and Exeter-Milligan was 7-of-21.
The 31 points was a season low for Exeter-Milligan, but it was enough to vault them into Thursday’s semifinal against No. 4 seed Freeman. The Falcons (9-4) edged No. 5 seed Southern, 34-20, in Monday’s final game in the A division.
Meridian faces Southern (10-3) on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at SCC.
Monday’s B Division results
No. 1 Diller Odell 56 No. 8 Lewiston 27.
No. 4 Johnson County Central 58 No. 5 HTRS 46
No. 6 Palmyra 30 No. 3 Pawnee City 22
No. 2 Tri County 52 No. 7 Parkview Christian 22