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GIRLS BASKETBALL: East Holds Off Comeback from No. 7 North Star To Earn Win

Lincoln East’s Olivia Kugler (4) drives to the basket past Lincoln North Star’s Kylie Shottenkirk (22) in the fourth quarter of East’s 50-46 win on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Jeff Motz/KFOR News)

LINCOLN–(KFOR Jan. 22)–Entering Friday night’s game at home, the Lincoln East girls basketball team was looking to snap a three-game losing streak, but had to do it with an uptempo style of play against No. 7 Lincoln North Star.

The Spartans managed to hold off a second half surge from the Navigators to earn a 50-46 victory at the East gym, in a game heard on KFOR.

East (6-4) came off losses to No. 2 Fremont, No. 3 Omaha Central and No. 8 Kearney to end their losing streak and snap North Star’s four-game win streak. But the Spartans, who led 27-17 at halftime, committed eight turnovers in the third quarter that allowed the Navigators back into the game.

Kinsley Ragland scored seven straight points for North Star to pull the Gators to within 27-24 midway through the third quarter and East had fallen cold shooting from the field. The Spartans, though, managed to hit a couple of shots and led 32-28 heading into the final quarter.

Zoie Armstrong hit a long-range shot from just inside the three-point arc and senior Matalynn Campbell got a steal and layup that pushed East’s lead to 38-30 with just over six minutes left.

North Star (7-3) rallied back behind senior guard Abi Krieser, who scored off a layup and pulled the Gators to within one possession with 43 seconds left, trailing 45-42. Campbell was found and hit a pair of free throws for East and after Krieser scored again for North Star, Spartan guard Olivia Kugler was fouled and hit a pair of free throws with 10.4 seconds left to seal the win.

Campbell and senior guard Haley Peterson led East with 12 points apiece. Krieser and Ragland each scored 10 points to lead North Star.

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