GIRLS STATE BASKETBALL: Bellevue West Ends Southwest’s Season, Extends Win Streak to 14
LINCOLN–(KFOR Mar. 1)–Two teams worthy of playing on Championship Saturday clashed Friday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena to see who would play top-seed Millard West in the NSAA Class A Girls State Basketball Title game.
Both Bellevue West and Lincoln Southwest led during the game, but most of the time it was the Thunderbirds who had control and survived a late rally in the fourth quarter to win their 14th-game in a row for a 57-51 victory over the Silver Hawks. Bellevue West, now 20-6) will play for the Class A championship in Saturday’s 6:15pm final against the Wildcats, who defeated Lincoln North Star 59-24 in the other semifinal game.
The Thunderbirds got 16 points from Naomi White, 14 from Danielle Coyer and Ahnica Russell Brown added 12 points in the victory.
A 10-0 run for Bellevue West to begin the third quarter put them ahead 40-31 before Southwest rattled off seven straight points to pull to within two. The Thunderbirds scored two more times and took a 44-38 lead into the final quarter.
The Silver Hawks (22-4) never led the rest of the way but threatened about midway through the fourth quarter, when Emma Dostal hit a three-pointer and senior guard Kennadi Williams stole the ensuing inbounds pass and scored on a layup to pull Southwest to within one, 49-48.
Bellevue West got a big boost to essentially put the game out of reach when Kenzie Melcher hit a three-pointer with 3:30 to play. The Thunderbirds outscored the Silver Hawks 8-2 the rest of the way, capped by a pair of free throws from Kara Muller to seal the win.
Williams finished out her high school career with a team-high 15 points for Southwest. She will now continue her career playing at Nebraska.