LINCOLN–(KLMS Mar. 5)–For the third time in as many seasons, the Hastings St. Cecilia girls basketball team will be playing on Championship Saturday in the NSAA Girls State Tournament.
Only difference is classification.
The Hawkettes, winners of the Class C2 state championship the past two seasons, will now play for the C1 state title on Saturday at 10:45am, after they rallied back to beat Lincoln Lutheran 29-25 in the semifinals Friday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
St. Cecilia (24-2) will face defending C1 champion North Bend Central, who defeated Winnebago 60-40 in Friday morning’s other semifinal contest.
Trailing 16-13 to start the third quarter, the Hawkettes got a boost behind senior guard Bailey Kissinger, who scored eight of her game-high 10 points in the second half. Lutheran’s Katelynn Oxley started the quarter with a three-point play, but Kissinger helped sparked the come back that saw St. Cecilia go up 21-20 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Warriors (20-3) got as close as 27-25 with less than 30 seconds left, off a layup from freshman Jenna Luebbe. Kissinger hit a pair of free throws to seal the win with 12 seconds left.
Lutheran took control early in the game, leading by as much as 15-7 in the second quarter, after the Warriors found paths while driving to the basket.
Oxley, Luebbe, Shanae Bergt and Abby Wachal each scored six points to share in scoring honors.