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Lady Longhorns upset St. Pat’s, advance to SPVA semi-finals PDF Print E-mail

St. Pat’s held to no scoring in fourth quarter as Chase County takes 9-point win

By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican

    Chase County’s girls had their biggest game of the season Tuesday night, ringing up an upset in the first round of the SPVA conference basketball tournament.
    Coming in as the sixth-seeded team among six squads, the Lady Longhorns pulled off a 45-36 win over No. 3 seed North Platte St. Pat’s at North Platte Community College.
    Tuesday’s upset was Chase County’s second win this season.
    Chase County’s defense shut down the St. Pat’s offense in the fourth quarter, as the Irish didn’t score at all in the final eight minutes of the game.
    Five Lady Longhorns put up points in the final stanza to secure the nine-point win.
    Nichole Dickey led the scoring with 15 points. Also in double figures were Karlee Palmer and Morgan Strand, with 10 each.
    Also aiding the Chase County offense were Kim Brophy with five, Molly Strand, four, and Lexee Reichert, one.
    Tuesday’s win now pits the Lady Longhorns against No. 2 seed Hershey in Friday’s semi-finals at 7:30 p.m. (MT), also at the college.
    Coach Marc Mroczek said his team will have to contend with a Hershey team that wants to run. However, Chase County will have a definite height advantage over the 10-2 Lady Panthers.
    The winner of that game advances to the championships on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. (MT) against the winner of Friday’s Perkins County/Sutherland semi-finals.
    The girls’ consolation game for third and fourth place will be at 3:30 p.m. (MT) on Saturday.
Action last week
    Chase County battled two tough opponents in back-to-back games last Thursday and Friday.
    While the Lady Longhorns lost both contests, Coach Marc Mroczek said he was proud of how his players continued to fight against two teams that were ranked in pre-season ratings.
    Against Perkins County last Thursday, Chase County had one of their best nights of shooting but fell to the 10-1 Lady Plainsmen, 56-47.
    At Gothenburg Friday, Chase County pulled within seven points of tying the Lady Swedes late in the game, but eventually lost that one, 55-39.
Perkins County game
    In most cases, when a team shoots 50 percent from the field and 83 percent from three-point range, they’ll win the game.
    That’s the numbers Chase County turned in against Perkins County last week.
    However, their 43 turnovers probably cost them the game.
    “It was unfortunate that we shot so well against a quality team and then have the turnovers we did,” Mroczek said.
    However, his girls stayed within striking distance of the Lady Plainsmen, but just couldn’t get over the hump, he said.
    They also had to deal with Perkins County’s Sara Wilson, who scored 21 of the team’s 56 points.
    “She made some key shots at some key times and deflated our momentum,” Mroczek said.
    But, the Lady Longhorns had some good offensive performances of their own.
    Morgan Strand turned in another double/double night with 17 points and 16 rebounds.
    And, Nichole Dickey hit four of five three-pointers, ending up with 16 points in the game.
    Overall, Chase County was 15 of 30 from two-point range, while Perkins County shot 19 of 55 for  35 percent.
    Beyond the arc, the Lady Longhorns were five of six for 83 percent, compared to four for 14 for Perkins County.
    At the free throw line, the Lady Longhorns hit two of five, while Perkins County made six of eight.
    As the taller team, Chase County had the rebounding edge, 27 to 20.    
    In other stats, Karlee Palmer hit a trey and had six steals. Kim Brophy had six assists.
    Turnovers, Mroczek said, will be an area they will continue to work on at practice. With nearly a week between the SPVA and their next game, Mroczek hopes the time will allow them time to view more film so the girls can watch themselves in games.
    Most of their turnovers are coming from ball-handling and passing mistakes as their opponents apply full court pressure.

Imperial 47
    2 PT.    3 PT.    FT/        
    FG    FG    FTA    F    TP
Chantal Heathers    0    0    0-0    0    0
Michaela Ketter    0    0    0-0    0    0
Jilanne German    0    0    0-0    1    0
Nichole Dickey    2    4    0-0    2    16
Karlee Palmer    1    1    0-0    1    5
Karlee Kunnemann    0    0    0-0    0    0
Kim Brophy    0    0    0-0    2    0
Shannon Liewer    0    0    0-0    0    0
Carolina Ramos    0    0    0-0    0    0
Molly Strand    2    0    0-0    2    4
Morgan Strand    8    0    1-3    2    17
Lexee Reichert    2    0    1-2    1    5
TOTALS    15    5    2-5    11    47
Perkins County 56
M. Hite 6, J. Day 6, B. Poppe 7, T. Metcalf 3, J. Sis 6, M. Vlasin 7, S. Wilson 21.
Perkins County’s totals: 2 pt. FG—19; 3 pt. FG—4; FT/FTA—6-8; Fouls—11; TP—56.
Points by quarters:
Imperial    12  5 13 17—47
Perkins County    15 13 16 12—56
Gothenburg game
    Chase County had to deal with a much taller opponent at Gothenburg Friday, where they lost a 55-39 game.
    Three of the Lady Swedes’ starters were six feet tall, and two others coming off the bench were close to that.
    That caused them trouble inside, Mroczek said. And, Chase County  had to play much of the second quarter without their own six-footer, Molly Strand, who had already been whistled for three fouls.
    It took awhile for Chase County to adjust to Gothenburg’s full court pressure, Mroczek said. Several of their first possessions were lost to turnovers, so they didn’t get a shot off for several minutes.    
    But, eventually, they adjusted, Mroczek said. He commended Dickey for penetrating the defense and dishing the ball off to either Morgan Strand or Palmer.
    Those passes helped Palmer hit three treys in the first half, and finish with 11 points in the game, one of three Lady Longhorns in double figures.
    Dickey also hit two treys herself, and led the team in scoring with 16 points.
    “Once we adjusted to their pressure, we did a good job,” Mroczek said. “That gave us some confidence.”
    He was also glad to see his team cut down their turnovers to 25 against Gothenburg.
    The Lady Longhorns’ shooting from two-point range dropped off against Gothenburg, as they hit 8 of 34 for 24 percent. The Lady Swedes were 20 of 48 for 42 percent.
    On treys, Chase County was five of 10, while Gothenburg hit two of 10. The two teams were about even at the free throw line.
    Due to their height, Gothenburg had the rebounding edge, 34 to 25. Morgan Strand led the team with 14 rebounds and also scored 10 points.
    Dickey had five steals in the game, while Brophy tallied three assists.
    Mroczek said he’s proud of how his team continued to fight to win each game last week.
Imperial 39
    2 PT.    3 PT.    FT/       
    FG    FG    FTA    F    TP
Chantal Heathers    0    0    0-0    0    0
Michaela Ketter    0    0    0-0    0    0
Jilanne German    0    0    1-2    0    1
Nichole Dickey    3    2    4-4    2    16
Karlee Palmer    1    3    0-0    0    11
Karlee Kunnemann    0    0    0-0    0    0
Kim Brophy    0    0    1-2    4    1
Shannon Liewer    0    0    0-0    0    0
Carolina Ramos    0    0    0-0    0    0
Molly Strand    0    0    0-0    4    0
Morgan Strand    4    0    2-5    3    10
Lexee Reichert    0    0    0-0    0    0
TOTALS    8    5    8-13    13    39
Gothenburg 55
A. Abramson 4, T. Paul 1, E. Max 11, Kira Peterson 6, J. Geiken 20, K. Tryon 5, T. Borchardt 8
Gothenburg’s totals: 2 pt. FG—20; 3 pt. FG—2; FT/FTA—9-13; Fouls—13; TP—55.
Points by quarters:
Imperial    12 13 10  6—39
Gothenburg    21 15  9 10—55

    After the SPVA tournament, the Lady Longhorns won’t see action again until Friday, Jan. 30, when they host Sutherland. The next night, Jan. 31, they will travel to Holyoke, Colo.