WAHOO — Fremont Bergan started the 2018 postseason on a successful note Tuesday night.
The Lady Knights seized control early and rolled to a 66-24 win over Omaha Brownell-Talbot in the opening round of the C2-2 subdistrict tournament at Wahoo High School. The win advances Bergan to Thursday night’s championship game against either Yutan or Elmwood-Murdock.
Allie DeGroff, in her first game back after missing some time with an ankle sprain, led the Lady Knights with 18 points. Senior Mackenzie Peitzmeier added 15 and junior Allison Dieckmann contributed 13.
“It didn’t look like Allie had lost a step or anything,” Bergan coach Nate Pribnow said. “She might be a little off on her conditioning. Maybe she got tired a little earlier than usual, but she was out there competing. Our girls know that she can score in the paint, that was on display tonight.”
While DeGroff led Bergan in scoring, it was Peitzmeier that set the tone.
She hit three of her five 3-point baskets on the night in the opening four minutes to help Bergan break to an 11-2 lead.
“The way they were playing their man-to-man (defense), it seemed like they were going to let Mackenzie get her points and try to take everyone else away,” Pribnow said. “She hit two or three right away and then Allison hit a few. When those two are on like that, look out because they can shoot the ball really, really well.”
Josie Petrulis hit a 3 for the Raiders to cut Bergan’s lead to 15-5 with 1:36 left in the opening quarter, but DeGroff had six points to close out the period and stretch the advantage to 21-6.
The Raiders struggled against Bergan’s full-court pressure.
“We were able to force the tempo and play the way we wanted,” Pribnow said. “We thought if we could play fast and force the tempo it would play right into our hands. We were able to do that with our 2-2-1, the 1-2-2 press and fullcourt man-to-man sometimes. Our girls really bought into making it a full-court game and it worked out for us.”
Grace Thaden, who would foul out with 1:56 left in the second quarter, opened the period with a basket, but Dieckmann’s trey started a 19-1 run by the Lady Knights.
“We’re a pretty heady basketball team and the girls communicate pretty well,” Pribnow said. “We shot the ball pretty well, especially in that first quarter, and that didn’t hurt anything, either.”
Bergan hit seven 3-point baskets in the opening half to build a 48-14 lead at the break.
Haley Kempf finished with nine points for the Lady Knights, who improve to 17-5. Petrulis had 16 to lead the Raiders, who end their season at 15-9. Thaden, a 5-11 sophomore, had four but had her night end quickly.
“She presents some issues with her length and height,” Pribnow said. “I think as soon as she went out, we spread the floor to help open up the interior and get some driving lanes so we could kick it out for open shots.”
Tuesday’s game was the second time this season that the Lady Knights had beaten the Raiders. Bergan also won 72-43 on Dec. 8.
Thursday’s title game is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Fremont Bergan 21 27 14 4 — 66
Brownell-Talbot 6 8 5 5 — 24
Fremont Bergan — Lauren Baker 4, Reagan Toelle 2, Katie Sleister 5, Haley Kempf 9, Allie DeGroff 18, Mackenzie Peitzmeier 15, Allison Dieckmann 13.
Brownell-Talbot — Josie Petrulis 16, Rice 1, J. Patel 2, Thaden 4, Wightman 1.