LINCOLN – Tony Weinandt was a proud coach following the Fremont High girls basketball game on Friday night.
Weinandt saw the Tigers execute their game plan and defeat Lincoln Southwest, the defending Class A state champions, 46-39 on the Silver Hawks’ home court.
“I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Weinandt said in a postgame radio interview. “It’s a great win for our program and a great win for our kids.”
Fremont improves to 9-4 overall – 6-3 against teams from Nebraska.
After trailing by two points (23-21) at halftime, Fremont responded with a big third quarter.
Logan Voss scored the first five points of the second half on a 3-pointer and a drive to the basket. Camerin Inselman’s basket gave Fremont a 28-23 lead and forced an early timeout by Lincoln Southwest.
A 3-point bucket by Sam Shepard later gave Fremont its largest lead of the game at 33-25. Taytem Coleman and Hannah Kelle each answered with baskets for LSW before Sam Shepard scored on a pass from Inselman to put Fremont up 35-29 at the end of the third quarter.
“I thought the third quarter was huge for us,” Weinandt said. “We got a good rhythm going.”
The Tigers went up by seven in the fourth quarter, but the Silver Hawks responded with four straight points by Katie Carpenter. Two free throws by Sam Shepard put FHS up 41-35 with 1:30 remaining.
Emma Kauf hit a basket for LSW and Coleman turned a steal into two points to bring the Silver Hawks within 41-39.
The Tigers held Southwest scoreless the rest of the game, though, as Emma Shepard came away with a key steal and then knocked down four straight free throws to secure the win for FHS.
“You knew they were going to make a run,” Weinandt said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our defense in the second half, giving up 16 points to a team that’s got kids that can score.
“The girls worked so hard and then I thought we moved the ball well. At the end we played a little tight, but we found a way. Emma hit big free throws and we got big stops and some rebounds.”
The Silver Hawks (7-6) held the advantage for much of the first quarter.
Jaden Ferguson, a 6-foot junior, scored seven early points and put LSW up 12-6. Sam Shepard made a 3-pointer and five free throws to pull Fremont even (14-14) with the Silver Hawks to end the quarter.
Sam Shepard scored 10 of her game-high 18 points in the opening quarter.
FHS led 18-16 in the second quarter before four straight points by Kelle. Sydney Golladay’s 3-pointer briefly gave the lead back to Fremont before Kelle answered with a 3-pointer to give LSW its two-point halftime lead.
Fremont finished the game 16 of 24 from the free throw line, including a 9 of 15 effort in the fourth quarter. The Silver Hawks were 7 of 7 at the line.
“We’ve had some blowout games, we’ve had some games where we came from way back and won, and tonight we won a game where we had the lead and it got tight and we still found a way,” Weinandt said. “We’re finding different ways to win games. As you go down the second part of your season, that’s important to know you can win games in different ways.
“Tonight was a low-scoring slugfest against the defending state champions and we’re really happy.”
Inselman joined Sam Shepard in double figures with 12 points. Logan Voss added eight.
Kelle, a South Dakota State recruit, paced Lincoln Southwest with 13 points.
The Tigers will be back in action on Saturday against Omaha Bryan (1-10), the first of four straight home games at Al Bahe Gymnasium.