LOUISVILLE – The Louisville girls earned a chance to smile with a championship plaque Thursday night after rallying past Omaha Roncalli in the subdistrict tournament.
The Lions defeated the Crimson Pride 51-39 in the Subdistrict C1-3 Tournament title game. Louisville watched Omaha Roncalli athletes keep their scoring faucet running during the first half, but the Lions shut off those spigots in the second 16 minutes. LHS used a 27-11 run after halftime to win the subdistrict crown.
Second-seeded Omaha Roncalli (9-15) entered the evening with the intention of upsetting the top-seeded Lions. The Crimson Pride sank several baskets in the opening stretch and led 13-9 after one quarter.
The teams each scored 15 points in the second quarter to create a 28-24 halftime margin. The momentum flew in Louisville’s favor in the third period. The Lions generated seven points in the first 2:05 to take a 31-28 lead, and Jennifer Katz’s fast-break basket gave the team a 35-34 edge.
The outcome remained up in the air with just under five minutes to play, but the Lions dominated the Crimson Pride in the final stretch. The team increased a 37-36 lead to 46-39 with 1:10 left, and LHS sank several late free throws to seal the game.
Jaylin Gaston and Lauren Votta each played key roles with their work in the paint. Both Lions scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Katz collected five points and eight rebounds and Ella Johnson tallied seven points and five boards. Avery Heilig had six points and seven rebounds, McKenzie Norris produced five points and two rebounds and Lexi Hans collected two points and three rebounds. Sagan Leach added one rebound and Lea Kalkowski helped the Lions defensively.
Louisville will square off with Grand Island Central Catholic in the C1-2 District Final. The 15th-seeded Lions (17-8) will play second-seeded GICC (20-2) at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, at Crete High School. The winner of the district game will qualify for the state tournament.
Omaha Roncalli 13 15 6 5 – 39
Louisville 9 15 11 16 – 51
Norris 5, Hans 2, Heilig 6, Votta 13, Johnson 7, Gaston 13, Katz 5, Kalkowski 0, Leach 0.