LOUISVILLE – Saturday night’s showdown between Louisville and Omaha Skutt came down to four numbers: 6-2 and 6-3.
Six-foot-two Sydney McDermott and 6-foot-3 Lindsay Krause helped Omaha Skutt claim a 59-46 victory. McDermott scored 33 points and went 13-of-21 from the field in the game, and Krause chipped in 11 points and five rebounds during the night. They were the only two Skyhawks to attempt shots during a decisive stretch of the game in the third quarter.
Louisville head coach Wally Johnson said the Lions felt good about the way they played against a strong opponent. Omaha Skutt is ranked sixth in Class B and Louisville is ranked seventh in Class C-1.
“The girls weren’t discouraged after the game, and they shouldn’t have been,” Johnson said. “Omaha Skutt is a great team that I think is going to make some noise at the state tournament in Class B. We’re probably not going to see size like that again this year, so the girls played well in those circumstances. I’m proud of our effort and fight that we showed tonight.”
Louisville (14-3) matched Omaha Skutt (14-5) shot for shot in the first half. Consecutive baskets by Meagan Mackling, Faye Jacobsen and Jordan Winkler kept the Lions within 15-14, and Mackling’s steal and fast-break layup early in the second quarter knotted it at 17-17. Lauryn Kalkowski’s 3-pointer off an assist by McKenzie Norris gave LHS a 23-21 lead late in the first half.
Omaha Skutt simplified its offensive strategy in the third quarter. The Skyhawks made a concerted effort to get the basketball to McDermott on the low block to give her close-range opportunities. McDermott went 6-of-8 from the floor and scored 13 points in the quarter.
“McDermott’s a really good player, and they did a good job of finding her inside for close looks,” Johnson said. “They made some good lob passes to get the ball to her.”
Krause used her height advantage to add six points to Omaha Skutt’s total in the third quarter. The Skyhawks went on a 17-7 run in the opening six minutes of the period to create a 43-31 lead. The team was able to maintain the double-digit gap the remaining ten minutes of the game.
Mackling finished the night with 16 points, three assists, two steals and one rebound. Winkler collected nine points, eight rebounds, two steals and one assist, and Avery Heard poured in five points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Kalkowski drew two charges and added six points, three boards and two assists. Jacobsen had four points, one rebound and one steal, and Olivia Zahn posted three points and one steal. Norris made two assists and two steals, Maia Johnson had one rebound and one assist and Juliette Andrews pitched in one assist. Skyler Pollock added three points for Louisville.
Johnson said the Lions were eager to use the experience against Omaha Skutt as a springboard for their conference and postseason goals.
“We knew that this game was going to be good for us no matter what the outcome was,” Johnson said. “This made us tougher both mentally and physically, and that’s a good thing. This is going to benefit us as we move forward the rest of the season.”
Omaha Skutt 15 11 19 14 – 59
Louisville 14 10 10 12 – 46
Omaha Skutt (59)
Hannah Weeder 0-2 2-2 2, Reeves 1-2 0-0 2, Krause 4-7 0-2 8, McDermott 13-21 6-6 33, Behrens 3-12 4-6 11, Hayley Weeder 0-0 0-0 0, Drueke 1-1 0-0 3, Rohlfs 0-1 0-0 0, Grabowski 0-0 0-0 0, Gordon 0-0 0-0 0, Rokes 0-0 0-0 0, Milone 0-0 0-0 0, Hoffman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-46 12-16 59.
Winkler 4-11 0-0 9, Mackling 6-13 1-2 16, Kalkowski 2-9 0-0 6, Heard 2-7 1-2 5, Jacobsen 2-5 0-0 4, Zahn 1-1 0-0 3, Johnson 0-3 0-0 0, Norris 0-1 0-2 0, Andrews 0-0 0-0 0, Pollock 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 18-51 2-6 46.