FREMONT – The Louisville girls came into Friday night’s district title game with the intention of securing a ticket to the state tournament.
Columbus Lakeview prevented those plans from taking place by stopping the Lions on the court.
Eleventh-seeded Columbus Lakeview edged sixth-seeded Louisville 47-42 in the District C1-6 Final at Fremont High School. The Vikings (18-7) won their fifth straight game and clinched a piece of school history. The team advanced to the state tournament for the first time since 1991.
The Vikings led 13-11 after one quarter and upped the halftime gap to 23-17. Columbus Lakeview led 39-29 at the start of the fourth period and weathered Louisville’s comeback attempt. The Lions finished their season 21-4.
Meagan Mackling ended the evening with 13 points, four pass deflections, one rebound and one steal. Avery Heard generated five points, six rebounds, four steals, four pass deflections, one block and one assist. Faye Jacobsen tallied eight points, nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals, and Jordan Winkler had eight points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Lauryn Kalkowski produced seven points and one assist and Maia Johnson had one point and one rebound. Olivia Zahn collected one rebound and McKenzie Norris posted one assist.
The game was the final prep basketball contest for Louisville’s seven seniors. Kalkowski, Mackling, Johnson, Winkler, Zahn, Heard and Juliette Andrews completed their four-year careers with multiple achievements. The group helped Louisville win East Central Nebraska Conference Tournament titles in 2016 and 2019. The Lions advanced to the state tournament in both 2016 and 2017 and won 19 or more games for four straight years.
LHS head coach Wally Johnson said the seniors also displayed many positive character traits and represented both the school and community well.
“They were a great group both on and off the floor,” Johnson said. “Always looked forward to going to practice every day, and they did what was asked of them and worked hard to make themselves and the others around them better. Probably one of the winningest classes to go through LHS with a career record of 87-19 and two appearances at the state tournament.
“I hope that the work ethic, effort, sacrifice and family atmosphere that this group showed is something that we hope continues to infect our program for years to come.”
Johnson said he felt the Lions could be proud of their accomplishments during the campaign. He said all of the Louisville players had used their hard work and integrity to encourage both themselves and others throughout the year.
“No doubt it was a successful season,” Johnson said. “Many people judge success on where you end up at the end of the season, meaning did you make it to state, did you place, etc., but for us, did we get better, did we play hard and play the right way and did we win the games we were supposed to and win some of those we weren’t?
“To me, you look at our body of work this season and no doubt it was a success. We played a great brand of basketball, we were able to compete with any level of team regardless of class, we played the right way, played as a team, played for each other and probably most importantly, represented our team, our school and our community the right way, not to mention going 21-4.”
Columbus Lakeview 13 10 16 8 – 47
Louisville 11 6 12 13 – 42
Winkler 2-13 4-6 8, Mackling 5-20 1-8 13, Kalkowski 3-7 0-0 7, Heard 1-4 3-4 5, Jacobsen 3-4 2-2 8, Zahn 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 0-1 1-2 1, Norris 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-50 11-22 42.