Photo Credit: AP Photo/John S. Peterson

2023 Nebraska Girls State Basketball Roundup: Quarterfinal Thursday

March 02, 2023

The 2023 Nebraska Girls State Basketball Championship continued on Thursday with the Class B, C2 and D2 quarterfinals at Pinnacle Bank Arena and the Devaney Center.

For more on Wednesday’s action, go here.

Here’s a run-down of all the Class B games plus notes on the C2 and D2 results from Thursday.


No. 1 Elkhorn North 60, No. 8 Norris 40

Britt Prince put on a show Thursday afternoon as Elkhorn North’s march toward a third straight state title continued with a 20-point win against a conference foe in Norris.

The Titans did a good job of controlling tempo for much of the game and keeping it close, pulling within four early in the third quarter. However, the Wolves slammed the door shut with a 16-4 close to the third quarter then Prince poured in 10 more points in the fourth to seal the victory.

Elkhorn North’s Britt Prince (10) and McKenna Murphy (31) sitting on the bench at the end of the game against Norris during the NSAA girls basketball championship Wednesday, Mar. 1, 2023, in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/John Peterson.)

The 5-foot-11 junior scored in nearly every way possible — drives to the rim, finishes with either hand, advanced footwork, pull-ups from mid-range and 3 and a floater — to finish with 28 points on 12-of-15 from the field (1-of-2 from 3) and 3-of-3 from the free-throw line), 12 rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Fellow junior McKenna Murphy added 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting including 2-of-4 from deep as Elkhorn North’s top two players outscored the Titans on their own.

Norris led 8-7 after one and opened the second quarter with a 3, but Prince and Murphy combined for an 11-2 run to surge ahead, and Prince hit a 3 at the buzzer to put the Wolves up 25-16 at the half. Prince scored 11 points and didn’t miss a shot in the second quarter.

Anistyn Rice led Norris with 13 points and eight rebounds (five offensive) while shooting 3-for-5 from deep. The Titans only converted eight shots inside the arc against Elkhorn North’s defense, three less than Prince scored on her own.


Norris:              8-  8-11-13 — 40

Elkhorn North: 7-18-18-17 — 60

N: Anistyn Rice 13, Ella Johnson 8, Sage Burbach 6, Gracie Kircher 3, Grayson Piening 3, Adelaine Tidball 3, Grace Kohler 2, Nicole Keetle 2

EN: Britt Prince 28, McKenna Murphy 14, Grace Thompson 7, Reese Booth 7, Sydney Stodden 4

No. 4 York 38, No. 5 Scottsbluff 26

It took nearly four minutes for the first bucket to go down, setting the tone for a defensive grinder. 

Buckets were hard to come by for either team all afternoon, but York created some separation in the third quarter then held on in the fourth to advance to Friday’s semifinals.

After falling behind 11-8 early in the second quarter, Paige Horne put together a personal 7-0 run to give the Bearcats the lead before a late 3-pointer from Kiersten Portwine tied it up at 14-all heading into halftime.

York junior Kiersten Portwine brings the ball up the floor against Scottsbluff in the state quarterfinals on Mar. 1, 2023, in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/John Peterson.)

The Dukes converted their first 2-pointer of the game to open the third quarter (they hit four 3s and two free throws in the first half), but Taryn Spady answered with a put-back to tie it up again.

Then York hit Scottsbluff with a 10-1 run featuring four assisted buckets including a pair of triples from Portwine. York lead 26-19 at the end of the third then opened the fourth with a 7-1 spurt to build a 13-point lead. 

The Bearcats picked up the intensity on defense but couldn’t get anything to go down on the other end despite York leaving the door open with a 3-for-11 fourth-quarter performance from the charity stripe.

Portwine led everyone with 15 points on 5-for-8 from 3 while Lainey Portwine added seven points and seven rebounds off the bench.

Paige Horne led the Bearcats with 10 points and 14 rebounds including seven on the offensive end. Scottsbluff shot just 9-of-41 from the field.

The Dukes will get a second crack at top-seeded Elkhorn North on Friday at 1:30 p.m. after the Wolves won their regular season meeting 55-9.


Scottsbluff: 4-10-  5-  7 — 26

York:            6-  8-12-12 — 38

S: Paige Horne 10, Payton Burda 7, Anna Kelley 5, Taryn Spady 2, Mary Laucomer 1, Tierra West 1

Y: Kiersten Portwine 15, Lainey Portwine 7, Rylyn Cast 6, Chloe Koch 5, Lauryn Haggadone 3, Josie Loosvelt 2

No. 2 Omaha Skutt 73, No. 7 Waverly 41

The SkyHawks blitzed the Vikings out of the gates, the Vikings settled in and dug into the deficit then Skutt slammed the door shut to start the second half before cruising to the finish.

Skutt junior Peyton McCabe brings the ball up the floor against Waverly in the state quarterfinals Wednesday, Mar. 1, 2023, in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/John Peterson.)

It took more than four minutes for overly to score and Skutt built up a 24-3 lead at the end of the first thanks to a 3 from Addison Burt in the closing seconds. The SkyHawks held Waverly to 1-for-10 shooting with 11 turnovers in the opening period.

Waverly took much better care of the ball in the second quarter, opening the period with a 14-7 run, but Skutt took a 36-21 lead into halftime then opened the third with a 15-0 run to put the game away.

Sophomore Molly Ladwig led everyone with 25 point while chipping in four assists and two steals. Burt added 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting including 3-of-5 from deep and four steals. Ten of the 11 SkyHawks who saw the court scored and six of them hit at least one 3-pointer as Skutt hit 11 triples as a team.

Paige Radenslaben scored all of her team-high nine points in the second half for the Vikings, who turned the ball over 21 times and shot just 4-for-22 from deep.


Waverly:            3-18-11-  9 — 41

Omaha Skutt: 24-12-22-15 — 73

W: Paige Radenslaben 9, Parker Christiansen 7, Berkley Lambrecht 6, Anna Clarke 5, Peyton Tritz 4, Alexis Adams 3, Mya Rourke 2

OS: Molly Ladwig 25, Addison Burt 13, Peyton McCabe 8, Julia Connealy 6, Kamryn Kasner 6, Mia McMahon 4, Presley Douglas 3, Milayni Cain 3, Libby Shotkoski 3, Alaina Michaelis 2

No. 3 Sidney 43, No. 6 Beatrice 37

For the second straight day, the night cap at Pinnacle Bank Arena prove to be thee most competitive as Sidney managed to both lead for most of the night and pull off a come-from-behind win to punch its ticket to the semifinals.

Sidney’s aggressive defensive style (full-court pressure falling back into an extended, ball-pressure 2-3 zone) created all sorts of problems for the Lady Orange who moved the ball well but struggled to make shots.

Sidney led 10-5 at the end of the first after holding Beatrice to 2-for-12 shooting. The aggressiveness started to backfire a bit as Beatrice went 8-for-12 at the foul line in the second quarter, but Reese Riddle put the Lady Raiders on her back with nine points in the period to lead Sidney to a 25-14 lead before the Lady Orange scored the last five of the half.

Beatrice continue to chip away at the lead throughout the third quarter, clawing all the way back to take a 30-29 lead heading into the fourth after holding Sidney to 1-for-13 shooting in the third.

Riley Schwisow opened the fourth with a floater then found Kiera Busboom for a layup to push the lead to five, but it went south from there for the Lady Orange.

Sidney closed the game on a 14-3 run with nine of those points coming at the foul line. Both Busboom and Schwisow fouled out before the 3:30 mark and the Lady Orange just couldn’t find a way to stem the tide without them.

Beatrice turned the ball over 11 times in the fourth quarter and went 0-for-4 from 3 including three looks on one possession in the last 45 seconds that could have cut the deficit from four to three.

Riddle went 6-for-8 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and 7-for-10 overall to score a game-high 17 points while also leading Sidney with seven rebounds including five on the offensive end.

Schwisow led Beatrice with 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting including 3-for-6 from deep. The rest of the team shot 0-for-14 from 3 and Beatrice finished with 24 turnovers. Sidney made just three field goals in the second half, but Beatrice couldn’t find a way to capitalize.

The Lady Raiders will take on No. 2 Omaha Skutt in the semifinals at 3:15 p.m. CT at Pinnacle Bank Arena.


Beatrice: 5-13-12-  7 — 37

Sidney:  10-15-  4-14 — 43

B: Riley Schwisow 15, Addison Hatlicff 8, Kiera Busboom 5, Ellie Jurgens 4, Anna Gleason 3, Avery Barnard 2

S: Reese Riddle 17, Rheagan Stanley 7, Payton Schrotberger 5, Jordan Denovelis 5, Karsyn Leeling 4, Chloe Ahrens 3


>> No. 1 Crofton 49, No. 8 Cross County 27: Junior Caitlin Guenther led the Warriors with 20 points as Crofton held the Cougars to eight points or loss in all four quarters including just two in the second. 

>> No. 4 Oakland-Craig 36, No. 5 Ponca 22: Senior Chaney Nelson outscored the Indians by herself with 23 points to lead the Knights to the semifinals.

>> No. 2 Pender 56, No. 7 Clarkson/Leigh 37: Lillie Timm led the way with 13 points and Avery Wegner added 11 as the Pendragons held the Patriots to 13 points in the second half to extend a seven-point halftime lead.

>> No. 3 West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic 67, No. 6 Southern Valley 46: The Bluejays put three players in double figures led by Kelsey Steffen with 20. Victoria Bose led the Eagles with 15 points.


>> No. 1 Falls City Sacred Heart 64, No. 8 Leyton 30: Sophomore Zaili Benish put up 19 points, but it wasn’t enough for the Warriors to keep up with the offensive balance of the Irish led by Jessica Wertenberger’s 13 and Jentry Lechtenberg’s 12.

>> No. 5 Humphrey St. Francis 61, No. 4 McCool Junction 54: Isabel Preister went off for 24 points and Emma Baumgart added 15 as the Flyers outscored the Mustangs 29-22 in the second half. McKenna Yates led McCool Junction with 20 points.

>> No. 2 Shelton 52, No. 7 Wilcox-Hildreth 22: MaKenna Willis nearly matched Wilcox-Hildreth by herself and joined the 1,000-point club in the process with 21 points as the Bulldogs held the Falcons to seven first-half points. Sophomore Madison Bunger led Wilcox-Hildreth with 11 points.

>> No. 6 Wynot 53, No. 3 O’Neill St. Mary’s 44: Amber Lawson put up 24 points while Myrah Sudbeck added 16 as the Blue Devils raced out to a 13-6 lead after one then held on the rest of the way to upset the Cardinals. Mya Hedstrom led St. Mary’s with 12 points.

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