Louisville kept its dream alive of a first state tournament berth Tuesday night, but it wasn’t easy.
The Lions, ranked eighth in Class C-1, posted a 40-34 girls basketball win over unranked Omaha Concordia in a C1-3 subdistrict semifinal at Omaha Roncalli. Louisville (19-3) advances to play fifth-ranked Platteview in a 7 p.m. subdistrict final Thursday.
The Trojans (20-2) rolled to a 69-32 win over Fort Calhoun in the other semifinal.
Louisville sank a basket late in the third quarter and scored the first seven points of the fourth to take command. The Mustangs (14-8) could get no closer than four the rest of the way.
“We knew they were a team that could shoot it out of the gym,” Lions coach Wally Johnson said. “We did a great job defending them.”
Louisville led by a point after the first quarter and by one at halftime. The game remained close throughout the third quarter, but the Lions’ Samantha Lane sank a short jumper just before the buzzer to put Louisville ahead 29-27 entering the final quarter.
“That was an important momentum shift,” Johnson said. “We were able to get some things going in that fourth quarter.”
Two layups by Lane, one by Jamie Winkler and a free throw by Leigh Ann Novotny put the Lions ahead by nine. The Mustangs were 0 for 10 from the field in the final period before Sarah Holmes broke the drought with 2:10 left.
A layup by Sara Struble and a 3-pointer by Alexa Hord helped draw Concordia within 38-34 with 1:10 remaining, but the Lions were able to hang on. A pair of free throws by Raegan Holl with six seconds left nailed down the victory.
“We’ve got a young team and I thought we played not to lose, instead of playing to win,” Mustangs coach Marty Senechal said. “Give Louisville credit because they played with a lot of heart.”
The Lions also got a boost from their noisy student section.
“The last half of the season, they’ve really latched on to this team,” Johnson said. “They make a difference, and I let them know that.”
Winkler, a 5-foot-4 freshman guard, led Louisville with 13 points. Lane, a 6-foot senior, added 10 points and 13 rebounds while freshman guard Kalli Mackling chipped in nine points.
Holmes scored 10 to pace the Mustangs, who have only one senior on their roster. Hord and Emily Petersen had seven each.
A bigger test awaits the Lions on Thursday night in the district final. Platteview defeated Louisville 63-42 back on Dec. 7.
“That was a long time ago, and I know both teams have come a long way since,” Johnson said. “It’s going to be a challenge, but we’ll be ready for it.”
Omaha Concordia (14-8) ....... 6 10 11 7—34
Louisville (19-3) ..................... 7 10 12 11—40
OC: Sarah Holmes 10, Emily Petersen 7, Alexa Hord 7, Nicole Durbin 4, Taylor Roby 2, Sara Struble 4.
L: Kalli Mackling 9, Raegan Holl 2, McKenna Zahn 1, Jamie Winkler 13, Samantha Lane 10, Leigh Ann Novotny 5.
Platteview 69, Fort Calhoun 32
Sydney Feller scored 17 points and Kenzie Kulm added 16 to lead the Trojans to the subdistrict semifinal win.
Kulm scored eight in the first quarter as Platteview raced to a 19-2 lead. Feller had eight in the second period as the Trojans drew off to lead 45-10 at halftime.
Ten players scored for the Trojans, who have won 14 of their past 15 games.
Sophomore Jordan Coulter scored 12 for the Pioneers, who finish the season 9-14.
Fort Calhoun (9-14) 2 8 9 13—32
Platteview (20-2) 19 26 13 11—69
FC: Dacey Boudle 3, Lauren Nelson 3, Jordan Coulter 12, Erin Schulz 4, Carsen Nelson 4, Caitlin Weeks 2, Taylor Sutherland 4.
P: Sydney Feller 17, Maddie Erhart 2, Rachel Harriman 6, Lexie Wichman 2, Makenzie Zach 2, Nicki Stolzer 8, Megan Gillen 4, Michelle Keyes 6, Brandis Bridwell 6, Kenzie Kulm 16.