Warriors not worried about chase for No. 5

Crofton is heading back to the state tournament as the No. 2 seed in Class C-2 with a chance to win its fifth straight championship. Two of the Warriors' three losses this season came against top-seeded West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic. "It looks like a pretty tough bracket," Crofton coach Aaron Losing said.


Crofton will be chasing its fifth straight title when the girls state tournament begins Thursday in Lincoln.

The Class C-2 Warriors (22-3) seek to become the third school to capture five in a row. South Sioux City and Sandy Creek each won six straight — South Sioux from 2000-05 and Sandy Creek from 1996-2001.

But Crofton coach Aaron Losing said his team isn't getting caught up in those numbers.

"This is kind of a new group," he said. "I'm not sure my kids even think about something like that."

The Warriors saw their 57-game winning string snapped earlier this season by West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic. The Bluejays, who will be heading to state, also defeated Crofton in the final of the Mid-State Conference tournament.

Losing, The World-Herald's girls coach of the year in 2015, said his second-seeded team can't be concerned about payback against top-seeded Central Catholic.

"We still have a lot of work to do before that," the coach said. "It looks like a pretty tough bracket, and our only focus right now is on (first-round opponent) Yutan."

Class D-2 Wynot had a shot at its fifth straight title last year but lost in the final to Falls City Sacred Heart. The Blue Devils, who have reached the championship game six consecutive years, will return to state for the seventh straight time.

Other schools with a chance to repeat as champions are Omaha Westside (Class A), Pierce (Class C-1) and O'Neill St. Mary's and Falls City Sacred Heart (both Class D-2). St. Mary's won the D-1 title last year but is competing in D-2 this season.

Westside returns after claiming the lone Class A wild card. The 19-5 Warriors, who won the state title last year for the first time since 1999, lost to Lincoln East 55-42 Thursday night in a district final.

Pierce will be after its fourth straight championship. The 21-4 Bluejays also qualified for state as a wild card after losing to Wayne 39-37 in a subdistrict final.

St. Mary's is another squad that reached state via the wild card. The 21-4 Cardinals fell to Wynot 4031 in Friday night's district final.

Sacred Heart (24-1) needed no such help getting back to state, rolling past Hampton 61-41 in the district final. The Irish have won 15 in a row, and their only loss came against 25-1 Mound City, Missouri, on Jan. 5.

Heading back to state with a shot at redemption are 2015 runners-up Kearney Catholic (C-1), Hastings St. Cecilia (C-2), Dundy County-Stratton (D-1) and Wynot (D-2).

Reaching state for the first time this season are Louisville (C-1), Oakland-Craig (C-2), Bruning-Davenport/Shickley (D-1) — the individual schools have reached state in the past but not as the co-op — and Lyons-Decatur Northeast (D-2).

The tournament begins Thursday at four sites in Lincoln: Pinnacle Bank Arena, the Devaney Center, Southwest High School and North Star High School.

Semifinals will be played Friday at Pinnacle and Devaney, with all six finals scheduled for Saturday at Pinnacle.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1350, mike.patterson@owh.com twitter.com/MPattersonOWH

CLASS A

AT PINNACLE BANK ARENA

Thursday

No. 8 seed Lincoln East (20-5) vs. No. 1 South Sioux City (24-1), 2 p.m. No. 4 Millard South (22-4) vs. No. 5 Papillion-La Vista South (19-6), 3:45 p.m. No. 2 Fremont (21-6) vs. No. 7 Bellevue West (19-6), 7 p.m. No. 6 Omaha Westside (20-4) vs. No. 3 Millard West (21-5), 8:45 p.m.

Semifinals Friday: East-SSC winner vs. MS-PLVS winner. 7 p.m. Fremont BW winner vs, Westside-BW winner, 8:45 p.m.Final Saturday: 6:30 p.m.

CLASS B

Thursday

AT PINNACLE BANK ARENA

No. 1 seed Platteview (24-0) vs. No. 8 Scottsbluff (10-13), 9 a.m. No. 5 Gretna (17-7) vs. No. 4 Waverly (16-6), 10:45

AT DEVANEY CENTER

No. 3 York (21-3) vs. No. 6 Hastings (17-6), 7 p.m. No. 2 Elkhorn South (20-5) vs. No. 7 Elkhorn (17-7), 8:45 p.m.

AT PINNACLE BANK ARENA

Semifinals Friday: Platteview Scottsbluff winner vs. Gretna-Waverly winner, 2 p.m. York-Hastings winner vs. ES-Elkhorn winner, 3:45 p.m.Final Summary: 1 p.m.

Saturday: 1 p.m.

CLASS C-1

Thursday

AT DEVANEY CENTER

No. 5 Pierce (21-4) vs. No. 4 Chadron (18-4), 9 a.m. No. 1 Lincoln Christian (23-1) vs. No. 8 Mitchell (20-6), 10:45 a.m. No. 7 Wahoo Neumann (19-5) vs. No. 2 Kearney Catholic (25-1), 2 p.m. No. 3 Louisville (23-3) vs. No. 6 Ord (24-2), 3:45

AT PINNACLE BANK ARENA

Semifinals Friday: Pierce-Chadron winner vs. LC-Mitchell winner, 9 a.m. WN-KC winner vs. Louisville-Ord winner, 10:45 a.m.Saturday: Final at 11 a.m. Third-place game at Lincoln North Star, 3 p.m.

CLASS C-2

Thursday at Lincoln Southwest

No. 1 West Point GACC (25-1) vs. No. 8 Stanton (19-7), 2 p.m. No. 4 Hemingford (21-2) vs. No. 5 Superior (24-2), 3:45 p.m. No. 7 Yutan (21-5) vs. No. 2 Crofton (22-3), 7 p.m. No. 3 Hastings SC (18-5) vs. No. 6 Oakland-Craig (19-6), 8:45 p.m.

Semifinals Friday at Devaney: 7 p.m.: GACC-Stanton winner vs. Hemingford Superior winner, 7 p.m. Yutan-Crofton winner vs. HSC-OC winner, 8:45 p.m.

Saturday: Final at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 8:30 p.m. Third-place game at North Star, 1 p.m.

CLASS D-1

Thursday at Lincoln North Star

No. 6 BDS (19-6) vs. No. 3 Fullerton (24-1), 9 a.m. No. 7 Cambridge (19-5) vs. No. 2 Emerson-Hubbard (25-1), 10:45 a.m. No. 4 Dundy Co.-Stratton (22-1) vs. No. 5 Howells-Dodge (19-6), 2 p.m. No. 8 Kenesaw (18-7) vs. No. 1 Friend (23-3), 3:45 p.m.

Semifinals Friday at Devaney: BDS Fullerton winner vs. Cambridge-EH winner, 9 a.m. DCS-HD winner vs. Kenesaw-Friend winner, 10:45 a.m.

Saturday: Final at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 9 a.m. Third-place game at North Star, 11 a.m.

CLASS D-2

Thursday

At Lincoln Southwest

No. 8 Wauneta-Palisade (16-9) vs. No. 1 Falls City SH (24-1), 9 a.m. No. 4 CWC (21-4) vs. No. 5 Wynot (21-5), 10:45 a.m.

At Lincoln North Star

No. 3 Sandhills/Thedford (22-4) vs. No. 6 Lyons-Decatur (16-7), 7 p.m. No. 7 Hyannis (18-5) vs. No. 2 O'Neill St. Mary's (21-4), 8:45 p.m.

Semifinals Friday at Devaney: WPFCSH winner vs. CWC-Wynot winner, 2 p.m. ST-LD winner vs. Hyannis-OSM winner, 3:45 p.m.Saturday: Final at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 4:30 p.m. Thirdplace game at North Star, 9 a.m.

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