LINCOLN — A roster with five seniors wasn’t about to let its final chance at a championship slip away because of a poor-shooting first half.

Wahoo Neumann was on a mission the final 16 minutes, and the top-ranked Cavaliers earned a 45-29 victory over No. 4 Lincoln Christian in the Class C-1 title game on Saturday morning.

“I think we really just tried to settle into our game,” junior guard Lindsey Thiele said. “The first (half) you get all the nerves out, you get all the jitters out. Then we went into the locker room and we just knew we had to dig deep. This was our time, this was our game.”

A 30-16 advantage in second half helped Neumann to the program’s third championship (2009 and 2010) after the Cavaliers fell 40-37 in overtime to Columbus Scotus in last year’s title game.

Senior center Kelsie Cada said that loss to Scotus stuck with the team until this season began.

“In the beginning, it drove us crazy,” Cada said. “But we had to just look past it and focus on the game at hand, especially going from game to game. Just had to come in and do our best and play Neumann basketball.”

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The teams struggled from the field in the first half as both shot 5 of 21.

But the Cavaliers hit 2 of 5 from behind the arc while 3s were Lincoln Christian’s Achilles’ heel. The Crusaders made 2 of 13 in the first half and finished 3 of 21.

“It’s one of those things where the ball didn’t drop at times,” Lincoln Christian coach Nick Orduna said. “Even when it wasn’t dropping, we were able to keep it somewhat close. But at the end, I think it became something that was too hard for us to overcome.

“We were 3 of 21 from 3, and that doesn’t help. Neumann’s a great free-throw shooting team, they’re really physical and they attack well. That was the biggest difference.”

Neumann coach Jason Simons said there were two offensive keys that the team covered at halftime, and those made the biggest difference in the second half.

“I thought our girls did a great job offensively, we just didn’t get ourselves into a flow in the first half, kind of like yesterday,” Simons said. “We went in the locker room, talked about being more aggressive, them being tougher than the other team. These girls responded as they have all year.”

Senior guard Alyssa Rezac scored 11 of her game-high 14 in the second half. Her six points in the third quarter helped Neumann expand a 15-13 halftime lead to 28-21 heading into the final eight minutes.

“Just everyone doing what they do best definitely helps,” Rezac said.

Which for Simons was the most satisfying part.

“I thought defensively we played solid the entire game,” Simons said. “To only give up 29 points, to hold down (Olivia) Hollenbeck the way we did (to 10 points). Yeah, that was the game plan, but it’s a lot easier to make a game plan than it is to do that.”

Wahoo Neumann (23-3).........9 6 13 17—45

Lincoln Christian (19-9)..........4 9 8 8—29

WN: Katherine Lilly 0-1 0-1 0, Kelsie Cada 1-9 4-5 6, Taylor Stuhr 3-5 3-4 11, Alyssa Rezac 4-9 4-6 14, Maggie Vasa 1-5 1-3 3, Lindsey Thiele 2-7 6-6 11. Totals 11-36 18-25 45.

LC: Barrett Power 0-6 0-0 0, Makylee Ailes 3-11 1-2 9, Allyson Korte 2-3 0-0 4, Macy Arnold 0-5 0-0 0, Olivia Hollenbeck 4-9 2-4 10, Brielle Power 2-5 0-0 5, Brenna Penrod 0-0 0-0 0, Alexis Johnson 0-1 1-2 1, Addison Ehlers 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 11-41 4-8 29.

3-point goals: WN 5-9 (Lilly 0-1, Stuhr 2-2, Rezac 2-4, Thiele 1-2), LC 3-21 (Ba. Power 0-4, Ailes 2-9, Arnold 0-3, Hollenbeck 0-1, Br. Power 1-2, Johnson 0-1, Ehlers 0-1). Rebounds: WN 35 (Vasa 8), LC 28 (Arnold 7). Total fouls: WN 12, LC 19. Fouled out: Cada, Arnold, Hollenbeck. Technical fouls: None. Turnovers: WN 10, LC 12. Field-goal percentage: WN .306, LC .268. Free-throw percentage: WN .720, LC .500.