LINCOLN — Wahoo Neumann made the most of what coach Jason Simons called “a second chance.”
Alyssa Rezac hit a 3-pointer with 19 seconds remaining in regulation, and the Cavaliers survived North Bend’s shot with a second left before taking control in overtime.
“Survival was what it was. ... I’m happy to survive and get a chance to play for tomorrow,” Simons said.
Neumann (21-3) appeared to be in control, up 41-32 with 4:46 to go in regulation. North Bend (19-8), however, used a 10-0 run to pull ahead 42-41 on Sydney Emanuel’s steal and layup with 2:19 remaining.
Two free throws by Emanuel with 35.3 seconds left put the Tigers ahead 46-43 before Rezac sank her 3 from the right wing to tie it.
“That’s not a play call, that’s a girl making a gutsy decision,” Simons said.
Kelsie Cada had 21 points and 11 rebounds for Neumann, which shot 16 of 48 from the floor but 16 of 22 on free throws, including 4 of 5 in overtime.
“We knew North Bend was a great team and we did the things at the very end that we wanted to do,” Simons said. “We didn’t do them pretty, but we made some free throws and finished it off.”
Emanuel scored 13 points and Cierra Kluthe and Megan Ortmeier had 10 points apiece for North Bend, which was making its first state appearance since 2013. Coach Aaron Sterup, whose team started the season 8-6, said he was pleased with the way the Tigers challenged Neumann down the stretch.
“They’re fighters and I knew they weren’t going to quit,” Sterup said. “It happened several times where we got down three or four possessions and immediately fought back. That’s probably the thing I’m most proud of about this game today.”
North Bend Central (19-8) ................ 13 8 9 16 2—48
Wahoo Neumann (21-3) ................... 17 6 12 11 6—52
NBC: Cierra Kluthe 10, Sydney Emanuel 13, Megan Ortmeier 10, Lauren Emanuel 3, Hannah Williams 8, Ally Pojar 4.
WN: Kelsie Cada 21, Taylor Stuhr 10, Alyssa Rezac 8, Maggie Vasa 4, Lindsey Thiele 9.