BRIDGEPORT — The Morrill girls basketball team advanced to the championship game of the Class D-1, Sub-district 12 Tournament with a 53-34 win over Leyton during the semifinals on Tuesday night at Bridgeport High School.
The Lions, seeded second, will face top-seeded Dundy County-Stratton in Thursday’s final at 6 p.m. Dundy County-Stratton, which is ranked No. 5 by the Omaha World-Herald with a record of 20-1, cruised to a 70-28 win over Creek Valley in Tuesday’s first semifinal.
Morrill improved to 14-7 with its 19-point win.
“It was a good team win for us,” Morrill head coach Josh Guerue said. “We really played well together and I was really proud of them.”
The Lions moved out to a 17-10 lead after the first quarter before holding a 26-17 advantage at halftime. Morrill increased its lead up to 12 in the third quarter and was never really threatened the rest of the way.
“We moved the ball really well, we shot the ball well as a team, and we had several girls hit big shots,” Guerue said. “We also executed well defensively to stop their bigs. Kaitlyn Margheim did a great job defending a player who was about six inches taller than her.”
Morrill’s Jessica Harvey led all scorers in the contest with 23 points. Bailee Steiner finished with nine points. The Lions shot 10 of 22 at the free throw line.
Thursday’s sub-district final will mark the second meeting of the season between Morrill and Dundy County-Stratton. Dundy County-Stratton earned a 58-37 win over the Lions on Dec. 4 in the season opener. Guerue believes his squad is totally different from that one after going through such a tough schedule during the regular season.
“Our schedule has really set us up to play well I believe,” he said. “We’ve played such good competition. We had to play so many good teams all year long, so I think that’s really going to help us. I really think that experience is going to be a key for us.”
The loss ended Leyton’s season at 11-9. The Warriors were led in scoring by Katie Higgins and Abbe Draper with eight points each. Leyton finished 10 of 15 at the foul line in the game.
Morrill (14-7).................................17 9 10 17 — 53
Leyton (11-9).................................10 7 7 10 — 34
M: LeAnne Sherrod 6, Shalyn Lackey 5, Jessica Harvey 23, Stefani Tarin 5, Kaitlyn Margheim 5, Bailee Steiner 9.
L: Jessica Houk 6, Natalie Cruise 6, Diedra Waite 6, Katie Higgins 8, Abbe Draper 8.