LAUREL, Neb. — Ponca knows how to slow-play Winnebago.

Monday night, Ponca’s approach wasn’t enough to deny the state’s highest-scoring team its fourth consecutive Lewis & Clark Conference boys basketball tournament championship.

All-stater David Wingett scored 19 points and D’Von LaPointe 12 for the Class C-1 No. 7 Indians in their 51-41 victory before a capacity crowd of 1,300 at Laurel-Concord-Coleridge’s gym. About 400 had to wait to get seats until after the girls game, which Wynot won 44-42 on a buzzer-beater 3 by Carissa Kuchta.

Class C-2 No. 2 Ponca beat Winnebago 53-48 at home on Jan. 21. That was after losing to Winnebago 60-57 in the semifinals of the Shootout on the Elkhorn holiday tournament in Wisner before New Year’s.

“They like to slow it down on us,” Wingett said. “We’ve played them so many times that they know how to pick us apart sometimes. We just had to switch a few things up.”

Despite committing 23 turnovers, and seeing leading scorer Logan Kingsbury, a 6-2 junior, miss most of the third quarter after he picked up a fourth foul, Ponca (17-4) was trailing only 41-37 before a 3-point play by Wingett with 4:35 left ignited a 10-0 run for Winnebago (20-2).

“That’s David Wingett,” Winnebago coach Jeff Berridge said. “We throw him the ball (and) trust him that he’s going to do something great.”

Wingett didn’t score again in that closing run. Cedrick Blackdeer had a basket, LaPointe made a one-and-one and Drake Gorrin got the final three points for a 51-37 lead that was Winnebago’s largest of the game.

Ponca coach Adam Poulosky said Winnebago had played man-to-man at the holiday tournament but sat in a zone in the game at Ponca. What his team faced Monday was a new look to Winnebago’s full-court pressure.

“It rattled us enough that they got steals and run-outs,” Poulosky said.

But Ponca didn’t succumb to the early turnovers. Winnebago couldn’t push the lead to double digits in the second quarter, getting stuck at nine three times. Twice it had possession and couldn’t score.

Ponca finished the half on a 7-2 run in the last 1:41, with Max Masin and Carter Kingsbury making pairs of free throws and senior Derrek Touney hitting a 3, to close to 26-22 at the break.

Logan Kingsbury scored a team-high 15 points for Ponca. He had the first four points of the final quarter, when Ponca was cutting the Winnebago lead to 41-37, after sitting out the last 6:08 of the previous quarter.

Aside from Wingett, who was 6-of-9 from the field, Winnebago’s shooters were cold. They were 18 of 55 for the game (.327) and just 3 of 21 on 3s.

In advancing to the finals, Winnebago scored 85, 96 and 95 points while boosting its season average to 83 points a game.

“We must have used them all up getting here,” Berridge said.

Winnebago won’t have to see Ponca again, the schools being in different classifications.

“The last two games against them we played not so good,” Berridge said, “but tonight we put a game together and we came out with a victory.”

Ponca (17-4) ............... 10 12  9 10—41

Winnebago (20-2) ...... 12 14 15 10—51

P: Dalton Tremayne 0-4 1-2 1, Hunter Schweers 2-2 0-0 4, Logan Kingsbury 6-16 3-4 15, Derrek Touney 1-2 0-0 3, Jack Charlson 0-2 0-0 0, Carter Kingsbury 2-7 2-2 7, Max Masin 0-0 5-6 5, Connor Day 3-7 0-0 6. Totals 14-40 11-14 41.

W: D’Von LaPointe 3-11 5-6 12, Drake Gorrin 3-8 1-2 7, Cedrick Blackdeer 3-9 0-0 6, Manape Cleveland 2-12 0-1 2, David Wingett 6-9 6-7 19, TJ Frenchman 1-5 0-0 3, Miguel Baker 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-55 12-17 51.

3-point goals: P 2-12 (L. Kingsbury 0-2, Touney 1-2, C. Kingsbury 1-6, Day 0-2), W 3-21 (LaPointe 1-2, Cleveland 0-10, Wingett 1-4, Frenchman 1-3, Baker 0-1). Total fouls: P 19, W 17. Fouled out: none. Technicals: none. Turnovers: P 23, W 12. Rebounds: P 36 (C. Kingsbury 10), W 28 (Wingett 12). Field-goal percentage: P .350, W .327. Free-throw percentage: P .786, W .706. A: 1,300 (cap.)

Reporter - High school sports

Stu is The World-Herald's lead writer for high school sports and for golf. Follow him on Twitter @stuOWH. Phone: 402-444-1041.

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