The Papillion-La Vista Monarchs season came to an end in the quarterfinal match up of the Class A state girls basketball tournament against Lincoln East. The No. 6 seed Monarchs fell 50-30 to the No. 3 seed Spartans.
Lincoln East came out with some full court pressure to start the game and forced the Monarchs into some early turnovers. The Spartans average just over 13 steals per game so their game plan is to take the ball early and often.
"They pressure everything," Papio head coach Josh Siske said. "You get a rebound, they pressure. You take the ball out of bounds, they pressure. They just never stop pressuring. They are so fast as a team and they rotate so well and they are so well coached. Its constant pressure and it just wears you down."
Siske added that "they are relentless."
The Spartans got on the board first after a basket by Taylor Searcy with 4:48 left in the first quarter.
Lindsey Ingwerson got Papio on the board first with a basket with four minutes left in the first quarter making the score 5-2 East.
The Monarchs got some good looks early from deep but could not knock them down until Olivia Boudreau sank her first deep ball, making the score 6-5.
At the end of the first quarter, the score was 14-7 with the Spartans leading.
Papio cut the lead to 16-12 halfway through the second quarter, but the Spartans went on a 7-0 run to make the score 23-12 and forcing a Monarch timeout.
The Spartans would add two more baskets to end the half and take a 27-12 lead into the second half. It was a 11-0 total run for the Spartans to end the half.
"They did a good job of switching defense and pressuring us in the full court and then dropping back into something different," Siske said about the run. "I think they confused us a little bit and they created some steals and then hit some shots during that run. Their effort was so dang good tonight."
In the third quarter, the Monarchs did a good job of stifling the East offense and staying in the game, but the offense still was not there for Papio and after a transition layup by the Spartans, the score was 35-19 with 1:30 left in the third.
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Monarchs trailed the Spartans 37-21.
No points were scored in the first two and a half minutes either way in the fourth quarter, until Brooklyn Wrice split a pair of free throws for Papio.
The Spartans then went on a quick 7-0 run to make the score 44-22 with just 4:23 left in the ball game.
The Monarchs cut the score to 46-28 after two three-pointers from Boudreau and Ingwerson, but they could never get within striking distance of the Spartans.
To finish out the game, the Spartans played the game of possession and won the game 50-30.
Taylor Searcy led the Spartans with 17 points. Charley Bovaird added 10 points, seven coming in the opening quarter.
For the Monarchs, Ingwerson finished with 14 points to lead Papio. Boudreau added eight points.
The Monarchs did not eclipse double digits in any of the four quarters.
Siske had nothing but praise for his seniors and what they have meant for the Monarchs and the Papillion community.
"The coolest part about it to me is the legacy they leave behind that so many junior monarch kids came to watch them and just love those kids," Siske said. "They will be in the crowd saying 'I want to be Liv', or 'I want to be Erica' or 'I want to be Lindsey.'
"That’s what so cool about it that years down the road when those kids get their chance to play basketball at Papillion-La Vista, they are going to be thinking ‘I was watching those kids play’ and that’s the biggest thing.
"Obviously, they were really successful and made a few trips to state but I think the coolest thing about it is what they did and how they connected with our youth program and how they connected with the community.
"They are just beloved by our youth program and the other kids in the program are going to need to step up and make the connection that those kids had."