Titans dominant in win over Navigators, win fourth straight

Papillion-La Vista South’s Maddie Allen, left, avoids a steal attempt by Lincoln North Star’s Leyton Bruesman during Saturday’s game.

Things are looking up for the Papillion-La Vista South girls basketball team.

The Titans extended their win streak to four games Saturday with a 70-42 win over Lincoln North Star.

The Titans (11-6) were dominant from the opening tip, using their aggressive full-court press to build a 19-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Ciara Morehouse scored 11 points in the first half, including three 3-pointers, to lead the Titans. She would finish the game with 11 points, tied with Maddie Allen for the team lead. Baileigh Nuzum added nine points.

Morehouse and Nuzum combined to score the game’s first 10 points – five from each – as the Titans took control early. After two free throws by Raegan LeGrand, the Navigators scored their first points of the game on a 3-point play with 3:47 left in the first half.

Leading 20-5 early in the second quarter, Morehouse and Kelsey Lang would combine to make three 3s to extend the lead to 29-10. The Titans would head into halftime with a 33-12 lead.

The win over the Navigators ended an impressive week for the Titans, who won three games, including a 41-39 victory over Millard West Jan. 26.

Taylor Beacom made two free throws late in the fourth quarter to seal the win over the Wildcats as Olivia Kastens paced the Titans with 11 points. Beacom finished with 10 points and eight rebounds while Morehouse scored 10 points.

Friday, the Titans beat Omaha South 68-35. Titan head coach Andy Gerlecz said his team had the best offensive performance of the season against the Packers, scoring 29 points in the first quarter to build a 29-11 lead. The Titans would continue to build their lead to 65-28 at the end of the third quarter.

Morehouse led all scorers with 28 points. Nuzum added 11 points and LeGrand added eight points.

“We had a good week, obviously, beating Millard West and winning these two games,” Gerlecz said.

“Hopefully we’re kind of on an upward trajectory. The season’s been a bunch of peaks and valleys and we’ve been in both.”

The Titans could have overlooked North Star, which came into the game with a 4-13 record, but Gerlecz said the team has learned that no win is guaranteed.

“We can be beat on any night. We’ve proven that,” he said. “We can beat anyone. We’ve proven that, too.”

Gerlecz said the win streak shows that the Titans are starting to mature and that becoming a more mature team was a challenge presented by the coaching staff.

“A mature team, every time it takes the floor, gives the maximum effort,” Gerlecz said. “It is engaged the whole time. Everybody; the bench; the people on the floor; everybody. And I think that we did that this week, so that was good to see.”

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