Class D-2: Cortney Arkfeld's game-winner lifts Wynot to state title

Wynot's Cortney Arkfeld after she scored while being fouled by St. Mary's Brianna Bauer. She also hit the game-winning shot to give Wynot the Class D-2 state championship.

LINCOLN — Cortney Arkfeld said she had to go for it.

Her 3-pointer, with 10 seconds left in Saturday’s Class D-2 girls basketball final, gave Wynot a 41-40 victory over O’Neill St. Mary’s and its fifth state title in six years.

“It ended up being awesome,’’ said Arkfeld, who had a game-high 24 points. “I couldn’t even think.”

No. 3 St. Mary’s (23-5), last year’s Class D-1 champion, took a 40-38 lead on two free throws by Sydney Hupp with 18 seconds left.

Wynot guard Danielle Wieseler brought the ball to the 3-point line and flipped it to her left to Arkfeld, who had been behind her. Arkfeld got a clean look.

“What a game for her. She stepped up big-time at the end,’’ Wynot coach Steve Wieseler said. “What was going through my head was if she doesn’t hit this, I should have taken my timeout.”

Arkfeld’s shot didn’t totally seal the win for the No. 2 Blue Devils (24-5). St. Mary’s had 7.6 seconds left after a timeout.

Arkfeld intercepted a pass near halfcourt, then got called for a double-dribble with 3.2 seconds.

“I was rushing myself, getting too excited,’’ she said. “I stayed pretty calm. I figured we’d play pretty good defense with 3 seconds. That’s a short amount of time. It was pretty close.”

The St. Mary’s inbounds pass went to Hupp, who passed crosscourt to fellow senior Riley Sibbel. Her layup was strong off the backboard as time expired.

“We call that play ‘Wizard’ and we’ve been practicing it all week,” Cardinals coach Traci Berg said. “All I had to say was run ‘Wizard’ and they set up right in it and we were ready to go. We just missed the shot. It was a great, great opportunity.”

The final was a rematch of the district final that Wynot, in a must-win, captured with a 50-41 win. St. Mary’s got off only 22 shots that night.

“We really wanted to meet up with these guys again and show everyone we could play with them and played a lot better than the first time we met them,’’ Berg said. “I think we did that tonight. We dug ourselves into a few holes but battled our way back when we easily could have folded.”

St. Mary fell behind 13-4 with 2:35 left in the first quarter, but went to halftime ahead 20-18. Wynot led 32-28 after three quarters and 36-31 with 4:57 left.

Baskets by Emily Prigratz on a putback and Hailey Eiler gave St. Mary’s a 39-38 lead with 1:24 left. Hupp went 1 of 2 at the line with 18.1 seconds left for the two-point lead that Arkfeld’s shot erased.

O’Neill St. Mary’s (23-5).........6 14 8 12—40

Wynot (24-5).........................13 5 14 9—41

OSM: Hattie Blumenstock 6-10 1-3 13, Sydney Hupp 3-10 4-6 10, Tracy Chvala 1-1 0-0 2, Taylor Colman 0-3 0-0 0, Riley Sibbel 3-9 0-0 7, Brianna Bauer 0-1 0-0 0, Breanna Hedstrom 0-1 0-0 0, Hailey Eiler 2-4 0-0 4, Emily Prigratz 1-2 2-2 4, Logan Connot 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-40 7-11 40.

W: Olivia Wieseler 1-1 0-0 2, Cortney Arkfeld 9-17 2-3 24, Danielle Wieseler 2-8 4-4 9, Carissa Kuchta 0-4 2-2 4, Skylar Arkfeld 1-5 0-2 5, Madelynn Gartner 0-5 0-0 4, Dairian Greninger 0-0 0-0 , Cortney Linder 0-0 0-0 0, Julia Eskens 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 14-41 8-11 41.

3-point goals: OSM 1-5 (Coleman 0-1, R. Sibbel 1-3, Hedstrom 0-1), W 5-17 (C. Arkfeld 4-6, D. Wieseler 1-5, Kuchta 0-3, S. Arkfeld 0-1, Gartner 0-2). Total fouls: OSM 13, W 13. Fouled out: none. Technicals: none. Turnovers: OSM 15, W 15. Rebounds: OSM 28 (Hupp 12), W 28 (C. Arkfeld 6). Field-goal percentage: OSM .409, W .341. Free-throw percentage: OSM .636, WW .727.

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