LINCOLN — With her future college coach looking on, Morgan Maly had another big game for Crete.
The Creighton pledge poured in 36 points Thursday night to lead the Class B No. 1 Cardinals to a 55-47 win over Class C-1 No. 1 Lincoln Christian. Crete moved to 10-0 on the season while the host Crusaders fell to 9-1.
Maly went to work immediately, scoring 16 in the first quarter. She had 21 by halftime and 27 after three quarters before finishing with 36 — one short of the school record.
"We came out hot," she said. "As far as the record, if it happens, it happens."
Maly, a 6-foot-1 senior, said she was aware that Creighton coach Jim Flanery would be at the game.
"That didn’t change what I do," she said. "I just go out and play my game."
Crete coach John Larsen said he has learned to expect big things from Maly, who also scored 36 in a game earlier this season at Hastings.
"She’s dialed in and focused," he said. "She’s a tough matchup for any team."
Larsen, the longtime Lincoln Southeast coach who is in his second season at Crete, said his team has played especially well recently in the first quarter.
"The kids know what they’re supposed to do," he said. "They really executed, but then we let them back in the game."
Lincoln Christian went on a 10-0 run to start the second quarter to creep within six. The Crusaders got within five points four times in the second half but could draw no closer.
"We were settling for too many 3s at times," Larsen said. "Then we got back to running our offense."
An offense led by Maly, an All-Nebraska selection last season as Crete finished as the Class B state runner-up. She was 11 of 19 from the field — including five 3-pointers — and 9 of 10 from the line.
Hannah Newton added 10 for the Cardinals, who host Wahoo on Saturday.
Lincoln Christian had three players in double figures. Olivia Hollenbeck finished with 14 points, Alexis Johnson had 12 and Makylee Ailes added 11.
But the Crusaders never could climb out of the first-quarter hole when it trailed by 18.
There was one anxious moment for Crete midway through the fourth quarter when Maly was fouled on a layup attempt and hit the floor. She stayed down for a minute but remained in the game.
"She’s been having some trouble with leg cramps," Larsen said. "But I always take a deep breath when something like that happens."
After the game, Maly spent a few minutes chatting with Flanery.
"We know we’re going to get everyone’s best shot," she said. "But we played a good game tonight."
Crete (10-0)..........................25 5 13 12—55
At Lincoln Christian (9-1).......9 13 12 13—47
C: Hannah Newton 10, Jayda Weyand 1, Leah Jurgens 3, Morgan Maly 36, Lexi Mach 5.
LC: Barrett Power 5, Makylee Ailes 11, Ashlynn Ailes 3, Allyson Korte 2, Alexis Johnson 12, Olivia Hollenbeck 14.
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