CRETE, NE – The Cardinals (19-5) had something of a wake-up call Monday when their 11-game winning streak came to a screeching halt after a 51-40 loss to Norris (10-12) in subdistrict finals.
Crete definitely woke up and rose to the occasion Saturday. Playing on their home floor, junior Morgan Maly dropped a game-high 24 points to lead Crete to a 50-33 victory over North Platte (12-10) in the B-5 district final at Crete High School on Saturday afternoon.
The victory puts the Cardinals back into the state tournament for the first time since 2007. Crete will try to win its first state title in girls’ basketball since 1981.
Crete jumped out to an early 13-4 lead after the first quarter and never looked back from there. Sophomore Hannah Newton finished with 11 points. Junior Ellie Allen had seven.
John Larsen, who won nine state titles in a 30-plus year period with Lincoln Southeast, will coach a team in the state tournament for the first time since 2011.
Other girls’ district finals from Saturday
Seward 47 Norris 46
- Just four days ago, the Jays beat the Titans 47-26 in subdistrict finals. Norris, this time, was right in it until the end, but gave away a 28-19 halftime lead. The Titans had the ball with other 10 seconds, but turned the ball over inside the final five.
Waverly 48 Beatrice 30
- The Lady O (9-12) gave it a great run early, even leading 15-14 at halftime. Beatrice just wrapped up its first losing season in girls basketball in over 15 years, but head coach Jalen Weeks returns every member of his varsity roster next season since he currently has no seniors.
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