- GIRLS STATE BASKETBALL: ROCKETS GET BOOST FROM TUPPER AND WATKINS IN WIN OVER CARDINALS
By Jeff Motz
Toni Tupper was scoring inside, Shaneequah Watkins was scoring everywhere on the Pinnacle Bank Arena floor Thursday afternoon.
Together, they combined for 41 points and helped Lincoln Northeast to a 70-55 victory over South Sioux City in the opening round of the NSAA Class A Girls State Basketball Tournament.
The Rockets (22-4) now have a rematch with top-ranked Omaha Benson Friday at 7pm in the Class A Semifinals, after the Bunnies destroyed Kearney in the second quarterfinal game of the tournament.
Northeast lost to Benson at the Ed Johnson Gym 40-37 on Feb. 1, which saw Tupper only score one point in the game. But Thursday, the 6-3 Creighton volleyball recruit scored a game-high 21 points while Watkins added 20 in the win.
After leading 12-11 after the first quarter, Northeast used the transition game to jump start their offense.
Shots started to fall for Watkins, who along with Jamie Holscher, combined to hit four three-pointers. Of the six trays for Northeast, only Tantashea Giger and Dana Johnson each hit one from behind the arc.
South Sioux City (18-8) got as close as 55-49 in the fourth quarter before Northeast outscored the Cardinals 15-6 the rest of the game. A lob pass on an in-bounds play from Morgan Ewing to Tupper for a basket started the run.
Giger added 10 points for Northeast.
Kori Fischer led South Sioux City with 12 points.