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03/04/2017 - CLASS A GIRLS BASKETBALL: Silver Hawks Strike Gold, Capture First Basketball Title In Overtime Win

By Jeff Motz

With the amount of state championships in athletics that have started to accumulate at Lincoln Southwest High School, athletic director Mark Armstrong might have to put in a special order for a bigger display case.

After Saturday night, the current trophy case got a little more cramped.

The Silver Hawks rallied in the second half, then got some big baskets and free throws in overtime to beat Millard South 56-51 to capture the school's first Class A girls state basketball title at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

The win means the Class A crown stays in Lincoln for the second straight year, after Lincoln East won a year ago and the first time since Lincoln Southeast won in 2003, then East in 2004, which led to Lincoln Northeast's state title run in 2005.

Southwest (23-5), in their first championship game appearance, managed to bounce back from a 17-6 second quarter deficit and outscored the Patriots 8-0 the rest of the half, only to trail 17-14 at halftime.

Millard South sprinted ahead to a 31-25 lead with 3:24 left at the media timeout, after a three-pointer from Lauren Sanders as part of her 9-point third quarter spurt.  Southwest countered with Alex Barada's three-pointers to tie the game at 31 at the end of the period.

The Silver Hawks lead grew to four midway through the fourth quarter, but Jaisee Stinson's three-pointer cut into the lead with Millard South down 40-39 with 4:55 to play.

Grace Rasmussen, who led the Patriots in scoring with 12 points, connected on a three-point play to give Millard South a 47-46 lead with 2:29 left.  Southwest tied the game at 47 on one of two free throws from freshman Emerson Barada.

Millard South then went into a stall offense with less than two minutes left and ran time down to the very last few seconds, only to not be able to get a final shot at the buzzer.

Freshman guard Madison Krull scored to open up overtime and giving Millard South the lead, but Southwest responded on the other end with the basket.  The Patriots went into stall mode, again, but the Silver Hawks forced a turnover when Emerson Barada stole the ball and found Hannah Kelle for a layup on the other end.  

Krull's three-point attempt on the next Millard South possession was blocked by Kelle, then Alex Barada hit one of two free throws to give Southwest a 52-49 lead.  

With 32.3 seconds left in the overtime period, Krull drove the lane and scored a layup, but Southwest's Emma Kauf and Fergusonn each sank two free throws to seal the win.

Free throw shooting was key, as the Silver Hawks hit 24-of-31 from the stripe for 77%, while the Patriots shot 7-of-13 for 54%.

Jaisee Stinson added 11 points and Sanders scored 10 points in the Millard South loss.
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