- CLASS A GIRLS STATE BASKETBALL: MILLARD WEST TAKES ADVANTAGE OF SOUTHEAST'S COLD START
By Jeff Motz
Lincoln Prep Sports.com
As the old basketball saying goes......you live by the three, you die by the three.
That was the case Thursday morning for the Lincoln Southeast girls. The Knights couldn't overcome a first quarter shutout and a deficit as fifth-seed Millard West pulled away to a 45-32 win in the first round of the NSAA Class A girls state basketball tournament at the Devaney Center.
The win for the Wildcats sets up a Friday 9am matchup in the semifinals against Bellevue East, who had to survive a 53-48 win by holding off scrappy Papillion-LaVista.
Southeast hit a record 202 three-pointers this season, but the Knights were only 4-of-31 behind the arc, for 13 percent. Millard West took advantage.
The Wildcats didn't score the first basket of the game until 6:31 left in the first quarter off a basket from Savana Kingsbury, followed by a three-pointer from Ashleigh Nelson for a 5-0 start.
Southeast continued to struggle, missing their first eight shots from beyond the arc. Millard West finished out the quarter with an eight point scoring run for a 13-0 lead.
Jaylan Spencer's layup extended the Wildcat lead to start the second quarter. Southeast's first field goal didn't come until 7:29 left in the second quarter when sophomore guard Alexa Kastanek hit a three. Kastanek scored 10 of her 13 points in the second quarter that saw the Knights outscore the Wildcats 14-10. Southeast got as close as six points at 20-14 before Millard West added three more points for a 23-14 halftime lead.
The Wildcats extended their lead to 32-16 in the third quarter, limiting just two points for the Knights, those coming from Matley Jones, who finished with six points.
Spencer led Millard West (20-5) with 16 points, while Nelson added 13 points in the win. Southeast finishes 22-4.