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02/28/2014 - GIRLS DISTRICT BASKETBALL: Ziegelbein Sparks Warriors To District Title

By Jeff Motz

FIRTH---Lincoln Lutheran's Tara Ziegelbein did all she could to deny any chance Syracuse had at scoring from inside.  

The 6-0 senior center recorded five blocks and scored 12 points before fouling out late while helping the Warriors to a 49-36 win over the Rockets in the Class C1 District 1 girls basketball championship at Norris Middle School.

The district title also marks the first trip to the NSAA Girls State Basketball tournament for the Warriors (18-7).  It's the third school head coach Rich Olson has taken to state.  His girls teams at Millard South won three titles and he led his alma mater Lincoln Northeast to the school's first basketball title in 2005, which started a 48-game win streak before it ended in the 2006 Class A championship game.

Offensively, Friday night's game was not a record setter by any stretch.  Simple mistakes from both teams and missed shots allowed for scrappy defense on loose balls.

Ziegelbein helped Lutheran escape from a 5-2 first quarter lead to a 14-3 advantage by scoring seven of the team's 19 first half points in the second quarter.  Syracuse countered and picked up a little momentum with seven points off the bench from Emily Isaacs, trailing 19-10 at the half.

Then the Rockets opened the second half with a three-pointer from Julia Reed to pull to within six of the Warriors.  Lutheran led 23-18 halfway through the period before ending it on a 9-4 run to pull ahead 32-22 as Maria Deeter scored from close range right before the buzzer.

Deeter would be pivotal in the fourth quarter, by six free throws to extend the lead.  Senior forward MacKenzie Oneth had a game high 14 points, seven of which came during the final period that helped the Warriors to a 41-27 lead.

Deeter finished the game with 10 points to help Lutheran.  Reed and Paige Kapperman each had eight points in the loss for Syracuse, who finishes the season at 19-7.
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