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CURRENT ARTICLE
03/07/2014 - GIRLS STATE BASKETBALL: NORTHWEST BACK TO DEFEND TITLE, COOLS OFF NORRIS



By Jeff Motz
LincolnPrepSports.com


Grand Island Northwest overcame a slow start and finished strong Friday afternoon in their long awaited rematch with Norris.

The Vikings (24-2) finally got the lead in the third quarter and began to pull away from the Titans late to earn a 54-44 victory in the Class B semifinals of the NSAA Girls State Basketball Tournament at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Northwest faces Lincoln Pius X for the Class B championship Saturday at 1pm.

When the Vikings hosted Norris in December, the Titans won 56-47 in the first game the two teams had after last March's Class B championship game, which Northwest won in double-overtime.

On Friday, Norris got out to a quick start on three-pointers from Emma Areman, who scored eight of her 13 points in the first half.  But McKenzie Brown scored 13 of her game-high 21 points in the first half, 11 of which came in the second quarter that helped Northwest rally and trail the Titans 24-22 at the half.

Katelyn Placke scored and hit a free throw that gave Northwest their first lead of the game at 36-35 with three minutes remaining in the third quarter.  After Kasey Hohlen scored to pull Norris to within two, the Vikings pulled away and led 50-42 with under a minute remaining.

Brown got scoring help from Kennadi Keezer (all of her 12 points in the second half) and Erin Sorahan (11 points).

Hohlen finished with 10 points and her sister, Kylie Hohlen, added 11 in the Norris loss.  The Titans will play Holdrege for third place at 10am Saturday at North Star.

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