- CLASS B GIRLS STATE BASKETBALL TITLE: Simon's 18 Leads Pius X Past Norris
By Jeff Motz
Maddie Simon's high school basketball career ended as many had anticipated, with a state championship.
The 6-2 Lincoln Pius X senior and Nebraska women's basketball recruit scored 18 points to lead the Thunderbolts to a 41-33 victory over Norris in the Class B Girls State Basketball championship Saturday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The championship is the first for Pius X (22-2), since 1992.
Simon and Kennady Sander were pivotal in the fourth quarter when things got tight. Norris roared out to a 7-0 run to start, behind two baskets from McKenna Sullivan and took a 27-25 lead off a Dani Meierhenry three-pointer with 6:12 to play.
Sander then scored on the next Pius X possession to tie and Simon scored on a go-ahead layup with 5:10 left to regain the lead at 29-27.
The 'Bolts regained a four-point lead, while the Titans missed two opportunities to close the cap from close range on one possession. Then Simon scored on a layup to put Pius X ahead 35-29 with 1:36 remaining.
Norris closed the deficit to four at 37-33 on a basket from Shalena Brown with 29 seconds left. Simon and Briahtia Sebek each hit two free throws to seal with the win.
Pius X led much of the game, including a 16-15 halftime lead before taking a 25-20 third quarter lead.
Sander added 13 points for Pius X. Norris was led by Meierhenry and Brown, who each scored 9 points.