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03/05/2017 - From The Press Box: Out of Nowhere, Silver Hawks and Crusaders Display Gold

From The Press Box

Everyone had the sense of Lincoln Christian winning the state tournament this weekend.

No one thought the same thing would happen to Lincoln Southwest.

Not even me.

Probably one reason why I don't always go out on a limb and share my predictions publicly because you get the finger pointed toward you or simply ridiculed by others who read your stuff.

You don't know what may happen at the State Basketball Tournament, especially with girls teams in recent years.

Southwest, quite frankly, proved every single one of us wrong for doubting that a first-timer in the Class A championship game would actually win.

The only ones who thought Southwest had a chance to win were head coach Jeff Rump, his staff and the players.  Maybe the Silver Hawk students and fan base did, too.

Now, last year's Class A championship with Lincoln East and this year's with Southwest certainly rank in my top ten of "Great Games I've Called" list.  Both had drama, suspense and excitement.

Let's face it, you should never count anyone out down 17-6 early in the second quarter.  Southwest came roaring back and handled Millard South, leading briefly throughout before winning the big prize.

Alex Barada certainly is one senior that every team should have.  Gutty and simply having no fear of taking the big shot.  Southwest is thankful to have her out on the floor when it's crunch time.

The group of young talent the Silver Hawks have back next year (including Hannah Kelle, Emerson Barada, Raegan Wells among others) will raise the bar in the city basketball race.

If there's one thing that baffled me about the Class A championship, it how Millard South went into a stall offense with over two minutes left late in regulation and again in overtime, backfiring twice.

Northeast returns several key players, including McKenna Minter as a sophomore.  She burst on the scene this year as a ball of fire, averaging around 18 points a game.

East still has talent left over from the 2016 state title team that will be back.  Allie Roh, Regan Sankey and Ellie Bliemeister are a few names that will be back for Coach Dennis Prichard.


It seems like it's been forever ago the last time the Lincoln Christian girls won a state basketball title.  Actually, it's been 15 years.

The older you get, the more you realize how time flies by.

The Crusaders made it a goal to get back to the championship game this year, after falling short to Kearney Catholic a year ago, the same team they defeated on Saturday 45-41.

Could this Christian team be the best of the best this year?  Arguably, yes.

How many teams did you see at the state tournament go 14-of-20 from three-point range in one game?  All around, Lincoln Christian had what they needed for necessary talent to win.

Ashlyn Power and Mollie Shepard (who was hurt earlier in the season) are two seniors that will be missed.  Chloe Dworak, Taytem Coleman, Emie and Olivia Hollenbeck are all returning, hoping to reload for one more title run.


 Rotellas Italian Bakery

PIUS X/PARKVIEW BOYS ARE UP NEXT AT STATE and are both going to bring you coverage of the Boys State Basketball tournament Thursday night, featuring Lincoln Pius X and Parkview Christian.

Pius X will play Omaha South in Class A at 8:45pm at Pinnacle Bank Arena and Kellan Heavican will bring you the call here on

Parkview will play in the D2 first round against Wynot at 8:45pm at Lincoln East, with Matt Rigby and Michael Dixon on the call on

One or both of the websites will continue to follow both teams, as long as they stay alive in tournament play.

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