WAYNE — The Cedar Catholic girls basketball team continues to battle through its usual cluster of challenges on the hardwood.
The returns are becoming much better.
The Lady Trojans started the post-Christmas run of play with a tough, 53-29, defeat against Pender at the Great Northeast Nebraska Shootout, but followed that performance up with back-to-back wins over LCC (40-23) and Winnebago (67-62) to finish in fifth place.
“Against Pender, we fought hard in the first half but the third quarter we struggled with turnovers and the game got away from us,” CCHS head coach Craig Wortmann said. “The girls worked the ball on offense more (against LCC) to get better shots which helped our offense. We still only had four girls that scored in this contest though. We were able to set our press more which helped us get our offense moving.”
The Cedar girls really showed their resilience in the Winnebago game.
“Winnebago was a battle as we were down by 10 most of the game. We stayed with our press and our game plan to keep them moving and by the fourth quarter we made a push to tie the game at the end of regulation.”
The overtime period against Winnebago saw both squads lose a number of players to foul trouble.
Brynn Wortmann scored 34 points to lead the Lady Trojans. She scored 17 points against the Lady Bears and Laney Kathol and Jordyn Steffen each hit for 10 points in the game prior to the Winnebago shootout.
“It was a great effort from all the girls along with Brynn’s leadership to get the win,” Coach Wortmann said. “Megan Heimes came up with two big free throws to tie the game in regulation with only seconds left. I am very proud of the girls for fighting through this week to get two of three games.”
Brynn Wortmann felt the girls came out of the break sluggish while managing to take fifth place at the tournament.
“Pender is a decent team, but we definitely could have fought a little harder,” she said. “It’s almost like, ‘who actually kept up doing basketball during the break,’ but it can go either way. We came out so cold and it wasn’t anyone’s best game. Having Tuesday off helped so we could look over what we were going to do over the next few days.
“We had more confidence against Laurel,” said Wortmann.
Wortmann definitely did considering she lit the bottom of the net all day against Winnebago, which saw the Lady Trojans rally behind a big fourth quarter to send the game to the extra session.
“We had worked so hard the first three quarters and halftime, we were down nine and 11 in the fourth quarter,” Wortmann said. “We worked harder than we did in the first three quarters. They were way bigger on the inside and were just lobbing it in and it went in the hoop – it was really hard to stop them.
“Megan hit those free throws at the end and they were getting tired in the fourth quarter and in the overtime, too. We were jacked up and they were tired and it was a good combination for us. We needed the two wins to keep heading in the right direction and boost our confidence.”
The Lady Trojans played Tuesday at home against Osmond and host LCC Thursday, travel to Tri County Northeast Saturday and host Boone Central next Tuesday.
“The ball movement from the girls in all three contests greatly improved,” Craig Wortmann said. “If we can continue to find good shots and be patient on the offensive side, we will be very tough to beat. Our man defense has picked up as well.
“The girls are communicating more, and it is showing on the court. This week we will need to continue to put ball pressure on our opponents. We are hoping to do this with our press and in the half court. If we can move the ball well and play team defense we will be in good shape. As we move along, we are looking to play quicker and get more girls involved in the score book. If we can improve on these, then we should be in every game we play this week.”
Cedar - Brynn Wortmann, 10; Jordyn Steffen, 7; Laney Kathol, 4; Cady Uttecht, 3; Gracie Dickes, 3; Megan Heimes, 2.
Cedar - Brynn Wortmann, 10; Megan Heimes, 5; Laney Kathol, 4; Jordyn Steffen, 4.
Cedar - Brynn Wortmann, 2; Laney Kathol, 1.
Cedar - Laney Kathol, 2; Megan Heimes, 1; Brynn Wortmann, 1.
Cedar - Brynn Wortmann, 17; Laney Kathol, 10; Jordyn Steffen, 10; Megan Heimes, 3.;
Cedar - Laney Kathol 8; Megan Heimes, 3; Brynn Wortmann, 3; Gracie Dickes, 2; Elly Becker, 1.
Cedar - Brynn Wortmann, 2; Laney Kathol, 2; Jordyn Steffen, 2; Makenzie Arens, 1; Megan Heimes, 1.
Cedar - Brynn Wortmann, 4; Laney Kathol, 4; Megan Heimes, 2; Makenzie Arens, 2; Jordyn Steffen, 1.
Cedar - Brynn Wortmann, 34; Laney Kathol, 11; Megan Heimes, 8; Jorydn Steffen, 8; Cady Uttecht, 2; Gracie Dickes, 1.
Cedar - Brynn Wortmann, 5; Megan Heimes, 5; Laney Kathol, 4; Gracie Dickes, 2; Elly Becker, 1; Cady Uttecht 1.
Cedar - Brynn Wortmann, 1; Laney Kathol, 1.
Cedar - Brynn Wortmann, 5; Laney Kathol
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