O’NEILL — The Cedar Catholic Lady Trojans claimed victories over two former Northern Nebraska Conference foes last week to remain unbeaten.
Cedar Catholic, South Sioux City, Wayne and O’Neill all competed in the conference until Cedar Catholic vaulted for the MidState Conference in the mid-1990s. South Sioux has not been on the schedule for years, while O’Neill has since joined the MidState.
Cedar Catholic had little trouble vanquishing either foe last week, defeating the Lady Cardinals 65-53 before taking care of the Lady Eagles 58-39.
Against O’Neill on Dec. 9, Cedar Catholic managed a three-point lead after eight minutes and made it double digits by the break at the half.
“We really had a bit of a slow start again,” Cedar Catholic head coach Craig Wortmann said. “But things got going some in the second quarter.”
In the three games this season, Cedar Catholic has stumbled a bit out of the gate, but the finished product at the end of the game is what the coaches and the players are after throughout the season.
Makenna Noecker had a 10-for-20 performance from the field, including a 5-for-9 showing from behind the 3-point arc to lead all scorers with 30 points, her highest output of this season.
Lauren Bernecker tacked on 16 and Katy Jones added 11.
Laney Kathol pulled down 16 rebounds; Noecker grabbed seven.
Against the Lady Cardinals on Dec. 6, the Lady Trojans took care of business in the Mini-Dome.
“It took us a quarter to find our rhythm,” Wortmann said. “But we finished very well.”
Cedar Catholic fell behind by a couple of buckets by the end of the first eight minutes, but righted the ship during the first rest stop.
The score moved to 16-12 with 6:22 left in the half when Wortmann called a timeout.
Out of the timeout, Kathol was fouled after grabbing an offensive rebound and converted one of two free throws.
After SSC scored a bucket, Noecker launched a three to make it 18-16. Back-to-back threes by Noecker and Jones, the last, by Noecker gave the Lady Trojans the lead, 22-20, with 3:37 left before the intermission.
Then the Lady Cardinals came back, but another Noecker long ball and a basket inside sent the teams to the locker room with Cedar Catholic in front, 31-29.
The lead grew by a single point in the third, but the Lady Trojans added four points to the advantage in the first four minutes of the final frame.
Lauren Bernecker nailed a three with 3:18 remaining on the clock to push the lead to 53-45.
The lead got to 10 points after a Jones offensive rebound and putback and Jones, Kathol and Noecker combined to go 5-of-6 from the foul line in the last minutes to seal the the win.
“We did a lot of the things we need to do down the stretch to win the game,” Wortmann said.
Cedar 12 15 20 11 — 58 O’Neill 9 6 12 12 — 39 Cedar O’Neill FG 22-38 7-31 3PT 3-12 3-13 FT 5-10 16-27 Reb 31 18 TO 19 15
Cedar - Makenna Noecker, 18; Laney Kathol, 11; Melayna McGregor, 6; B Hochstein, Lauren Bernecker, 4; Grace Wortmann, 4; Samantha Pick, 4; Katy Jones, 2; K Arens, 2; M Lammers, 2. O’Neill - Emma Smith, 18; Bergyn Classen, 10; Olivia Young, 5; Ashley Sidak, 4; Rylee Selby, 2.
Cedar - K Arens, 10; Makenna Noecker, 5; Laney Kathol, 5; Lauren Bernecker, 5; M Lammer, 3; Grace Wortmann, 1; Melayna McGregor, 1; Samantha Pick, 1. O’Neill - Brenna Gdanitz, 7; Bergyn Classen, 4;
Cedar - Katy Jones, 2; Makenna Noecker, 2; Laney Kathol, 2; Melayna McGregor, 2; Lauren Bernecker, 1; Samantha Pick, 1; B Hochstein, 1; Lyndsey Hamilton, 1.
Cedar - Makenna Noecker, 7; Laney Kathol, 6; Grace Wortmann, 1; Samantha Pick, 1; Melayna McGregor, 1; B Hochstein, 1. Cedar Catholic 8 23 12 22- 65 South Sioux 12 17 11 13 - 53 Cedar S Sioux FG 14-32 16-50 3PT 7-16 3-14 FT 16-26 12-15 Reb 43 25 TO 18 10
Cedar - Makenna Noecker, 30; Lauren Bernecker, 16; Katy Jones, 14; Laney Kathol, 5.
Cedar - Laney Kathol, 16; Lauren Bernecker, 10; Makenna Noecker, 7; Grace Wortmann, 5; B Hochstein, 1; K Arens, 1; Katy Jones, 1; Melayna McGregor, 1; Samantha Pick, 1.
Cedar - Laney Kathol, 7; Makenna Noecker, 2; Katy Jones, 1; Melayna McGregor, 1; Samantha Pick, 1; Grace Wortmann, 1.
Cedar - Makenna Noecker, 3; Katy Jones, 2; Lauren Bernecker, 1; Laney Kathol, 1.