NORFOLK - The Lady Wildcats take to the court on Friday just one win away from a trip to the state tournament in Lincoln.
After upsetting the defending D-1 state champs, North Central, in the Subdistrict Finals, Hartington-Newcastle has drawn the 12 seed and will play five see Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family in the District Final game.
The Lady Bulldogs are 20-4 on the season with two losses to Clarkson/Leigh, a loss to Oakland-Craig, and a loss to Twin River.
After starting the season with a loss to Clarkson/Leigh, HLHF went on an 18-game winning streak.
The Lady Bulldogs then lost to Oakland-Craig and Clarkson/Leigh in back-to-back East Husker Conference Tournament games.
Twin River made it three consecutive losses for HLHF with a 41-35 victory on Feb. 7, following the two losses in the conference tournament.
The Lady Bulldogs were the top seed in Subdistrict D1-5 and rebounded from three straight losses with a victory over then 13-12 Nebraska Christian 56-39 in the Subdistrict semifinals. HLHF then defeated three seed Howells-Dodge 44-35 in the Subdistrict Finals.
In both games, the Lady Dogs were led in scoring by senior Taya Beller.
A 6’2” senior, her command in the post has been noticeable, leading her team with 14.3 points per game on the season, 9.5 rebounds per game, 2.7 steals per game, and 1.6 blocks per game - all team-highs.
Beller will be defended by 6’1” HNS senior Belle Harms. Leading her team in rebounds and blocks, this matchup will play a huge factor in who advances to State.
There are not many centers over six feet tall in high school girls basketball in Class D1, and with each team having a backup center listed at 6’0” even, things can get interesting in the paint.
HLHF rotates freshman Addison Schneider with Beller. Schneider averages six points and 4.3 rebounds per game this season. She has also played in all 24 games, averaging just under 14 minutes per game.
Harms will most likely rotate with fellow senior Ellie Stencel, but she has been recently battling an injury that has kept her off the court Feb. 5.
Beller is not the only scoring threat on the Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family team. She is followed by a pair of juniors that each average 11.4 points per game. Allie Schneider and Brittney Veik are starting guards.
Both Veik and Schneider have shot just under 100 three-pointers on the year, with Veik averaging 39 percent and Schneider averaging 35.
HNS will most like have Abbe Morten and Willa Scoville in the face of Schneider and Veik.
Morten and Scoville also have an affinity for the three. Scoville has gone 50-137 for 36 percent, and Morten has gone 23-93 for 25 percent.
With impending snowstorms in the forecast for Friday into Saturday, the game at Northeast Community College in Norfolk has been moved up to a 4 P.M. start time.