HARTINGTON — Hartington-Newcastle dropped its final two games of the regular season to a highly regarded Wynot team on Feb. 10 61-32 and a Wausa team the Lady Wildcats had just beaten in the finals of the Clark Division Tournament.
In the season finale against the Lady Blue Devils, Wynot jumped out to an 1810 lead after the first quarter then extended the advantage to 32-14 at halftime buzzer.
“We didn’t play very well against Wynot,” HNS coach Grant Rolfes said. “I didn’t have the girls ready to handle the pressure Wynot applies and it got us sped up, taking bad shots, making bad passes - Coach Wieseler always has his girls ready to play aggressive, solid defense and when they can shoot the ball like they did on this night — they are very tough to beat.”
The deficit grew to 50-19 before the Lady Wildcats outscored the Lady Blue Devils 13-11 in the final period to reach the 52-33 final.
Mani Lange with 11 and Alivia Morten with 10 were the only Hartington-Newcastle players reaching double-digits. Morten’s effort reached the 1,000-point plateau during the game to earn that milestone. Olivia Grutsch added five, McKenzie
Bruning chipped in four and Maddie Steffen had a bucket. Grutsch also gathered 10 rebounds on the night.
After defeating the Lady Vikings for the Clark title, Hartington-Newcastle had a bit of a let down in the rematch and fell by the 47-38 final score. “We just got outplayed by them in this game,” Rolfes said. “We weren’t as focused as we should have been and didn’t make the shots we needed to make - credit to Wausa, they responded from our last game and we didn’t.” The Lady Wildcats did grab a lead in the opening quarter, finishing the eight-minute session with a 13-6 advantage. The lead disappeared in the second period with Wausa taking a 23 18 lead into the halftime locker room. The Lady Vikings increased the lead to 34 23 at the end of the third before HNS battled back in the fourth. Unfortunately, the comeback fell short and the Lady Wildcats dropped the game.
Morten poured in 16 points on the night followed by McKenzie Bruning with 15.
Lange added four and Lauren Howell and Steffen each had two.
Bruning completed a doubledouble with 13 rebounds while Zoey Gratzfeld pulled down a dozen.
Hartington-Newcastle was set for the C2-5 Sub-District Tournament Feb. 14 where it was to take on No. 2-seeded Ponca in Crofton.
The Lady Wildcats took an 11-10 record into the contest.
The winner of that game will take on the winner of a game between No. 1-seeded Crofton and the No. 4 seed, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge with the winners butting heads on Feb. 16 back in Crofton.
Wynot 18 14 18 11 — 61 HNS 10 4 5 13 — 32 Wynot HNS FG 21-58 11-47 3PT 8-19 1-9 FT 11-18 10-19 Reb 37 24 TOs 19 18
HNS - Mani Lange, 11; Alivia Morten, 10; Olivia Grutsch, 5; McKenzie Bruning, 4; Maddie Steffen, 2. Wynot - Amber Lawson, 15; Myrah Sudbeck, 11; Kinslee Heimes, 11; Allison Wieseler, 9; Courtney Pinkelman, 6; Lauren Haberman, 5; Kayla Pinkelman, 2; Annika Heimes, 1; Kenna Olgimueller, 1.
HNS - Olivia Grutsch, 10; Alivia Morten, 5; Kennadi Peitz, 4; Mani Lange, 1; McKenzie Bruning, 2; Maddie Steffen, 1; Lauren Howell, 1.
HNS - Alivia Morten, 1; Lauren Howell, 1.