LINCOLN—Tough defense and solid shooting led Cedar Catholic to a stunning upset over top-seeded Weeping Water during opening round action Thursday in the Class D1 State Tournament.
Cedar entered Thursday’s state tourney opener facing long odds.
As the eighth seed the Lady Trojans had to face off against the top-seeded and once beaten Weeping Water Indians.
Cedar was up to the task as the Trojans pulled ahead after the first two minutes of the game, and never trailed after that, on their way to the 54-49 win.
The Indians jumped out to the early lead, thanks to a pair of jumpers from their star player, UNO recruit, Grace Cave.
But Cedar hit some jumpers of their own to take the lead and the momentum.
The Trojans extended the lead to 23-17 at the halftime break thanks to a Brynn Wortmann 3-pointer.
Weeping Water tried to rally back with an aggressive press defense, but the Trojans were able to break the press and score on transition.
Weeping Water was shocked by Cedar’s play and the fans were surprised, but Coach Craig Wortmann and his team weren’t surprised at all.
“We’ve played a pretty tough schedule, we knew we could compete,” he said.
Senior Abby Hochstein agreed.
“Going into it, I had 100 percent faith that we could do it,” she said. People have kind of underestimated us all season because of our record.”
Friday’s win was a testament to hard work and to believing in the coaches and in each other, Coach Wortmann said.
“We wanted to take away their biggest weapons and we did a goodjob of doing that,” he said. “The girls bought into what we were doing and that paid off for us.”
The game plan called for a strong inside game, and Hochstein provided it, draining the net for 13 points.
“We have a few taller girls, and I thought I could get some stuff done underneath,” Hochstein said.
Weeping Water got within 49-45 with 90 seconds remaining, but Cedar freshman Makenna Noecker scored the final five points at the freethrow line to seal the win.
Cedar- Abby Hochstein, 13; Brynn Wortmann, 12; Makenna Noecker, 11; Aiden Wortmann, 9; Brooklyn Kuehn, 8; Megan Heimes, 1. Weeping Water - Grace Cave, 26; Peyton Barrett, 9; Karley Ridge, 7; Jamison Twomey, 3; Bailee Nissen, 2; Reba Wilson, 2.