HARTINGTON — The Wynot Lady Blue Devils dug themselves a huge hole to start Monday’s Lewis and Clark Conference title game here.
The Lady Devils could do little to stop Ponca’s Kaci Day in the first 16 minutes of the game, and she responded by pumping in 21 points and leading her Lady Indian girls basketball team to a 36-23 halftime advantage over Wynot.
Wynot Coach Steve Wieseler wouldn’t let his players hang their heads, though.
The cagey veteran coach came up with a new game plan for the second half to contain Ponca’s superstar.
The Lady Devils did just that as they put on a double-teaming defense against Day helped the Lady Devils begin to chip away at the deficit and eventually pull out the 53-50 win for the L&C Conference title.
The victory was special for another reason as well, as it turned out to be Coach Wieseler’s 400th career win.
Day was held to just two points in the third quarter as the Wynot defense went to work, limiting the Indians to just nine points in the frame.
Katelyn Heine’s bucket and 3-pointer paced Wynot to the 14-9 run in the frame. Shaelee Planer also hit from behind the arc and Karley Heimes, Whitney Hochstein and Kaitlyn Heimes all hit jumpers to pull within four points of Ponca with just over 1:30 left in the third quarter.
Four straight points by Morgan Nelson, including a lay-up at the buzzer, gave Ponca a 45-37 lead heading into the final frame.
The two squads then traded freethrows and baskets until Katelyn Heine nailed a trey to cut the deficit down to three points with just over two minutes left.
A pair of free throws by Autumn Lawson cut the lead to one with 2:01 to play.
Whitney Hochstein then stepped up to the foul line and sank a pair from the charity stripe with 1:10 left in the game to give Wynot its first lead of the contest.
The Wynot defense stepped up forcing several missed shots and keeping the Indians off balance. Karley Heimes then hit a pair of freethrows to seal the win.
Ponca falls to 17-3 with the loss, while Wynot improved to 18-3 with the win.
Ponca 13 239 5 — 50 Wynot 11 12 14 16 — 53
Ponca — Kaci Day, 24; Maggie McGill, 9; Ashlyn Kingsbury, 8; Morgan Nelson. 4; Samantha Ehlers, 3; Alyssa Crosgrove,
2. Wynot - Katelyn Heine, 11; Shaelee Planer, 9; Kaitlyn Heimes, 7; Michaela Lange, 6; Karley Heimes, 6; Emersyn Sudbeck, 4; Noelle Wieseler, 3; Autumn Lawson, 3.