The Chadron girls’ basketball team concluded its fantastic season at the state tournament in Lincoln last Friday. Unfortunately, the number two seeded Cards fell to the number seven seeded Adams Central Patriots by a mark of 44-30. Chadron just couldn’t quite find the answer to Libby Trausch of Central who went 4-6 from deep while scoring 16 points and hauling in 11 rebounds. Trauch was selected for the all-tournament team in class C1.
Chadron had a solid first quarter behind nine points from Olivia Reed. Olivia scored in traffic like she has done much of the year, and knocked down a three near the buzzer for an early 12-8 lead. One of the keys to its early lead was keeping Adams Central off the offensive glass. The Patriots had a modest three offensive rebounds in the first quarter, but would go on to collect nine offensive rebounds in the next two frames. The Cardinals collected four offensive rebounds of their own in the first quarter, and would only collect four in the next three quarters combined.
Adams Central’s first points of the second quarter came from an offensive rebound on its first possession. Despite starting the quarter strong, the Lady Cards kept the Patriots from scoring on their following five possessions.
The turning point in the game may have come in the middle stages of the second quarter when Olivia Reed appeared to hurt her shoulder. Reed has battled through a hurt shoulder for the greater part of the season. In order to keep a defender from stealing the ball from her she ripped the ball quickly over her head after gathering a rebound. She was visible hurt after the play, yet she battled on. Two possessions later Reed picked up her second foul on a questionable call. It appeared to be a clear jump ball, but Olivia picked up her second and headed to the bench.
Chadron was struggling to score so it had to bring Olivia back onto the floor about the 2:30 mark of the second. Reed soon picked up her third foul on an over the back call. Still Chadron was squarely in the game after senior Dawn Dunbar hit a tough shot in traffic to put her team up 15-14. From there Tyleigh Strotheide ended the quarter like Reed ended the first, with a trey near the buzzer to square things up at 17 apiece at the break.
Adams Central began to grind the game down in the third by extending its possessions, and crashing the offensive glass. Central got three stick backs in the frame on eleven total possessions in the quarter. One of the determining possessions ended up being a four point trip. The Patriots scored an and-one and then they rebounded their missed free throw for a put back. Central then got two shots on each of its next two possessions. Yet Olivia Reed got the Cardinals back to within striking distance with three points in two trips, putting the score at 29-20.
In the third quarter Adams Central had a 1:15 second possession that ended in a miss. Only eight states currently use a mandated shot clock, and that number will certainly grow in years to come.
Chadron went into the final frame down 31-20. The Lady Cardinals came from 13 behind against Scottsbluff on Dec. 20 and so they were certainly capable of putting together a run against Adams Central.
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Libby Trausch opened the fourth quarter with a confident three pointer, and then got a layup off a Chadron turnover. Down 16 at this point the Cardinals just couldn’t find enough quick buckets to get back in the game. However, there was a spark when Shea Bailey hit a three, and then Jacey Garret got a layup off a turnover to bring it to 39-26. The Cardinals then took that momentum and turned Adams Central over on its next three trips. Unfortunately Chadron couldn’t turn the turnovers into points on the other end. Libby Trausch sealed things with a three pointer at the 3:50 mark to go up 16.
The Cardinal’s 21 two point field goal attempts was their fourth lowest mark on the year. Yet statistics can be funny, because in arguably Chadron’s best game of the year (against Sidney at home) it only shot 20 times from two point field goal range.
Despite desperation minutes in the fourth, Chadron continued to play hard with Madisyn Hamar drawing two charges. This gave her an unofficial 11 charges taken on the year.
In the second round Adams Central lost to North Bend Central 39-31. In that game, Adams Central also made its opponent very uncomfortable by grinding the game down with its physicality and ball control. North Bend Central eventually went on to dominate the championship game over Lincoln Christian 48-32. In the third place game, Adams Central beat St. Paul 44-41, a game that Central led 28-16 at half. There is a legitimate argument to be made that Adams Central (based on scores and film) was the second best team at C1 state, even over Lincoln Christian. They were just a difficult and uncomfortable matchup for the other teams at state.
The Chadron Lady Cardinals finished their great season at 23-3, and were the only Class C1 team to beat both a Class B and Class A school on the year. The Cardinals had one of the best defenses in the state, and averaged giving up only 31ppg, while scoring 52ppg. More than anything the Cards played together, showing through in their 16 assists per game with seven players averaging at least one assist a game.
Chadron 30, Adams Central 44
Chadron: Reed 13, Strotheide 6, Bailey 6, Garrett 3, Dunbar 2. 11-47 (5-26) 3-6 30 points. Rebounds 20 (8-12), assists 9, turnovers 15, steals 5, fouls 13.
Adams Central: Trausch 16, Babcock 9, Lang 7, Goodon 5, Scott 3, Wellensiek 2, Scott 2. 18-41 (6-12) 2-8 44 points. Rebounds 38 (14-24), assists 10, turnovers 19, steals 4, fouls 13.
Chadron 12 5 3 10 -30
Adams Central 8 9 14 13 -44
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