Tekamah-Herman’s girls basketball team finished above their seed in the East Husker Conference basketball tournament. The Tigers tied for seventh following a slim 44-41 loss to Clarkson/Leigh at Humphrey Thursday night.
Tiger coach David Eriksen said he was very pleased with his team’s effort in battling a team that had beaten them by 27 points, 57-30, just a month ago.
“We did a lot of the things we needed to do to win,” Eriksen said. “We went down to the wire with a 15-5 team. They just made one or two more plays than we did.”
Eriksen said he thought his team played 30 complete minutes of a 32-minute game. The only lull came at the end of the first half. A 7-0 Patriot run broke open a 19-19 tie, sending Clarkson/Leigh into intermission with a 26-19 lead.
Down by nine, 30-21, at the six-minute mark of the third period, the Tigers started chipping away at the deficit. Jadyn Fleischman cashed two buckets during a 7-2 run midway through the quarter that cut the margin to four, 32-28.
A three-ball from Greta Lindberg and a pair of free throws from Halle Olsen cut the lead to one, 34-33, with 6:27 to play, but the Tigers wouldn’t score again for three and a half minutes.
Anna Wakehouse got the Tigers untracked with a free throw that cut the Patriot lead to four, 38-34.
Clarkson/Leigh got a big lift from their best player over the last three minutes. Senior Ashlynn Novotny, who had been held in check most of the night by a tenacious Tiger defense, scored four her team’s final six points after being limited to a single free throw for three and a half quarters.
Down by nine, 44-35, with 24 seconds left, the Tigers made one last charge. Lindberg cashed a pair of threes to cap an 11-point performance, but the second came with just two-tenths of a second left.
Fleischman matched Lindberg with 11 points, Olsen added nine.
Cassidy Hoffman and Alyssa Kasik netted 11 apiece for the winners.
Tekamah-Herman and Clarkson/Leigh were the only teams among the top eight in the tournament not ranked in their respective classes. Oakland-Craig, the top team in Class C2 and North Bend Central, the top team in C1, were slated to meet for the tournament title Feb. 8 at Midland University in Fremont.
Following a date at North Bend Central Feb. 11, the Tiger girls, now 10-11 on the year, enter postseason play in the Class C2, Subdistrict 2 tournament at Logan View. Early Friday, the Tigers were expected to be paired against Yutan, 13-5, in a semifinal contest Tuesday night, Feb. 18. Oakland-Craig has the top seed and would meet the winner of the Mead-Cedar Bluffs contest. The final is slated for Thursday night, Feb. 20.
Friday morning’s wildcard standings had the Tigers 0.1849 points ahead of Mead for the third seed.
Official pairings were scheduled to be released Feb. 13.
The 12 subdistrict champions and the four highest non-champion teams in the wildcard point standings will be seeded into a 16 team bracket with district finals played Feb. 28 and 29. The eight winners advance to the state tournament set for March 5-7 in Lincoln