AHS takes 2nd, FCHS girls 4th at NCC Basketball Tournament


Arlington High School girls basketball coach Tashia Wolf hadn't seen her team play any harder than it did Thursday against Fort Calhoun in the Nebraska Capitol Conference (NCC) Tournament semifinals.
“Really proud of the effort,” she said.
The 54-29 home win propelled the Eagles into the winner-take-all championship game against Class C2 No. 5 Yutan (13-2 overall) on Saturday. It was a title tilt AHS (15-3) lost to the physical Chieftains in Fort Calhoun, 39-21.
“I think they intimidated us a lot,” coach Tashia Wolf said. “They've been put in this situation with high stakes before and we haven't.”
The Eagles struggled offensively throughout, managing just two buckets by Britt Nielsen and Emme Timm during the first period and just two more with a free throw in the second. They trailed 19-9 at halftime and never pulled within less than seven points of the NCC champions.
“Their physicality was something we definitely couldn't match today,” Wolf said. “We didn't rely on each other as much as we normally do. In the face of that, we didn't play to our potential.”
Timm and Nielsen totaled eight points apiece, while Macy Wolf and Taylor Arp added three and 2 points, respectively.
Yutan's Haley Kube and Maura Tichota scored eighth points each, too.
“That's a huge learning experience — being able to handle that pressure,” coach Wolf said. “That's something in the long run, in the future, that I think will pay off.”

FCHS takes 4th
Fort Calhoun made the necessary shots to come back from an eight-point deficit during the fourth period of Saturday's third-place game against Raymond Central, too.
The Pioneers, however, did not get enough stops defensively to beat the Mustangs (8-7 overall). The 57-49 loss dropped coach Marty Plum's team to fourth in the NCC and 12-6 overall.
“We just dug ourselves too big of hole,” Plum said. “We got off to a slow start in the first quarter and we had to spend the next three quarters digging ourselves out of it.”
Senior Bria Bench, who finished with a Calhoun-best 18 points, knocked down a pair of 3-pointers during the final period. Her first cut the Pioneers' deficit to six points, 45-39, while Ansley Elofson's layup off of a Raeann Massey steal cut it to five points — 51-46.
FCHS would get no closer than five, though, dropping the home matchup. In addition to Bench's 18, Massey scored 12 points and Elofson had 11. Maelie Nelson scored 8 points, too.
“The kids tried,” Plum said. “They did a great job of trying to get it done, but we just couldn't get over that hump.”
Alexa Otto and Quincy Cotter led Raymond Central with 12 points apiece, respectively.

Eagles top Pioneers
Before championship Saturday, though, Arlington beat Fort Calhoun by 25 points Thursday to determine who played who and for what two days later.
Wolf was excited with her team's performance on its home court.
“The girls executed the game plan very well,” she said. “They knew they had to handle the pressure of their press and control the tempo of the game all by limiting turnovers.”
The Eagles led 10-9 after one period, but opened up their lead with a 19-5 second. Timm ultimately led the victors with 17 points, while Macy Wolf scored 14 and Nielsen finished with 13.
“Arlington played a solid game tonight, and we obviously struggled at the offensive end,” Plum said. “We felt like we got really good looks. We just couldn't get anything to fall consistently.”
Elofson led the Pioneers' effort with nine points, while Massey, a ninth-grade classmate, notched eight against AHS. The teams meet again tonight in regular season play. The Eagles-hosted matchup starts at 6 p.m. after junior varsity play at 4:30.

No. 5 Yutan 39, Arlington 21
AHS (15-3) 4 5 7 5 — 21
YHS (13-2) 13 6 7 13 — 39
Scoring: AHS — Emme Timm 8, Britt Nielsen 8, Macy Wolf 3, Taylor Arp 2.
YHS — Haley Kube 8, Maura Tichota 8, Amelia Dieckman 6, Mylee Tichota 5, Olivia Chapman 3, Delaney Shield 3, Jade Lewis 3, Jenna Benjamin 2, Emmy Tederman 1.
Raymond Central 57, Fort Calhoun 49
RC (8-7) 19 6 13 19 — 57
FCHS (12-6) 8 10 12 19 — 49
Scoring: FCHS — Bria Bench 18, Raeann Massey 12, Ansley Elofson 11, Maelie Nelson 8.
RC — Alexa Otto 12, Quincy Cotter 12, Taylor Kopecky 11, Savannah Masek 9, Kenzie TenEyck 7, Izabella Lubischer 3, Jacey Hofpar 2.
Arlington 54, Fort Calhoun 29
FCHS (12-5) 9 5 4 11 — 29
AHS (15-2) 10 19 15 10 — 54
Scoring: AHS — Timm 17, Wolf 14, Nielsen 13, Arp 6, Austyn Flesner 2, Gracen Adams 2.
FCHS — Elofson 9, Massey 8, Nelson 4, Izzy Greenough 3, Bench 3, Jovi Grenier 2.

Nebraska Capitol Conference girls basketball