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Lady Cards Take Home Fourth Place At State

Mar 16, 2022 Updated Mar 17, 2022 (0)

The O'Neill St. Mary's girls basketball team brought home the fourth place trophy from the Nebraska State Girls Basketball tourney.
Charley Mlnarik goes up for a shot against Kaylee Stricklin of Humphrey St. Francis Wednesday, March 16 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
Mya Hedstrom drives to the bucket against a Humphrey St. Francis player on Wednesday, March 16 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
Alissa Brabec takes a jump shot against a Humphrey St. Francis player on Wednesday, March 16 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
Lorissa Reiman looks to the bucket in the middle of three Humphrey St. Francis players on Wednesday, March 16 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

The St. Mary's Lady Cardinals have finished the 2021-2022 season with a 50-40 loss to the Sterling Jets at Lincoln High School on Thursday, March 10. The Lady Cards finish with a strong Fourth place finish in the state rankings.

The Lady Cards started their state play on Monday, March 7 with a 36-19 win over the Crawford team. The Cards dominated the Rams with a 25-11 lead by the half. The Lady Cards' defense held the Rams to just eighteen for the entire match, which is the most they had been held to the entire season. The Cards handed the Rams their fifth loss for the season, leaving them with a 20-5 record on the season.

The win over Crawford advanced the Cards to face Humphrey St. Francis on Wednesday, March 9, at the Bob Devaney Sports Center, where the Cards ran into a tough Flyer defense that dampened their hopes for a state championship with a 40-37 loss.

The Flyers started out getting on the board first with a field shot by Kaylee Stricklin, and it was a two point game from then on. The Cards offense kept them in the game, with Mia Hedstrom hitting buckets on the inside to keep the Cards within range and with thirty seconds left in the half the Cards went ahead in the game 16-15.

The Cards came out in the third and played with heart going up by four at one point but the ever vigilant Flyers kept the Cards at hand bringing the game to a tie with one minute left in the third.

The two point game play continued with the Cards going ahead in the fourth but the Cards turned the ball over too many times and with thirty-one seconds left in the game the Cards  got into trouble when junior Mya Hedstrom fouled Stricklin when she tripped and fell into her. The foul was Hedstroms fifth and the Flyers went a head by three. The Cards were unable to get the ball back and took the loss to send them to the consolation game.

The Cards were tired and sluggish in their 50-40 loss on Thursday afternoon. The Cards slow start left them to trail at the end of the first quarter 18-6. The Cards gave it their all in the second stanza making up twelve unanswered points from the first quarter and went ahead 27-24 at the half. The Cardinals fell apart in the third not keeping up with the Jets and went behind 41-34 and never cameback only slipping further behind in the fourth.

"The St. Mary's girls basketball team had only nine girls on their roster and they continued to improve throughout the season. It took all nine of them pushing each other everyday to get better. Their grit, hard work, ethic, and team mentality sparked the teams' success. Our tough schedule throughout the year also helped us get better. Some highlights were winning the Holiday tournament, beating Sutton, who made a trip to state in class C-2 and GICC who placed 3rd in class C-1, getting 3rd in a tough NVC tournament,  winning sub-districts against state qualifying Wynot, and winning Sub-state against Exeter-Milligan and finishing 4th in the state out of fifty-two teams," said Coach Traci Berg. 

"The state tournament was one we will never forget. It was so much fun having both the girls and boys teams down there. It made for a very long week but at the same time it was a memory that will never be forgotten.  We played a great first game against Crawford and then came up short by only three points to reigning state champion Humphrey St. Francis. I was so proud of our girls' effort and we proved that we deserved to be down there.  We are a young team and this just gives us more fire to want to be back at the state tournament. Our lone Senior Charley Mlnarik suffered a bad ankle sprain on day two during our practice at Nebraska Wesleyan.  But she toughed it out and continued to finish out the tournament. I am so proud of her and how far she has come since her freshman year! From not even having a winning record last year to finishing fourth, I'd have to say that is a pretty successful year," said Berg.  

Leading the Cards this season were: Sophomore, Mya Hedstrom with 367 pts, 189 rebounds, 49 assists and 87 steal. Mya averaged 13.1 points/game, 6.8 rebounds/game and shot 50% on the season. Sophomore Lorissa Reiman contributed 302 pts, 309 rebounds, 29 assists and 32 steals. Lorissa averaged 10.8 points/game, 11 rebounds/game and shot 44% on the season. Lorissa also broke  the school record for rebounds in a season! Sophomore Alissa Brabec accumulated 327 pts, 83 rebounds, 37 assists and 52 steals. She averaged 11.7 points/game and made 55 three's this season. Junior Hope Williamson scored 205 pts, 117 rebounds, 67 assists and 51 steals. Hope averaged 7.6 points/game and 4.3 rebounds/game. The lone Senior, Charley Mlnarik pulled in 155 rebounds, averaging 5.5 rebounds/game and blocked 69 shots for an average of 2.5 blocks/game.


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