LINCOLN — St. Cecilia got the morning started off right in an all-Tribland showdown to open the Class C-2 girls state basketball tournament.
The second-seeded Hawkettes downed No. 7-seeded Sutton 50-34 this morning at Lincoln East High School. It was a rematch from the regular season, which St. Cecilia won by 29 points, but it wasn't as smooth the second time around for the Hawkettes (22-4).
"We expected that. Every team that is down here is good enough, and it's going to be a tough game no matter who you play," said STC head coach Jahn Kile, whose Hawkettes advance to the semifinals Friday at 9 a.m. at the Pershing Center. "The first one is always the toughest. The atmosphere at state is magnified, so it's always tough no matter who you play or how you do. It's going to be a tough game."
STC earned a quick 9-0 lead thanks to baskets from four different players, including a 3-pointer from senior Alyssa Schropp. The Fillies didn't make their first basket until senior Maria Van Kirk hit a free throw with 3:19 left in the first quarter.
The game looked all too familiar for Sutton to when the two teams last met on Feb. 7, when STC cruised to a 58-29 win.
Sutton wasn't about to let that happen again.
The Fillies came to life in the second quarter, going on 6-0 run with five points coming from Van Kirk. Sutton then cut the Hawkette lead to just 17-14 when senior Stephanie Osterhaus hit a bucket with 4:10 left before halftime.
STC got its lead back out to eight at 22-14 when sophomore Clare Hamburger hit three straight points.
But Sutton closed the half strong with six straight points, capped by a jumper from senior Maryah Calkins just before the buzzer to get within 22-20 at half.
"It was nice to get out to that lead," Kile said. "But we were flat in the second quarter and (Sutton) made some nice plays."