Francis Lady Flyers (23-2) used a strong surge to end the first half, punching their ticket into the Class D-1 state tournament with a 58-27 win over Red Cloud (11-12) on Friday.
The Class D1-3 girls district final featured two teams with opposite backgrounds. The Flyers (D-1 subdistrict 5 champions) have had proven success on the basketball court in the past ten years. The Lady Warriors (D-1 subdistrict 6 champions) have improved dramatically after coming off two straight three-win seasons.
Leading 10-6 in the final seconds of the first quarter, St. Francis sophomore Kaitlynn Sjuts grabbed one of her four offensive rebounds and hit the put-back, giving the Lady Flyers a 12-6 first quarter lead.
Red Cloud hung tough in the second quarter, staying within striking distance midway through the period. Junior Bailey Lewis knocked down a jumper and Brealynn Lockhart received a nice pass from Lewis and connected on a three-point play. Red Cloud pulled within 16-11 of the lead with 4:30 left in the first half.
From that point on, though, St. Francis took control.