LINCOLN — Tied 15-all with Crofton after a slow, defensive-minded first half of the Class C-2 girls state basketball championship, St. Cecilia head coach Jahn Kile told his team that it needed to be poised for a big second half.
The second-seeded Hawkettes couldn't get that done, as the top-seeded Warriors shut down STC (23-5) in the second half en route to a 43-31 Saturday morning at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
With its win, Crofton's reign of the state tournament continues. In the past nine seasons, the Warriors (27-0) have been to state eight times. That's resulted in five championships, including last year, along with a runner-up finish and two third-place wins for a record of 21-3 in Lincoln alone.
That experience likely helped the Warriors
do the little things right in the second half, such as rebounding.
"We didn't control the defensive rebounds nearly as well in the second half, and Crofton really punished us on the offensive boards with putbacks and free throws," said Kile, whose team was outrebounded 42-28. "They shot a lot of free throws, and that's something we said heading into the game that we didn't want to have happen."