LINCOLN — The Minden girls basketball team’s most assured weapon all season long had been its offense. The Whippets could guarantee they’d stay in any ball game with their offense that averaged 70-plus points per outing.
But on the biggest stage, when the team needed it the most, Minden’s offense went awry.
Leading 50-49 in the Class C-1 state championship after three quarters against No. 7-seed Pierce, the Whippets went 1-of-18 from the floor in the final quarter.
Combined with foul trouble — at one point, four of Minden’s five starters were sitting with four fouls apiece — the missed shots proved to be too much to overcome.
Minden’s only field goal of the final quarter, a 3-pointer from Jenna Denney, didn’t come until their was 1:57 left in the game.
Pierce (23-4), the defending state champions, hit 13-of-21 free throws in the fourth quarter to hand Minden (27-1) a heart-wrenching 69-60 loss Saturday at the Pinnacle Bank Arena.
“We missed a bunch of shots. To miss 18 in a quarter — that hurts,” said Minden head coach Rick Chramosta. “The defensive part of the game was what really cost us, and then we fouled ourselves into big-time trouble and we had to battle that the entire game. But when you’re not making shots, nobody looks good.”