Despite a late rally by the Lopers, the Nebraska Sports Council women’s basketball team claimed its second-straight Whoopers & Hoopers elite division title with a 47-41 win Sunday afternoon at Hastings College’s Lynn Farrell Arena.
Nebraska Sports Council , comprised of five former Hastings College Broncos, three former Nebraska Cornhuskers and a Doane Tiger, utilized its big inside presence to establish an early 7-0 lead, eventually pushing that advantage to 21-9.
By the 12:24 mark of the second half, though, the Lopers completed a 14-3 run to tie the game at 29-all.
Immediately after the equalizing basket from the Lopers’ Debra Smith, former Husker Jami Hagedorn hit a deep 3-pointer for Nebraska Sports Council, sparking an 11-2 run.
A couple of made free throws from the Lopers’ LeaAnn Jameson, a former Minden Whippet, cut the deficit down to just two, 40-38, with under two minutes to go. But because the game has a running clock, the Lopers were forced to foul to stop the time.
With that advantage, Nebraska Sports Council’s duo of former Husker Nicole Kubik and former HC All-American Lindsay Ducey connected on 7-of-8 free throws to close the game.
Kubik hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the first half, helping her finish with a team-high 11 points. Ducey added 10 points, all from the charity stripe. Laurel Zwiener had nine points all in the first half, while former UNL player Jami Hagedorn also had nine points.
“It was fun to get to play with these girls,” said Zwiener, who just finished her senior season at Hastings College last week at the NAIA Division II national tournament. “I actually didn’t know most of them, but I knew (Alicia) Statler and Brittney (Wong). It was good to play with some new people.”
Zwiener, who played center in her time with the Broncos, stands at 6-foot-4. Combined with a couple of former inside post players from HC — Ducey and Statler — Nebraska Sports Council dominated the action around the basket. The Nebraska Sports Council roster had four girls 6-foot or taller while the Lopers had just one.
Of course, Zwiener got a little rub for being in the best shape since she’s just completed her college career.
“The girls were saying, ‘You just got done. You should be able to run up and down the court,’ ” she said.
Megan Becker scored nine points in the first half en route to finishing with a team-high 13 points for the Lopers. Smith also had double figures with her 10 points while Jameson had eight in the loss.
The Nebraska Sports Council was the first team to repeat as elite championships since the Rusty Stangs accomplished that same feat in 2010 and 2011.
Nebraska Sports Council (47)
Laurel Zwiener 9, Lindsay Ducey 10, Alicia Statler 5, Jami Hagedorn 9, Nicole Kubik 11, Rachel Isherwood 1, Lisa Rautenberg 2.
Megan Becker 13, LeaAnn Jameson 8, Sara His 1, Debra Smith 10, Jenna Mizner 4, Kaitlin Petri 1, Tessa Kreutzer 4.
Other championship games
Women’s B — Schuck Farms-HC Broncos won by forfeit over #Skyhookers
Women’s C — Braska Ballers 39, Team Helmbrecht 34