NELSON — Trisha Hayes hadn’t seen her shots fall like they did Friday night. Ever.
And you couldn’t wipe the smile off of her face.
On a team where primarily two players — a certain pair of very talented sisters — garner most of the attention, Hayes and others are generally role players.
The No. 5-rated Superior Wildcats (18-3) use their size advantage to feed their 6-foot, 4-inch, and 6-1 sister act in the post. They afford the team second chances as well by hauling in, sometimes, multiple rebounds per possession.
But Friday was different. And it was Hayes’ night to shine.
The senior guard led what is believed to be a Superior school record-breaking performance from beyond the arc.
The Wildcats flushed 13 of their 25 attempts from downtown. Six came from Hayes, who missed just one of her seven shots from deep and scored 18 points in Superior’s 77-34 rout of Class D-2 No. 4 Lawrence-Nelson.
“She was awesome and I’m happy for her,” Superior head coach Jim Sullivan said of Hayes. “She’s a great kid...I knew she could shoot like that because she does it in practice. But if she shoots two or three shots in a game, that’s about all she does.”
Hayes hit four of her first five shots, including a pair of 3s in the second on back-to-back possessions.
“Once they started going, I was like ‘Okay, just keep shooting and they’ll keep going,’ ” Hayes said with a laugh.
Her groove was contagious. Shayla Meyer hit four 3s, Sierra Blackburn added a pair, and Neah McMeen splashed one.
“I was going to say, we had a lot,” said Hayes, who also grabbed 10 rebounds. “I’m really proud of my teammates, too. Like, Neah coming in and hitting, and Sierra and Shayla. I was just really happy that everyone was shooting well tonight.”
As a team, Superior hit six of its first eight attempts and jumped out to a 17-1 lead five minutes into the game.
The previously unbeaten Raiders (22-1) converted just one of their first 11.
Kalynn Meyer pulled down 16 rebounds and scored a game-high 23 points. She also blocked six shots. Shayla Meyer added 21 points.
Superior finished the night shooting 47 percent (28-60).
“If we shoot like that from behind the arc, I dare to say we are unbeatable,” Sullivan said. “What are you going to stop, Kalynn or the 3-point?”
Taylor Harrington scored 18 of Lawrence-Nelson’s 34 points. She finished 4-for-10 from the floor with three 3s and was 7-for-12 from the charity stripe.
The Raiders shot just shy of 25 percent (10-42).
It’s a game to wash off with a hot shower and forget.
“What do you do?” L-N head coach Andy Peterson said with a shrug. He certainly didn’t expect 13 3s out of his opponent Friday, but said Superior used the same omen in last year’s meeting.
“We didn’t make our shots, they did, and that’s kind of the outcome of the game,” he added.
Hayes couldn’t think of a better way to head into subdistricts.
“To end with a statement (like that) was really important going into postseason,” she said.
The Wildcats essentially play a second conference tournament in their C2-8 subdistrict at Fairbury, with Southern Nebraska Conference opponents Fillmore Central, Sandy Creek, Sutton, and Thayer Central participating.
“Kind of hate that,” Sullivan said. “Good thing is we don’t have to do a lot of scouting, we know each other pretty well. We’re looking forward to a potential matchup with Thayer Central Tuesday, that should be a nice little redemption game for us.”
Lawrence-Nelson is starting anew.
“Our season starts right now,” Peterson said. “We’re 0-0. Win or go home. Now is what matters. That game is behind us...Superior is a good team, but we won’t see them again. We’re confident and ready to take care of business in subdistricts.”
Superior (18-3).........22 16 23 16 — 77
L-N (22-1).....................6 8 14 6 — 34
Zaveah Kobza 1-4 0-0 2, Hallie Miller 0-2 0-0 0, Trisha Hayes 6-8 0-0 18, Shayla Meyer 8-16, 1-2 21, Kalynn Meyer 10-21 3-3 23, Emma Schnakenberg 0-2 4-4 4, Sierra Blackburn 2-3 0-0 6, Noelle McMeen 0-1 0-0 0, Neah McMeen 1-1 0-0 3, Atlee Kobza 0-1 0-0 0, Laci Kirchoff 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 28-60 8-9 77.
Allison Miller 1-6 0-0 2, Karigan Drudik 1-5 1-2 3, Taylor Harrington 4-10 7-12 18, Annie McCartney 1-7 1-2 3, Hallie Epley 1-6 0-1 2, Emma Epley 2-3 2-2 6, Emily Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Avery Mazour 0-1 0-0 0, Elsa Jorgensen 0-1 0-1 0, McKenzie Ostdiek 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 10-42 11-20 34.
Three-point goals — Superior 13-25 (Kobza 0-1, Hayes 6-7, S. Meyer 4-8, K. Meyer 0-3, Blackburn 2-3, No. McMeen 0-1, A. Kobza 0-1, Ne. McMeen 1-1, Kirchoff 0-1); L-N 3-13 (A. Miller 0-2, Drudik 0-2, Harrington 3-5, McCartney 0-2, H. Epley 0-20.
Superior 50, Lawrence-Nelson 35
Superior led by just one at halftime, but outscored Lawrence-Nelson 30-16 in the second half to win 50-35 in front of a packed house Friday night.
Hunter Healey’s 22 points were a game-high for the Wildcats. Jackson Gilbert added 10, Zeke Meyer had seven, Dane Miller tallied five, and Jordan Brown and Seth Schnakenberg finished with three.
Logan Menke paced the Raiders with 16 points. Coy Ceder added 12. Keith Miller contributed three points, and Trevin Kotinek and Trevor Biltoft each chipped in two points.