KEARNEY — Rachel Goodon finished with 14 points and Libby Trausch had 11 for Adams Central as it handed Class C-2 No. 2 Bridgeport its first loss of the season Saturday as part of the Nebraska Girls Basketball Showcase.
The Class B No. 5 Patriots overcame a nine-point deficit and 24 turnovers to beat the Bulldogs 50-46 at neutral site Kearney High School and picked up their ninth win in 10 tries this season.
It’s AC’s best start since 2008-09 when the Patriots went 15-2 to open the season.
“We found a way to win and that’s the important part,” said AC coach Evan Smith. “Ultimately, it’s ugly but you’ve got to find ways to win and these girls did a good job of that.”
Bridgeport coach Dave Kuhlen said his team missed its chance well before the final horn despite the Bulldogs never trailing by more than six.
Kuhlen pointed to a second-quarter run by the Patriots which caused the Bulldogs to overthink. Bridgeport held its largest lead with 2:30 left in the first half, but watched the Patriots score the final five points to take momentum into the locker room.
“We had a real opportunity there to gain some separation and I think that caused us to question a lot of things at halftime and we didn’t come out well to start the second half, either,” Kuhlen said. “That was quite a run that basically took away a double-digit lead from us.”
The Patriots outscored Bridgeport 25-17 in the second half and out-rebounded the arguably bigger Bulldogs by 14 for the game.
“Rebounding was such a big issue,” Kuhlen said. “It seemed like all of their points were coming on second shots. Even their 3s — offensive rebound, kick out, and a 3 right there. Our rebounding was a big, big issue tonight.”
Goodon, who shot 6-for-10 from the floor, grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
The 6-foot-3 Ruthie Loomis-Goltl, who as a junior has garnered at least nine Division I offers, was taken out of the equation on the glass, garnering just four boards of the team’s 31. She scored 16 points — none in the fourth quarter — before fouling out with 1:28 left.
Sophomore sister Olivia Loomis-Goltl, who also has a handful of college offers, led the Bulldogs with 17 points on 7-for-19 shooting. Most of her success came in the opening half, where she was 6-for-9 and made her first four shots.
Trausch was named game MVP by the tournament committee for her performance. Smith was most proud of her defensive effort on Olivia Loomis-Goltl, who had one second-half field goal.
“The game plan was to front (Ruthie), get a lot of help from some other girls (defensively) and make some other people score,” Smith said. “In the first half they had some other girls score, we knew (Olivia) was going to be a tough task, but Libby took it on herself to guard her and did a good job limiting how many attempts she was able to get.
“As a team, defensively we played phenomenal.”
In total, nine Patriots scratched the stat sheet. Brianna Stroh helped pick apart Bridgeport’s 2-3 zone with her high post play and finished with eight points.
“I thought we were super patient in the third quarter,” Smith said. “We found ways to get the ball into the high post and that was key... it really opened stuff up for our guards on the perimeter and they hit some big shots in that third quarter and early in the fourth.
Kylie Lancaster and Briley Nienhueser both hit momentous 3-pointers in the third quarter to keep AC in front and Bridgeport pressing for points.
The Patriots broke Bridgeport’s press with relative ease following an 11-turnover first quarter.
“It’s amazing we were able to keep ourselves in it with that,” Smith said.
The Bulldog offense resorted largely to 3-pointers, of which they made 5-of-26 on the night, when lob passes into Ruthie Loomis-Goltl were either intercepted or thrown away.
Adams Central (9-1)..........13 12 15 10 — 50
Bridgeport (9-1)................15 14 10 7 — 46
Adams Central (50)
Gracie Weichman 1-4 1-3 4, Brianna Stroh 3-4 2-7 8, Libby Trausch 5-15 0-0 11, Lauryn Scott 1-5 1-2 3, Rachel Goodon 6-10 2-3 14, Kylie Lancaster 1-2 0-0 3, Abby Stroh 1-2 0-2 2, Megyn Scott 1-3 0-1 2, Briley Nienhueser 1-3 0-0 3. Totals: 20-48 6-18 50.
Olivia Loomis-Goltl 7-19 3-4 17, Brooklyn Mohrman 1-10 0-0 3, Mackenzie Liakos 3-10 1-2 10, Ruthie Loomis-Goltl 6-8 4-6 16, Grace Dean 0-1 0-0 0, Natalie Keena-Vergil 0-3 0-0 0, Megan Cline 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 17-50 7-12 46.
Three-point goals: AC 4-17 (Weichman 1-3, Trausch 1-7, L. Scott 0-2, Lancaster 1-2, Nienhueser 1-3); B 5-26 (O. Loomis-Goltl 1-4, Mohrman 1-10, Liakos 3-9). Rebounds: AC 45 (Goodon 8); B 31 (Dean 9). Turnovers: AC 24; B 16.
Game 1 — D-2 No. 7 Anselmo-Merna 53, Cross County 52 OT
Game 2 — D-2 No. 8 Maywood/Hayes Center 33, Blue Hill 30
Game 3 — C-2 No. 9 Clarkson/Leigh 47, Northwest 36
Game 4 — B No. 5 Adams Central 50, C-2 No. 2 Bridgeport 46
Game 5 — C-1 No. 8 Broken Bow 53, Auburn 48
Game 6 — C-2 No. 10 Oakland-Craig 55, B No. 8 Sidney 42
Game 7 — GICC 45, C-1 No. 1 North Bend Central 37
Game 8 — Kearney 39, B No. 4 York 32