LINCOLN – Sydney Emanuel was a clutch 8-8 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter, and North Bend Central overcame an 11 point deficit heading into the fourth to repeat as Class C1 girls state basketball champions with a thrilling 51-49 win over Hastings St. Cecilia on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln.
The Hawkettes started the game with a quick 4-0 lead, before NBC tied it at 4-4. HSC was able to grab another lead and head out of the first quarter with a 15-12 advantage.
HSC established another lead in the second quarter but a late surge of offense by NBC that included a three pointer from Hannah Williams helped the Tigers catch up. Sydney Emanuel was fouled as time expired in the second, and made both free throws to tie the game 25-25 heading into halftime.
The Hawkettes’ Bailey Kinnsinger went off for 12 points in the third, and NBC was held to just seven points. Hastings St. Cecilia took a daunting 43-32 lead into the fourth quarter.
This is where NBC took over. With several HSC players starting to get into foul trouble, the Tigers just started attacking the rim, and were able to get to the free throw line for 15 attempts in the period, making 14 of them.
Kaitlyn Emanuel hit a huge three pointer late in the fourth to cut the score to three points, and then Sydney Emanuel made free throws down the stretch, including the two that put NBC up 51-49 with just seconds left.
HSC got one last look at a tying shot from Kissinger, but it missed, securing the win and state championship for North Bend Central.
The Tigers outscored the Hawkettes 19-6 in the fourth on their way to the 51-49 win.
HSC’s Kissinger led all scorers with 33 points.
Sydney Emanuel led NBC with 20 points, including a perfect 12-12 performance at the free throw line. Kaitlyn Emanuel was right behind her with 19.
NBC was solid from the foul line as a team, going 21-27.
North Bend Central ends the year at 24-3 overall, and as back-to-back Class C1 Girl State basketball Champions.