The 2021 Girls State Basketball Tournament came to a close on Saturday with each class crowning it’s champion at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
- Class A: Lincoln Pius X
- Class B: Elkhorn North
- Class C1: North Bend Central
- Class C2: Crofton
- Class D1: Weeping Water
- Class D2: Humphrey St. Francis
For the entire full all class bracket/results for this year’s tournament from the NSAA CLICK HERE.
Scottsbluff Lady Bearcats look strong
Despite a semifinal game loss to eventual state champion, Elkhorn North, the Scottsbluff Lady Bearcats continued their excellent run of basketball with another state tournament win.
Scottsbluff won their opening round game against Crete by 14 and showed they can play a slow down brand of ball just as well as they can their preferred uptempo style.
In the semifinals they just ran into the D1 bound version of Elkhorn North freshman, Britt Prince, who scored 27.
Prince put up another ridiculous stat line in North’s title game win over Norris.
Sabrina Harsh was one of the breakouts of the tournament and at times the talk around press row. Harsh finished with double digit scoring in both games and finished with nearly 20 rebounds and 15 blocked shots over the two game stay for the Cats.
Scottsbluff will lose core seniors Emma Foote, Izzy Wright, Cali Wright, and Jamisyn Howard, who all played key roles on the team this season on the floor. Foote and the Wright twins were all three starters and key reasons why they had the success they did as a team.
Also gone next year will be Quincey Johnson and Avery Fox, future college athletes who were great teammates.
Despite those losses the Lady Cats are a favorite to get back to Lincoln to try and do some more damage.
If Harsh makes another big year to year jump going into her junior season, she’ll be one of the best players in the state.
The other key returner is senior to be Mariyah Avila. The three sport star has a chance to play at the next level in any of her sports, but she’s really blossomed on the basketball floor as a two way star, both scoring and defending, while also simply leading the team as the point guard.
Payton Burda, averaged close to 10 pppg, and will only be a junior as will Anna Kelley. Paige Horne’s development will give Scottsbluff another emerging post player and let’s not forget the return of Brady Laucomer, who took this season off. Laucomer plans on returning to play as a senior, and she’s one of the best athletes at Scottsbluff High School.
Scottsbluff will be well positioned to get right back to the same spot next year, playing in a semifinal with a shot to play for a championship.
Of course if you watched the NET broadcast last night you know Elkhorn North returns their entire roster with Prince only going to be a sophomore. They will be stacked.
Bridgeport gets win, primed for big time success at C2
The future is so bright for the Bridgeport girls basketball team. This past couple weeks it became reality that the here and now was pretty darn good as well.
With one of the youngest teams, if not THE youngest, in Lincoln, the Bridgeport Lady Bulldogs were able to secure the programs first win at the State Tournament since 1989 while also gaining valuable experience as they build a three year run that should be unmatched in school history.
Bridgeport got a day one win over Lourdes Central Catholic and it was not close. They won the game by 18 points by forcing over 30 turnovers with their pressure defense. The team was led in scoring by a pair of freshman and a sophomore; Oliva Loomis-Goltl and Brooklyn Mohrman each had 16 in the win while Ruthie Loomis-Goltl tallied 14.
In their semifinal Bridgeport learned why Crofton was about to become the state champion. The Warriors were the team forcing the bulk of the turnovers and looking more ready for the moment. Crofton is a C2 power, a program that won their sixth title last night since 2012. They were physically strong.
Third place games are a crapshoot and on Friday afternoon the Lady Bulldogs fell to BRLD by seven.
Still for this young of a team to bring home a fourth place trophy, that’s huge.
The Loomis-Goltl sisters will be two of the best players in C2 next season while playing their sophomore and junior campaigns. They provide a combination of everything.
Ruthie eclipsed the 1,000 point mark for her career after just two seasons at the varsity level and Olivia is one of the most skilled players in C2 already and she was only a freshman.
Mohrman will be a sophomore, Mackenzie Liakos will be a junior, Grace Dean a sophomore, Ellie Cline a senior, and Natalie Keenan-Virgil a senior.
Crofton isn’t going anywhere in C2 as they’ll return about 7 key varsity players, Ponca looked great in the final, and Bridgeport Coach Dave Kuhlen noted he wouldn’t be surprised to see Hastings St. Cecilia back in C2 next season.
Kuhlen also said getting to opportunity to play Crofton was the eye opener his kids needed to see what type of hard work and dedication it would take to reach the type of heights they’d like to get to with the program over the next three years.
Bridgeport is going to have a shot to win a title in that time it would appear, but after looking at the teams in C2 and the future rosters of some of the contenders, nothing will be easy.