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Lady Thunder Roll in Second Half to Top Tigers in 3A State Opener
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports
03/07/2019

There is something about the second half and especially the third quarter this season for the Nemaha Central girls, who again surged out of the locker room in their third straight trip to the 3A State Basketball Tournament in Hutchinson and advanced to the semifinals with a 52-42 win against Clay Center. The defensive minded Tigers slowed the game down after using a 7-0 run to take an early 7-4 advantage and led through the rest of the first half with a 19-15 score at halftime.  However, an 8-0 run by Nemaha Central to start the third stanza turned the game around and led to a 17-6 burst before finishing the fourth quarter making 11 of 14 free throws to improve to 21-3 on the season.

The Thunder made 10 of 12 shots attempted in the second half and yielded a 64 percent shooting average for the contest while also connecting on four of seven from three-point-land and going 16 of 22 from the charity stripe to avenge a first-round loss at state a season ago.  Alleigh Kramer scored 15 of her 16 points in the second half and also had a team high eight rebounds with five assists and two steals.  Jacy Dalinghaus hit some clutch shots including a fourth quarter basket to make it 41-37 with two minutes remaining in the game.  Dalinghaus scored 13 as did fellow senior Ashley Hammes who was 3-4 behind the arc and sophomore Hannah Macke hit all six free throws she attempted in the fourth quarter to help protect the lead. 

Clay Center ends their season 18-5 and shot only 33 percent for the game, including 5 of 25 from the perimeter.  Adelyn Mullin closed a stellar senior career with 14 points but fouled out late and sophomore Clara Edwards chipped in 11 points for the Tigers.  

Nemaha Central will play top seed Cheney in the 6:30 semifinal Friday evening in Hutchinson with live coverage on KMZA 92.1 FM.  Cheney pulled away in the second half and got 38 points from sophomore Kylee Scheer in their 65-43 opening round victory against Columbus.      


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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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