Grand Island Central Catholic threw a great going-away party for its seniors during their final home game Thursday.

The Class C-2 No. 8-rated Crusaders frustrated No. 2 Hastings St. Cecilia with their 1-3-1 zone defense to send the class of 2020 out with a 47-37 upset.

That snapped a 12-game losing streak in the series dating back to a win on Feb. 3, 2011.

“It brings us a lot of momentum into our postseason,” said sophomore Rylie Rice, who led GICC with 16 points. “Our seniors really brought it tonight. We tried to do everything we could for them tonight for their last home game. We’re going to miss them a lot.”

Allison Kalvoda, Katie Maser and Ellie Steenson will certainly remember this one.

Hastings St. Cecilia (20-3) would probably rather forget it after shooting 10-for-46 (21.7%) from the floor. The Hawkettes were 5-for-24 (20.8%) on 3-pointers and were nearly matched in treys by Rice, who went 4-for-6.

“We really knew where shooters were,” Central Catholic coach Stacia Rice said. “We’ve struggled with that in the past where we just watched shooters in the 1-3-1. But I feel like (the players) really knew our game plan, and they really stepped it up tonight as a team.”

St. Cecilia coach Greg Berndt said his team struggled against the zone.

“It’s a little bit different,” he said. “We haven’t seen a lot of 1-3-1s, but regardless of what they’re playing, I thought for long stretches they just played harder and smarter than we did. They’re a good team too, so credit to them. Tonight was pretty much their night.”

Grand Island Central Catholic (15-6) never trailed and used a 6-0 run late in the first quarter to take a 15-7 lead.

The Crusaders got eight points off the bench in the period.

“It’s always a big confidence boost because anybody can score,” Rylie Rice said. “Everybody can score when you’re out there. I think it frees up the defense on a lot of players, gets our posts open, gets our guards open. That really helps.”

The Hawkettes were also hampered by committing eight of their 15 turnovers in the first quarter.

“I don’t know if it’s a not-ready-to-go thing,” Berndt said. “It was pretty evident that they came out hot and we came out flat. We’ve got to do everything we can to get that fixed next time out.”

St. Cecilia outscored the Crusaders 7-0 over the final 3:24 of the first half to close within 25-19, but GICC came out firing in the third quarter and answered with its own 8-0 run.

“We’ve been working on coming out in the third quarter and hitting shots and run our plays,” Stacia Rice said. “Normally with St. Cecilia they’re the one that comes out on a third-quarter run. So that was kind of a focus for us, just making sure that we came out with a lot of energy and knew our game plan.”

St. Cecilia clawed back within 39-33 in the fourth quarter when GICC had another scoring lull. But Alexis Mudloff found freshman post Lucy Ghaifan open in the post, and she scored the Crusaders’ first basket in the period with 3:24 to go.

“For her to be able to come in as a freshman without a lot of experience and to hit shots like that and play defense on one of the best posts in the state (Tori Thomas) says a lot about where she can go in her basketball career,” Stacia Rice said.

Jenna Heidelk went 4-for-5 from the line down the stretch to help seal the win and finished with 10 points.

“We haven’t had a full team since summer,” Stacia Rice said. “We’ve been struggling through injuries. It was Allison’s first game back. Jenna has a hurt shoulder. We’ve had a lot of injuries this year, and I don’t feel like we’ve played our best basketball.

“I feel like tonight was a great momentum (boost) to carry on into subdistricts.”

The Hawkettes — who received 16 points from Makenna Asher and 10 points and 12 boards from Thomas — will try to turn things around in the postseason. That could include a subdistrict final rematch against GICC next Thursday.

“Luckily that’s not the last one,” Berndt said. “Sometimes a team needs this to get a little focus, I suppose. I’d rather have this happen now than later, but definitely it’s time to regroup a little bit and get some stuff figured out. Hopefully we can put on a better show next Tuesday.”

The Crusaders were enjoying the win before they turned their attention to the postseason.

“To be able to send out our three seniors in their last home game by beating St. Cecilia was special,” Stacia Rice said. “A lot of them are volleyball players too, and they beat St. Cecilia in their last time on the volleyball court. Then to go out and beat such a good, solid team, I’m just really, really happy for them.”

GICC 47, Hastings St. Cecilia 37


Chloe McCauley 0-4 0-0 0, Bailey Kissinger 0-12 2-2 2, Tori Thomas 3-9 4-4 10, Natalie Kissinger 3-10 0-0 9, Makenna Asher 4-9 6-8 16, Katharine Hamburger 0-1 0-0 0, Libby Landgren 0-0 0-0 0, Erin Sheehy 0-1 0-0 0, Addie Kirkegaard 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 10-46 12-14 37.

GICC (15-6)

Jenna Heidelk 2-3 5-7 10, Allison Kalvoda 1-2 0-2 2, Katie Maser 1-4 0-0 3, Rylie Rice 6-9 0-0 16, Elli Steenson 1-2 0-0 2, Alexis Mudloff 2-3 1-2 5, Gracie Woods 1-3 0-0 2, Chloe Cloud 1-4 0-0 2, Lucy Ghaifan 2-2 1-3 5, Alyssa Wilson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-33 7-14 47.

Hastings SC 8 11 6 12—37

GICC 15 10 14 8—47

3-point field goals—HSC 5-24 (McCauley 0-4, B. Kissinger 0-5, N. Kissinger 3-10, Asher 2-4, Sheehy 0-1), GICC 6-11 (Heidelk 1-2, Maser 1-2, Rice 4-6, Woods 0-1). Fouled out—none. Rebounds—HSC 27 (Thomas 12), GICC 31 (Cloud 8). Assists—HSC 4 (Thomas 2), GICC 13 (Heidelk Mudloff 3). Turnovers—HSC 15, GICC 19. Total fouls—HSC 17, GICC 13. Technicals—none.


GICC 53, Hastings St. Cecilia 27

Dei Jengmer certainly looked healthy in his return to Grand Island Central Catholic’s lineup.

The 6-foot-9 junior post went 7-for-8 from the floor and scored a game-high 18 points on Thursday to lead the Class C-2 No. 3-rated Crusaders past Hastings St. Cecilia 53-27.

Jengmer missed Saturday’s triple overtime loss to Wahoo after twisting his ankle the previous night against Lexington.

“He practiced Tuesday and was at full speed (Wednesday), so he looked better,” GICC coach Tino Martinez said. “He didn’t move that great in the first quarter. It took him a while to get loosened up, but it was definitely a relief to get him back as quick as we did.

“When you’re 6-9 and you roll your ankle, it’s different than when a 5-9 guy does it. He rolled it with three minutes left in the Lexington game and it swelled up instantly. So I’m glad it was a short-lived thing, and hopefully we can get through without retweaking it.”

Central Catholic’s entire offense looked healthy, hitting 24 of 36 shots (66.7%) and connecting on its first 11 attempts after halftime.

“We were doing a better job of posting,” Martinez said. “We were trying to feed the post too early in the possession in the first half, I thought, off of one pass. We were trying to feed it. When we’re playing at our best and executing at our best, we get the ball moved side-to-side a couple of times and then we enter the ball into the post.

“So I thought in the second half we got ball reversal and we did a nice job of looking inside for Marcus (Lowry), Dei and Koby (Bales), and they did a nice job finishing.”

GICC’s starting five of Russ Martinez, Bales, Isaac Herbek, Lowry and Jengmer were a combined 22-for-29 (75.9%) from the floor and 19-for-22 (86.4%) from inside the 3-point line.

Bales finished with 10 points. Herbek and Lowry both had nine while Russ Martinez chipped in seven.

GICC 53, Hastings St. Cecilia 27


John Starr 2-5 0-0 5, Paul Fago 3-7 0-2 6, Gus Driscoll 0-3 2-4 3, Garrett Parr 0-3 0-1 0, Brayden Schropp 5-8 0-0 11, Anthony Sabotka 0-2 0-0 0, Noah Daly 0-2 0-0 0, Carson Kudlacek 1-4 1-1 3, Cooper Butler 0-1 0-0 0, Caden Krikac 0-1 0-0 0, Grant Rossow 0-1 0-0 0, Jayden Lagunas 0-0 0-0 0, Luke Landgren 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-37 3-8 27.

GICC (19-2)

Russ Martinez 3-5 0-0 7, Koby Bales 5-6 0-0 10, Isaac Herbek 3-5 2-2 9, Marcus Lowry 4-5 0-1 9, Dei Jengmer 7-8 4-4 18, Tanner Turek 0-1 0-0 0, Brayden Wenzl 0-0 0-0 0, Gil Jengmer 1-3 0-0 2, Connor Henke 1-3 0-0 2, Jack Kenna 0-0 0-0 0, Brayton Johnson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-36 6-7 57.

Hastings SC 6 7 12 2—27

GICC 9 14 18 16—57

3-point field goals—HSC 2-13 (Starr 1-4, Fago 0-1, Driscoll 0-1, Parr 0-1, Schropp 1-2, Daly 0-1, Kudlacek 0-1, Butler 0-1, Rossow 0-1), GICC 3-8 (Martinez 1-3, Herbek 1-2, Lowry 1-1, Turek 0-1, Henke 0-1). Fouled out—none. Rebounds—HSC 16 (Sabotka 6), GICC 27 (Bales 8). Assists—HSC 1, GICC 10 (Martinez, Bales 3). Turnovers—HSC 10, GICC 7. Total fouls—HSC 8, GICC 11. Technicals—none.

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