Wolfpack End Season With Loss To Heartland At State

LINCOLN — All season long the Wolfpack’s fast-paced attack has been able to put up points against opponents. On Thursday afternoon, the opening round of the Class D-1 Girls State Basketball Tournament, the Wolfpack couldn’t score when they needed to and fell to Heartland 34 to 24.
Trailing by 11 points at the start of the second half, EPPJ twice cut the Huskies’ lead to just one point, but were unable to take the lead and saw their season come to an end.
“Nobody could score today,” Coach Randy Eisenhauer said just moments after the final buzzer sounded. “We struggled right away coming out of the gates (in the first half). We had it back down to a 25 to 24 game with 2 1/2 minutes left, but we just didn’t finish.”
The Wolfpack owned much of the second half, their two-three zone defense held Heartland to just two points (free throws by Bailey Peters).
At the other end of the floor, the Wolfpack slowly cut into the lead. Ally Wemhoff scored EPPJ’s first four points of the half, then Baylee Wemhoff connected on a field goal at the 3:53 mark to cut the lead to seven. Lydia Behnk made the first of two free throws. On the second, Elizabeth Selting grabbed the rebound and scored to cut the lead to four points with 42 seconds left. Behnk added another free throw before the end of the quarter to cut the Huskies’ lead to 23 to 20 to start the fourth quarter.
Despite numerous opportunities to cut further into the lead, the Wolfpack was held scoreless for the first three minutes of the fourth quarter. Behnk broke free inside for a bucket with 4:52 left to make it a one-point game, 23 to 22.
Taylor Quiring ended a 10-minute scoreless streak for Heartland with two free throws for a 25 to 22 lead.
Selting then made a big play for the Wolfpack, stealing the ball near midcourt and beating two Heartland players to the basket for a layup to make the score 25 to 24, the Wolfpack immediately calling a timeout.
Hoping to take the lead on their next trip down the floor, it never happened for the Wolfpack as Heartland’s Katie Bergen buried a trey for a four-point lead, 28 to 24, with two minutes left to play.
EPPJ was held scoreless the rest of the game as Heartland made six of six free throws to ice the game.
Heartland dominated the first half of play. After Allyson Wemhoff scored on a steal for the first points of the game, the Wolfpack were held scoreless for the next 12 minutes as Heartland rolled to a 15 to 2 lead. Missed shots and more important, the inability to grab rebounds, cost the Wolfpack.
With 2:42 to go before halftime, Ally Wemhoff scored on a three-point play to end the drought, cutting the lead to 10 points. She added a three-point shot and reserve Calli Krebs came off the bench to scored with just over a minute left in the half to account for all of the Wolfpack’s points.
Ally Wemhoff was the Wolfpack’s leading scorer with 10 points. Leslie Braun led Heartland with 12 points.
The loss ended the Wolfpack’s season at 19-5.
Heartland advanced to the semi-final round with a 22-4 record. However, their chance for a state championship came to an end as they were routed by Dundy County-Stratton Friday morning.
Heartland 34, EPPJ 24
Wolfpack………2   8  10  4 —  24
Huskies……….9  12  2  11 — 34
Wolfpack — Araceli Palmer 0-0 0-0 0, Kaylee Martinsen 0-0 0-0 0, Amy Nelson 0-0 0-0 0, Lydia Behnk 1-6 2-4 4, Calli Krebs 1-4 0-0 2, Paige Meis 0-2 0-0 0, Jordan Mescher 0-3 0-0 0, Kayce Kallhoff 0-0 0-0 0, Baylee Wemhoff 2-7 0-0 4, Ally Wemhoff 3-13 3-3 10, Heather Bauer 0-0 0-0 0, Elizabeth Selting 2-12 0-2 4. Team totals 9-47 5-9 24. Three-point shots — Wolfpack 1-15 (Ally Wemhoff).
Huskies — Ellie Steingard 1 0-0 2, Katie Bergen 2 2-2 8, Sadie Carr 0 0-0 0, Megan Kroeker 0 0-0 0, Alexa Siebert 0 0-0 0, Taylor Quiring 1 4-5 6, Bailey Peters 0 6-6 6, Keyan Arbuck 0 0-0 0, Leslie Braun 2 6-7 12, Timberly Carr 0 0-0 0, Kalea Wetjen 0 0-0 0, Grace Jansen 0 0-0 0, Odessa Ohrt 0 0-0 0, Allison Kroeker 0 0-0 0. Team totals: 6-35 18-20 34. Three-point shots — Huskies 4 (Katie Bergen 2, Leslie Braun 2).
Team statistics: Rebounds — Wolfpack 26 (Elizabeth Selting 7, Lydia Behnk 7), Huskies 39. Assists — Wolfpack 4 (Jordan Mescher 2), Huskies 6. Steals — Wolfpack 12 (Jordan Mescher 6), Huskies 3. Blocks — Wolfpack 3 (Lydia Behnk 3), Heartland 3. Turnovers — Wolfpack 7, Huskies 19.