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Gothenburg girls earn season’s first victory

ALBION—The first part of the Gothenburg girls basketball season is a bumpy ride on any given year.

The core of this year’s team is a group of relatively inexperienced girls, making the road seem even more like a never-ending series of potholes.

“We’ve been through a rough stretch facing some really good opponents,” said Swede girls coach Tim Peterson. “Few teams play the kind of schedule we have. I think our record is a bit deceiving.”

At 1-7, it took the Swedes eight games and Christmas break to get their first victory.

After falling to pre-season state-ranked Boone Central during the first round of the Boone Central holiday tournament last week, the Swedes came back in the consolation to beat St. Paul for third place.

Now, Peterson said, there’s nowhere to go but up.

“We’re still going to play some tough teams,” he said, “but I think if we can come out and play hard the whole game, we can compete with anybody.”

Gothenburg travels to Sutherland on Friday to face the 6-2 Sailors.

“Sutherland is a much-improved team,” Peterson said of the Sailors, which dropped to Class D-1 this season. “They’ve got a couple of big girls inside and a couple of nice guards. Still, I think if we go out and play hard we could get another win.”

The girls play the late game on the road Friday, following the boys varsity at 7:30 p.m.

Unbeaten Centura—ranked No. 7 in Class C by the Omaha World-Herald—comes to town on Saturday.

“Centura is a real solid team,” Peterson said. “It’s going to take an amazing effort.”

Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m.

Cardinals 74, Swedes 31

Boone Central girls are tall and quick and everything a coach would want in a team, Peterson said.

The Cardinals jumped out to a 25-3 first-quarter lead and never let up on the Swedes in the first round of the holiday tournament on Dec. 28.

Boone Central went on to beat Gothenburg 74-31.

“We didn’t do a good job at all in the first half recognizing the open spot and getting the ball there,” Peterson said.

Boone Central made its lead insurmountable before halftime, taking a 47-12 advantage into the break.

The Swedes made some improvement in the second half shooting better and handling the Cardinal pressure.

“I just told them again, don’t worry about the score. Let’s just try to improve with each quarter,” Peterson said.

Freshman Regan Geiken led the Swede scoring with 11 points.

Swedes 49, Wildcats 44

Peterson knew heading into the tournament consolation on Dec. 29 that the Swedes matched up better with St. Paul than nearly any team they’ve played so far.

“I said it was a game they shouldn’t hope to win but instead a game they should expect to win,” the coach said.

The Swedes started strong with a new lineup designed to generate plenty of turnovers, Peterson said, and came out with a 49-44 victory.

“The girls worked hard and did a better job of protecting the ball,” he said.

Gothenburg led 12-11 after one quarter and had a 24-18 advantage at halftime.

“I think we could have put the game away had we converted more free throws in the first half,” Peterson said. “We could have had a double-digit lead before halftime.”

A sluggish third quarter—a burr that has bothered Gothenburg all season—put the Swedes behind

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