Friday, June 22, 2018
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Girls struggle in first half against Class B’s No. 10 rated Holdrege

Swede girls basketball coach Chris Lecher expected full-court, in-your-face pressure from a Holdrege team that received pre-season notice in the Class B state rankings.

What he didn’t expect was his team to hit the floor with a deer-in-the-headlights look.

“We’ve tried to work on that mental confidence,” Lecher said. “You just can’t spot a team like that 18 points and expect to get anywhere with them.”

The Dusters cruised out to a 22-4 first quarter advantage and remained unbeaten on the season with a 59-36 victory.

“The girls play hard and the effort is there,” Lecher said. “They’re realizing they can deal with the pressure. Now we have to learn to capitalize on it.”

After Holdrege sank a pair of three-pointers to start the game, Gothenburg scored on a couple of free throws by Brittyn Munster at the 6:34 mark in the first quarter.

The Swedes didn’t get on the board again until Munster dropped a bucket at the buzzer.

Holdrege’s defense continued to hold back Gothenburg in the second period, allowing only eight points. The Dusters led 32-12 at halftime.

Holdrege scored bucket after bucket to start the second half, pushing ahead by as many as 25 points and never letting up on the pressure.

Junior Regan Geiken was Gothenburg’s leading scorer with 10 points. Senior Jacey Wiggins chipped in nine.

Rachel Jelden led Holdrege with 26 points.

With the loss, Gothenburg moves to 2-4 on the season.

“These kinds of games are going to help us in the last half of our season,” Lecher said. “When we get to go up against some opponents that maybe aren’t the same state-ranked caliber as Holdrege and St. Pat’s and Hershey, I think the girls are going to be able to see what this stretch has taught us.”

After hosting McCook Tuesday night in a game that ended after this week’s press time, the Swede girls will take a holiday break before traveling to Sidney for the Cabela’s Holiday Shootout beginning Dec. 27.

Gothenburg will face Sidney (5-1) in the first round of the tournament at 5:30 p.m. MT.

Win or lose, the second-round game will be at 3:45 p.m. MT on Dec. 28.

The girls championship is set for 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 29.