Swede girls finish runner-up
Shooting struggle leads to loss in championship.
Some games, it’s simply a struggle to put the ball through the hoop, regardless of a team’s normal shooting percentage.
The Gothenburg girls hit an average of 34% of their shots going into the Gothenburg Holiday Tournament.
In their Tuesday afternoon win over Ord in the first round on Dec. 29, the Swedes were a season-best 48% from the field.
That equated to a 55-38 victory over the Chanticleers.
“We put together a solid four quarters of basketball,” said Swede coach Tim Peterson. “It was a well-rounded ball game.”
The Swedes jumped on Ord early and built a comfortable 29-15 lead at halftime.
That cushion, Peterson said, allowed him to put his more inexperienced girls on the floor and still cruise into the tournament finals.
Senior Emily Max led the Swedes with 27 points and junior Shelby Eggleston chipped in 14.
Wednesday’s championship matchup was a whole different story, though.
“Some games, the ball just won’t go in the hole,” Peterson said.
Gothenburg made only one field goal in the entire first half against No. 3 state-ranked Boone Central as the Cardinals won the title with a 58-42 victory.
At the end of the first quarter, the Swedes trailed 15-4 with just four free throws.
Max hit a short jumper in the second period for Gothenburg’s only bucket of the half and the Swedes trailed 25-9 at halftime.
The Swedes were 1-of-19 from the field in the first and second quarters.
“If anything at all would have fallen for us in the first half, I think we could have made it a game,” Peterson said.
Instead, the Swedes were forced to play from a deep deficit the whole game.
“There was never a question of effort,” Peterson said. “Maybe sometimes the execution wasn’t there but the girls never quit trying.”
Shooting got better for Gothenburg in the second half as the girls hit 10-of-21 to finish 11-of-40 or 27.5% overall.
Scoring 18 points in the third period—led by 14 from Max in the post position—the Swedes cut Boone Central’s lead to 10 or less a couple of times in the quarter.
“Then when we really needed a shot to fall again, it didn’t,” Peterson said.
The shot improvement from the first half had little to do with selection, Peterson said, and more to do with luck.
“You have to give the girls credit,” he said. “They fought back and showed a lot of grit throughout the game.”
Max again led the Swedes with 24 points and 10 rebounds.
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 8-0 on the season.
“Besides Lexington and Holdrege, Boone Central is as salty a team as we have faced,” Peterson said. “They have a ton of depth and quickness.”
Gothenburg moved to 2-5 on the year heading into Tuesday night’s rescheduled game with No. 7 ranked Minden.
The Swedes host Sutherland on Friday beginning with junior varsity at 4:30 p.m.. The Sailors are looking for their first win.
Then Gothenburg travels to Cairo to take on Centura (3-4) Saturday. Varsity tip-off is at approximately 5 p.m.
“They’re all winnable games if we put a full four quarters together,” Peterson said.