FC Sacred Heart’s Lexi Barnes, Haylee Heits and Maggie Goltz (from left to right) harrass Wynot senior Maggie Schulte during the first half of their class D-2 semifinal Friday night at Devaney Sports Center, where Wynot handed the Lady Irish a 55-38 defeat. Photo by Jason Schock. Please visit www.schockimagery.com for a complete gallery of the Lady Irish’s 2014 D-2 State Tournament.
The Falls City Sacred Heart Lady Irish defeated Giltner 55-48 Saturday afternoon at Lincoln North Star High School to finish third in Class D2 for a second consecutive year.
The 27-3 Lady Irish set a school record in victories and most likely solidified a No. 2 final season ranking with the victory. Freshman Haylee Heits was a monster all weekend, and never more so than Saturday, where she scored 14 team-high points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked a pair of shots. She hit a pair of free throws with 4:19 to play to give her team a five-point lead, and, with just 1:17 to play, got a steal and lay-up to make it 10, 53-43. That came off a 12-point game in the loss to Wynot in which she was one of FCSH’s few bright spots.
A Saturday matchup between the top-ranked Lady Irish and No. 2 Giltner came as a surprise only in that it was played in a high school gym for third place and not in the Lincoln’s Pinnacle Bank Arena for the D2 title. It came about after both were upset in semifinal games Friday at the Devaney Center. FCSH’s 55-38 loss to three-time defending champion Wynot was certainly less an upset than what followed: Sterling’s 31-28 shocker over Giltner. As if a second straight state semifinal loss didn’t sting enough, the fact that Sterling, a rival FCSH defeated three times this season – by 28, 31 and 10 points, respectively – was playing in tonight’s final only poured salt in the wound.
Like it did a year prior in a consolation win over Lindsay Holy Family, FCSH came out firing from the perimeter against Giltner. Four first-quarter three-pointers led to an early 11-point Sacred Heart lead, 17-6. Giltner, though, weathered the storm and trailed by just three, 30-27, at halftime. They would eventually take the lead in the third quarter and went up by six, 41-35, before Irish freshman Alexis Barnes made one of her three treys, and it was followed by a game-tying three-pointer by junior Abby Magdanz with 30 seconds remaining in the final period. Magdanz’ key three-pointer tied the Sacred Heart school record for threes in a season (52, Katie O’Grady).
In the fourth, sophomore Maggie Goltz (seven points), who poured in 30 in last year’s consolation game, hit a bucket, which was followed by senior Ashli Jordan’s lone three-pointer of the tournament and FCSH took a five-point lead with six minutes to play. Giltner would cut it to three inside of five minutes, but Heits’ free throws got it back to five and it never got closer. Goltz and Jordan each hit a pair of free throws down the stretch to clinch the victory.
FCSH – Jordan 5, A. Magdanz 10, E. Magdanz 6, Goltz 7, Barnes 9, Hill 4, Heits 14.
Giltner – Lockman 2, S. Hinrichs 4, D. Hinrichs 5, Joyce 6, Most 18, Lyon 13.