Defense shines as Hawkettes advance to Championship Saturday

St. Cecilia advances to C1 title game where they will go for third-straight state title
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 3:02 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KSNB) - St. Cecilia trailed 15-7 midway through the second quarter before ending the game on a 22-10 run to advance past Lincoln Lutheran, 29-25. It is their third-straight year making it to Championship Saturday, where they will go for their third straight title.

The Hawkettes were back-to-back champs in C2 before making the jump up to C1 and the results were the same.

“I mean it’s crazy. Not a lot of people thought we would be in this situation, especially moving up a class but we were all confident and we knew that we could do it,” Junior guard Bailey Kissinger said.

St. Cecilia had the same core for their title runs in 2019 and 2020 before graduating four starting seniors last season.

“We lost a big group of seniors and that was a huge loss, but we knew that we had another chance coming in,” Senior forward Katharine Hamburger said. “We’ve been working every day; this was our ultimate goal at the end of the season. Just feeling that we’ve finally accomplished that goal is just a huge sigh of relief, it’s so amazing.”

“The last two years we had kind of the same core the whole way through,” St. Cecilia girls basketball coach Greg Berndt said. “Then we graduated four starting seniors. I don’t know if people wrote them off, but I don’t know if there was an expectation that they would be back. This group - I told them this morning in the locker room that they’re the best defensive team that I’ve had since I’ve been here and that’s saying something.”

Hawkettes were led by Kissinger who scored 12 points, which included six points in an 8-0 run in the third quarter.

St. Cecilia (24-2) plays defending Class C1 state champs North Bend Central (23-3) in the title game on Saturday. Tip-off set for 10:45 a.m.

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