Top-ranked Lincoln Southeast is again going to be a force on offense.
The Knights’ trio of Jess Shep≠ard, Alexa Haas and Alexa Kastanek combined for 56 points Friday night in a 74-40 girls basketball season-opening win over Omaha Marian in Omaha Creighton Prep’s Heider Center.
Southeast will visit No. 9 Millard West at 2 p.m. Saturday in the final of the Early Bird Tip-off Classic.
The Knights led Class A in scoring last year, topping 60 points in 19 of 27 games.
Southeast coach Kara Graham said her team clicks “when Kastanek is feeling it for her 3-pointers and when Jess is getting to her sweet spot on the floor.”
Shepard, a 6-3 sophomore who’s already committed to Nebraska, had a game-high 21 points. Haas had 19 and Kastanek, an Iowa recruit, 16.
“Haas and Maddy Everett are going to score some points,” Graham said. “Maddy sometimes is too unselfish. If she has the ball with a little space, she should shoot it more often.”
Marian, in its first game with Lisa Schmidt as coach, trailed 19-9, 40-20 and 54-33 at the quarter breaks. The Crusaders were only 6-17 last year.
“We were really unsure what to expect from them,” Graham said. “We thought it might be a battle because they had almost everybody back. Because we’re a little taller, we thought we’d see some zone and we shot the ball fairly well.
“Marian is going to be very competitive” later in the year.
Nicole Liske led the Crusaders with 10 points.
Lincoln Southeast (1-0) ................. 19 21 14 20—74
Omaha Marian (0-1) ................. 9 11 13 7—40
LSE: Jess Shepard 21, Alexa Haas 19, Alexa Kastanek 16, Maddy Everett 7, Reanna May 6, Rykie Houser 4, Emma McKillip 1.
OM: Nicole Liske 10, Annie Wolfe 9, Anna Bartolomei 8, Cassie Jones 4, Taylor Long 3, Katelyn Gochenour 2, Kailey Bachman 2.
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