Published Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 8:20 pm / Updated at 11:01 pm
BASKETBALL
T-birds stay unbeaten, top Wildcats for tourney title
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Taylor Bahensky, Millard North
Madi Braun, Bellevue West
Jayla Hobza, Bellevue East
Kate Liveringhouse, Bellevue West
Marisa Lowe, Millard West

A quick start once again paved the way to victory for Bellevue West, which captured its fourth Metro holiday girls basketball tournament title Thursday night.

The Thunderbirds had 46 points at halftime and rolled to a 67-53 win over Millard West at the Civic Auditorium. The victory boosts Bellevue West to 10-0 and puts coach Marc Kruger's squad in line for the top spot in next week's ratings.

“We played really well,'' Kruger said. “We attacked the rim early and then we were able to hit some shots from the outside.''

For the second consecutive night, a big first quarter by center Kate Liveringhouse helped put Bellevue West in command. She was 6 of 6 from the field in the opening period and scored 12 points before running into foul trouble. Liveringhouse had 14 in the first quarter Wednesday night in a semifinal win over Bellevue East.

“With a team like Bellevue West, you've got to pick your poison,'' Wildcats coach Kip Colony said. “When we took the inside away, they started hitting from the outside.''

The Thunderbirds led 26-16 after the first quarter and 46-25 at halftime. Junior guard Madi Braun had 10 points by intermission, including two of Bellevue West's six first-half 3-pointers.

Braun said she enjoys playing with Liveringhouse — a 6-foot junior who didn't play on the varsity last year after transferring from Omaha Marian.

“Kate is a great person to play with,'' she said. “She gives our team another big scorer.''

The Wildcats, seeking their first Metro holiday crown, made a charge in the third quarter. They went on a 14-0 run to chop a 23-point deficit to nine, but two baskets by Braun — including her third 3-pointer — and one by Elisha Cobbs reopened the lead to 16.

Millard West was unable to get the deficit under double digits the rest of the way.

“That's one positive that I'm going to take out of this game,'' Colony said. “We got within nine and had a chance to get within seven, so I was proud of the way we fought back.''

Liveringhouse finished with 16 points while Braun added 15 and Cobbs 13. The Thunderbirds shot almost 51 percent from the field and sank eight 3-pointers.

Bellevue West lifted its record to 4-2 in Metro holiday tourney finals. The Thunderbirds' previous titles came in 2005, 2007 and 2010. This is the first for Kruger, a former assistant coach who took over when Matt Fritsche left to become women's coach at Midland University.

“I think we're pretty good,'' Kruger said. “And I know we can get even better.''

Samantha Waldron and Brooke Savage scored 16 each to pace the Wildcats while Marisa Lowe added 12.

Millard West (9-2).............................16 9 19 9—53
Bellevue West (10-0)........................26 20 11 10—67

MW: Paige Phipps 1-1 0-0 2, Madi Severson 1-2 0-0 2, Samantha Waldron 7-13 0-0 16, Brooke Savage 7-15 0-0 16, Dani Saenz 2-5 0-0 5, Alex Hruby 0-2 0-0 0, Marisa Lowe 4-9 1-1 12, Kaci German 0-1 0-0 0, Kate Suelter 0-2 0-0 0.

BW: Elisha Cobbs 4-9 2-5 13, Madi Braun 5-12 2-2 15, Julie Targy 2-4 0-0 6, Annie Szczepaniak 3-7 3-4 9, Taylor Ditoro 0-1 0-0 0, Chloe Akin-Otiko 4-5 0-0 8, Kim Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Kate Liveringhouse 8-11 0-0 16.

3-point goals: MW 8-19 (Waldron 2-3, Savage 2-7, Saenz 1-4, Lowe 3-5); BW 8-18 (Cobbs 3-8, Braun 3-7, Targy 2-2, Ditoro 0-1). Rebounds: MW 23 (Savage 5); BW 33 (Liveringhouse 5, Braun 5). Total fouls: MW 12; BW 8. Turnovers: MW 20; BW 16. Field-goal percentage: MW .440; BW .509. Free-throw percentage: MW 1.000; BW .636.

Contact the writer:

402-444-1350, mike.patterson@owh.com; twitter.com/MPattersonOWH

Contact the writer: Mike Patterson

mike.patterson@owh.com    |   402-444-1350    |  

Mike covers high school sports, primarily volleyball in the fall, girls basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring and summer.

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