Published Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 8:41 pm / Updated at 11:55 pm
Mustangs hold off late charge by Silver Hawks

Millard North needed every bit of its 17-point lead Tuesday night to hold off Lincoln Southwest.

The Mustangs did just enough to hang on for a 57-52 girls basketball win over the visiting Silver Hawks. The victory boosts the eighth-ranked Mustangs to 11-3 and drops the fifth-ranked Silver Hawks, who have lost two in a row, to 11-3.

“We kind of fell apart defensively in that fourth quarter,” Millard North coach Scott Persigehl said. “We had some girls just watching as (Lauren) Works was putting up those 3s.”

Works, a Creighton recruit, fueled the Silver Hawks’ comeback. The 5-foot-7 senior guard finished with a game-high 26 points, including six 3-pointers.

“She put the team on her back,” Southwest coach Lis Brenden said. “But you can’t dig a hole like we did against a good team like Millard North and expect to win the game.”

The Mustangs led 26-20 at half and then went on a 14-3 run to start the third quarter, opening a 40-23 advantage. Millard North led 42-28 entering the final period before the Silver Hawks came storming back.

Three-pointers by Works, McKenna Dodd and Baleigh Miller quickly sliced into that lead, but the Mustangs stayed on top by converting free throws. Millard North was 0 for 5 from the field in the fourth quarter, getting all 15 of its points at the line.

A layup by Works with 51 seconds left trimmed the Mustangs’ advantage to 53-48, and free throws by Works and Miller made it a three-point game with 10 seconds left. Southwest then fouled senior guard Mary Dineen, who recently returned to the Millard North lineup following knee surgery.

Dineen sank both free throws with 5.7 seconds left to put the game away.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence in Mary,” Persigehl said. “That’s who we want at the line in a close game.”

The Mustangs sank 15 of 25 foul shots in the fourth quarter. They had attempted just five over the first three quarters, sinking three.

The Silver Hawks, who lost to unranked Omaha Marian 67-63 on Saturday night, sank 8 of 17 shots from the field in the fourth quarter. They made four of their eight 3-pointers in the final period, but it wasn’t enough.

“We got within three, but it was too little, too late,” Brenden said. “We just didn’t play well enough offensively to win this one.”

Taylor Bahensky scored 16 points and Dineen added 10 for the Mustangs. Senior center Allie Swanson gave the team a boost with 15 rebounds.

Millard North also sank 7 of 11 shots from behind the arc, including a 3-for-3 performance by Kenae Merritt.

The Mustangs will face another tough Lincoln team Saturday night when third-ranked Southeast pays a visit.

“Now we’ve got to figure out a way to stop them,” Persigehl said. “That’ll be another big challenge for us.”

Lincoln SW (11-3)...............................6 14 8 24 -- 52

Millard North (11-3).........................14 12 16 15 -- 57

LSW: Baleigh Miller 3-4 1-2 8, Brooke Knapp 0-2 0-0 0, McKenna Dodd 2-9 0-0 5, Lauren Works 9-18 2-2 26, Jordyn Keeney 2-3 1-3 5, Abby Meader 2-3 2-2 6, Marysa Wilkinson 1-7 0-2 2.

MN: Ali Drey 2-6 3-7 8, Holly Hild 2-8 0-2 4, Mary Dineen 2-6 4-4 10, Kenae Merritt 3-3 0-2 9, Taylor Bahensky 3-10 9-12 16, Jordan Tynes 1-3 1-2 3, Allie Swanson 3-9 1-1 7.

3-point goals: LSW 8-19 (Miller 1-2, Knapp 0-1, Dodd 1-4, Works 6-12); MN 7-11 (Drey 1-1, Dineen 2-4, Merritt 3-3, Bahensky 1-3), Rebounds: LSW 30 (Wilkinson 9); 36 (Swanson 15). Total fouls: LSW 21; MN 9. Fouled out: Keeney. Turnovers: LSW 18; MN 13. Field-goal percentage: .413; MN .355. Free-throw percentage: LSW .545; MN .600.

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Contact the writer: Mike Patterson    |   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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