Jamie Schuetz contributed early, and teammate Mary Janovich contributed late.
That combination helped Gretna defeat Norris 50-47 on Friday night in the Eastern Midlands Conference girls basketball tournament final at Elkhorn South. The win lifts the Dragons, ranked fourth in Class B, to 16-1 and drops ninth-ranked Norris to 11-5.
Schuetz scored 11 of her 17 points in the first half while Janovich scored 13 of her 17 in the second. Those offensive contributions helped Gretna overcome its lack of height against the taller Titans.
“Once we got through that first quarter, we were a lot more comfortable,” Dragons coach Jerome Skrdla said. “We live by the press, and that helped create some things for us tonight.”
Gretna trailed 16-6 after the first quarter, sinking just 2 of 13 shots from the field. But nine points by Schuetz in the second quarter helped the Dragons pull within 25-23 at halftime.
Turnovers hurt Norris in the third quarter as Gretna took a three-point lead into the final period. Janovich scored eight points in the fourth quarter, including three late free throws that allowed the Dragons to maintain a slim lead.
A 3-pointer by Norris guard Alix Bryant pulled the Titans within one with eight seconds left, but a free throw by Janovich and one by Maren Soupir provided the winning margin.
“Their pressure defense is one of the best we’ve seen,” Norris coach Mark Hagerman said. “We had the lead early on but it just slipped away from us.”
The loss spoiled a big night for Titans junior forward Kasey Hohlen. She was 10 of 10 from the field at one point — she missed one shot late in the game — and finished with 21 points.
Bryant added 11 for Norris, which saw its four-game win streak come to an end.
Justice Ross chipped in 11 points for the Dragons, who extended their win streak to 11 games.
Norris (11-5) ............. 16 9 6 16—47
At Gretna (16-1) .............. 6 17 11 16—50
N: Alix Bryant 11, Hannah Hoefler 5, Kasey Hohlen 21, Andrea Jameson 3, Kylie Hohlen 2, Bridget Bucher 5.
G: Jamie Schuetz 17, Maren Soupir 1, Mary Janovich 17, Madison Miller 4, Justice Ross 11.
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