LINCOLN — Pender's pair of 6-footers would have been plenty for Palmer to try to handle.
But tack on four players hitting 3-pointers, and it got to be too much for the Tigers.
Paige Ballinger and Maggie Fillipi combined for 33 points and 18 rebounds to lead Class D-1 No. 2-rated Pender to a 70-30 rout in the first round of the state tournament Thursday at Lincoln Northeast.
Palmer (17-7) held an early 6-2 lead before Ballinger and Fillipi scored all the points in a 10-0 run that gave the Pendragons the lead for good.
“I thought we came out a little slow at first with the nerves and just being down here in a new gym,” Pender coach Larry Ballinger said. “We came out a little nervous but I thought we picked it up late in the first quarter and started to play some ball like we should be.”
Pender added four 3-pointers to build up its lead to 36-18 at halftime.
“Coming into the game, everything we'd heard about them is that they're a post-oriented team,” Palmer coach Rob Wegner said. “We said 'make them beat us outside,' and they did.
“It's one of those nights where we missed a lot of shots and they hit everything they threw up. It was tough, but we're happy to be here. It was a fun ride all year long.”
Paige Ballinger finished with 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting. Fillipi added 13 points and Erin Sorensen came off the bench to contribute 10.
Emilie Wolfe topped the Tigers, who only shot 18 percent from the floor, with nine points.
Palmer (17-7).................................10 8 5 7—30
Pender (23-3)................................23 10 23 11—70
PAL: Emilie Wolfe 8, Whitney Valasek 6, Jessie Valasek 3, Shayla Wichmann 5, Kara Valasek 5, Cortney Wichmann 3.
PEN: Reagan Anderson 3, Trista Morgan 8, Tiffani Morgan 6, Paige Ballinger 20, Maggie Fillipi 13, Shelby Roth 4, Justice Sorensen 5, Erin Sorensen 10, Angie Dunn 1.
Officials: Fulton, O'Dey, Carter.