LINCOLN — Hastings St. Cecilia didn’t construct a 37-0 run this time against Sutton.
But the Hawkettes did put together three streaks of at least eight unanswered points, and that built a 50-34 win over the Fillies in the first round of the Class C-2 state tournament Thursday at Lincoln East.
No. 3-rated St. Cecilia (22-4) scored the first nine points of the game and never trailed.
“It was good to get out to that nice lead and we had a lot of energy out of the game,” Hawkettes coach Jahn Kile said. “We got a little flat that second quarter and they made some nice plays, which teams are going to do.
“There’s going to be runs from other teams, and we want to go on maybe a little bigger run.”
It wasn’t the start Sutton coach Monica Smith wanted to see. St. Cecilia led 7-0 before the Fillies got their first shot off.
“You just can’t get down 9-0 at the beginning of a game against a real quality team,” Smith said. “Credit to our kids, they never gave up. We just couldn’t get over the hump. We got within one or two and then they’d go on a 6-0 or 8-0 run.
“They’re just a good team. You can’t get down and play catch-up against a team like that.”
No. 8 Sutton (18-8), which saw St. Cecilia score 37 unanswered points in a 58-29 regular-season loss, kept trying to fight back and capped off the first half with a 6-0 run to get within 22-20.
The Fillies pulled within 26-25 in the third quarter on an Alexa Johnson basket.
But Josie Jackson’s lone 3-point try of the game bounced off the rim higher than the top of the backboard before dropping through the net and ignited an 8-0 St. Cecilia run.
Sutton never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.
“We would have taken any (basket),” Kile said of Jackson’s unlikely trey. “It didn’t seem like we were shooting the ball really well.
“Points were hard to come by in that second quarter due to their defense and our shooting. You just want to try and get out of here with a win and we did that.”
Freshman Shandra Farmer scored 10 of her team-high 12 points in the fourth for the Hawkettes. She went 6-for-8 from the line in the period and 8-for-10 in the game to help keep Sutton at bay.
“She’s struggled as of late, but to see her buckle down and go for it, that’s what she’s done all year,” Kile said. “She doesn’t really mind the big spotlight.
“I think the last few games she’s felt a little bit pressure, but at the same time she’s been able to make some baskets when we needed them.”
Olivia Thomas added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Hawkettes, who only shot 34.0 percent from the floor (16-for-47).
“The first one is always the toughest,” said Kile of first-round state tournament games. “You come down here and the atmosphere is magnified. It’s always tough no matter who you play and how you do. It’s going to be a tough game.”
But playing from ahead the whole game helped ease some jitters.
“Even if you’re playing from behind by only a small amount, it’s tough to climb and get over that hill,” Kile said. “It’s better to be on the other side.”
Shanelle Farmer, who like her younger sister came off the bench, chipped in nine points.
Maria Van Kirk topped Sutton with 16 points.
St. Cecilia advances to Friday’s 9 a.m. semifinal at Pershing Center against No. 5 Hershey. The Panthers topped No. 4 North Platte St. Patrick’s 53-34 to win a five-game season series between the teams.
Sutton (18-8).........................6 14 7 7—34
Hastings SC (22-4)...................14 8 12 16—50
S: Maria Van Kirk 16, Delaney Lemkau 3, Lakyn Mau 3, Maryah Calkins 7, Alexa Johnson 2, Stephanie Osterhaus 2, Savannah Schurman 1.
HSC: Josie Jackson 3, Clare Hamburger 6, Alyssa Schropp 3, Morgan Nikkila 5, Olivia Thomas 10, Shandra Farmer 12, Shanelle Farmer 9, Karlee Wright 2.