Lourdes girls excited for next test at HTRS Friday

Kirt Manion
Nebraska City News-Press

Friday night has the 2-1 Lourdes girls’ basketball team taking to the road for a game against Humboldt-TRS. Action, which starts at 6 p.m., can be seen on the live stream by searching HTRS Activities channel on YouTube or by using the following link: tinyurl.com/yyfkqmw4.

Coach Mark Madison’s Lourdes Knights are coming off strong showings in the team’s first three games of the season and are anxious for a chance to display the fixes that they’ve made to their strategies following that action.

Lourdes displayed an improved offensive efficency with scores in the 40s in their first three games. The Knights’ competitive level was brag worthy as well in clashes with Omaha Duchesne, Elmwood-Murdock and Falls City Sacred Heart.

Coach Madison said the Knights had expected a few more struggles on offense to start the year given last year’s game tape and 2020’s many complications. So the strong offense was a pleasant surprise.

The way the team got after it on the floor only added to the positive feelings coming out of the season-opening contests.

“The girls were really sharp. They competed really hard,” said Coach Madison.

And now it’s on to the next challenge, which the team embraces after having had some time to work on what they saw in games one through three.

Two days were well spent with the team refining its press and working on its zone offense.

“We are excited to play them,” Coach Madison said of the game at Humboldt. “We’ve been able to clean things up. This early in the season, it’s still a lot about us.”

As for challenges for the Knights on Friday, Coach Madison said Humboldt has a strong and athletic post presence to deal with and also noted that Lourdes expects to see a lot of zone defense in this game.

Lourdes 48, Duchesne 33

A new coach and a COVID season would have provided reasons for a lesser performance in the season-opening contest for the Lourdes squad in Booster Club tourney action at home. Coach Madison said the members of the Knight team are not ones to make excuses.

Lourdes got after it in game one and came away with the win.

The decisive quarter for Lourdes came in the second stanza as the Knights outscored Duchesne 15-5. Aspen Meyer had six of her 14 points in that frame. Gina McGowen was the Knights scoring lead in the opener with 15 points on six two-point buckets and three free throws. Also scoring were Sofia Fulton, six; Emma Heng, six; Brianna Fulton, four; and Gracie Ragland, three.

Nicky Huss was the top scorer for Duchesne. She was the lone double digit scorer on that side of the ledger with 12.

Lourdes 44, Elmwood-Murdock 32

Speedy Elmwood-Murdock athletes proved problematic for the Lourdes girls’ basketball team in its second game of the season and of the Booster Club tournament. But halftime adjustments to player rotations allowed the Knights to meet the challenge as quicker players took on heavier work loads for Lourdes.

The two teams were tied at 17-17 at the half before Lourdes won the third quarter 13-9 and the fourth quarter 14-6.

Brianna Fulton was the scoring leader for Lourdes. She had 15. Fulton had 10. Other scorers were McGowen, eight; Ema Heng, five; Aspen Meyer, four; and Ella Welsh, two.

Sacred Heart 55, Lourdes 46

A late game switch to zone defense allowed the Falls City Sacred Heart Irish to escape with a slim margin of victory over the Knights.

The contest was tight throughout with the game tied at 26-26 and Lourdes trailing by just three points entering the fourth.

Coach Madison said the Irish were having a problem defending McGowen in the post with a man-to-man strategy. Those struggles allowed for scoring chances for McGowen and, as help came to stop those chances, others got involved.

A switch to zone gave the Irish a better chance to both limit McGowen and get out on Knight shooters for better contested shots. The Irish needed ever bit of that advantage and a 31-point effort by one of their top players, Erison Vonderschmidt.

Scoring for Lourdes in the game were Meyer, 11; Fulton, 11; Brianna Fulton, eight; Elizabeth Heng, six; McGowen, four; Emma Heng, three; and Evie Madison, three.