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Lady Cougars Come Up Short Against Pender


By Clare Wiltse, Sports Contributor

Two of the best from the East Husker Conference squared off in Pender on January 15 and the game went down to the final seconds before the victor was decided.   Unfortunately for the Lady Cougars they came out on the short end of a 56-54 score.

After a very physical game with several questionable calls Coach Rex Haskell praised his girls.  “They did a very good job of playing through some tough situations and not letting it bother their play.”

Lyons-Decatur defense forced the Lady Pendragons to shoot from the outside on the game’s onset.  Pender made only one of seven and the Cougars  moved to a 6-2 lead with a basket from Abby Peterson, a three point play by Lexie Bacon, and free throw by Brianne Haskell.

Pender finally got inside and tied the score at 10.  The Cougar closed the period with a deuce by Bacon and trey by Wakeley for a 15-11 lead.

Northeast got three points to open the second quarter, but Pender came back nine unanswered and took a 20-18 lead.  Two free throws by Mariah Jessen tied the score and two more by Lexie Bacon put the Cougars on top.  Tessie Collins made it six free shots in a row.  Three conversions by the Lady Pendragons gave them the lead until Kelly Wakeley closed out the half with basket, 26-25.  A steal by Lexie Bacon gave Northeast a last second shot, but a no-call ended the half as she appeared to be fouled on a three point attempt.

Northeast got an eight point lead when Mariah Jessen had two conversions and Wakeley and Bacon connected from downtown.  A basket by Jessen made it 36-28.  LDNE would score six more points.  Pender would get eleven.

A big momentum change was made when the Cougars led 42-35.  A foul by Jessen put Pender’s Amber English   at the line for two shots.  She made the first and missed the second.  The ball was called out of bounds off of Peterson.  Pender followed with a trey for 42-39 score.

Pender ran off a eight straight points open the fourth quarter to take a 47-42 lead.  Mariah Jessen got the Cougars on the board with 4:33 left.  Following a Pender three point play Haskell made one of two and the Cougars were down by five.  Jessen took a couple of feeds from Haskell as Northeast closed to within three points, 52-49.   Pender made only one of six free shots while Lexie Bacon pulled the Cougars closer with two free shots.  Tailing 53-51 Bacon had a good look from behind the arc, but missed.

With 26.3 seconds left Pender went to the line with a 53-51 lead.  Kamryn Anderson made one and missed the second, but Cecilee Jacobson grabbed the rebound for a put back.  Brianne Haskell scored a trey just before the buzzer for a 56-54 final score.

Pender has a 9-6 record.  Northeast has a 9-3 mark  going into game against (9-6) Cedar
Bluffs, (9-6) Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family, and (10-5) Stanton.
Pender was led by led by the coach’s daughter, Hallie Ballinger with 17 points, and Amber English with 14.  Northeast got a big game from Mariah Jessen who scored a career-high 15 points and had three blocked shots.  Lexie Bacon was close behind with 14.  Kelly Wakeley added 10 points.  Brianne Haskell scored ten points while nursing a sprained ankle which took her out of the Mead game in the second quarter.

North shot 40% to 35% to Pender.  They had a 34 to 32 advantage in  rebounding, but Pender made he most of 13 offensive boards.

LDNE 15 11 16 12 -54
Pender 11 14 14 17 -56

2pt 3pt FT Rb F TP
Simonsen 0 0 0 0 3 0
Wakeley 2 2 0 5 4 10
Haskell 2 1 3/6 2 4 10
Collins 0 0 2/2 1 3 2
Bacon 3 1 5/7 11 4 14
Jessen 5 0 5/6 4 4 15
Peterson 1 0 1/2 11 3 30
LDNE 16/23 4/12 16/23 34 21 54
Pender 18/42 2/15 14/31 32 15 56

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About katcountryhub
I am a graduate of Northeast Community College with a degree in journalism. I am married to Jeff Gilliland. We have two grown children, Justin and Whitney and four grandchildren, Grayce, Grayhm, Charli and Penelope. I will be covering Lyons, Decatur, Bancroft and Rosalie and am hoping to expand my horizons as time progresses!

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