Lincoln Lutheran played without hesitancy on offense in claiming a 63-34 girls basketball victory against Lincoln Christian on Friday night at Lincoln Lutheran.
The Warriors (3-1) took 79 shots, making 26 for a 32 percent percentage. Lutheran’s shot total was bolstered by 27 offensive rebounds, part of its 57-27 edge on the boards against the shorter Crusaders.
“We didn’t hit every shot, but we made enough,” said Lutheran coach Rich Olson, whose team broke the game open with a 24-2 run over a 10-minute span that produced a 38-14 lead with 5:02 left in the third quarter.
“We don’t want kids thinking about it.” Olson said. “We tell them ‘If you have an open shot, take it.’ Every kid we have has the green light if the shot is there.’’
Six-foot senior Tara Ziegelbein led the Warriors’ balanced attack with 13 points and 10 rebounds against a sagging Christian defense. Ziegelbein hit 4 of 6 shots from the field and 5 of 6 from the free-throw line.
Paige Steinbauer, a 5-10 sophomore, added 11 points and seven rebounds for the Warriors, who had eight players score. Junior point guard Maria Deeter chipped in nine points.
“We play 10 people and they’re all very solid,” said Olson, whose team’s only loss was to Class C-1 No. 8 Kearney Catholic 43-39 in the finals of the Grand Island Central Catholic Early Season Tournament last weekend.
“We play half-court (defense) as well as we can, and for the first three quarters tonight, I was very pleased with what we did defensively.”
Christian’s Hannah Manley, a 5-11 senior, scored a game-high 15 points, 12 in the second half. The Crusaders (0-4) struggled from the perimeter, hitting just 3 of 26 three-point attempts. They finished 10-of-43 (23 percent) overall from the field.
“Hannah was asking for the ball in the second half and we need that to loosen up our outside shooters,” said Christian coach Nick Orduna, whose team is searching for an inside presence after 6-1 senior Jenna Humphrey, a starter last season, decided not to play basketball this winter.
“We’re young and we’re undersized, so it’s going to take some time for this team to develop,” Orduna said.