Hershey prevails over Swedes in C1-11 final

Girls beat Ogallala in first round.

‘The Gothenburg girls basketball season came to an end at the hands of the Hershey Panthers Thursday. The Panthers beat the Swedes 41-29 in the C1-11 subdistrict championship at Sutherland.

The girls advanced past Ogallala in the semifinals Feb. 18 after defeating the Indians 39-19.

Hershey outshoots Swedes

The Panthers opened up the game on a four-minute, 12-0 run the Swedes couldn’t overcome.

“That was the difference in the game,” head coach Chris Lecher said.

Gothenburg didn’t score until 2:45 remained in the first quarter and contained the damage from Hershey as the Swedes trailed 12-6 after one.

Hershey forced Gothenburg turnovers in the second frame and converted those into baskets.

Against the Swedes’ zone defense, Hershey post Maddie Seamann worked the defense out of position before making layups stretching the Panther lead to 23-7.

Gothenburg managed three baskets before halftime to keep the game within reach, 25-12.

“Their wings were getting the ball into the post when we were too high,” Lecher said.

Offensively, he said Hershey’s ball pressure didn’t allow the Swedes to get into an offensive rhythm.

After intermission, both teams struggled to make shots. Hershey scored three times while the lone basket for Gothenburg was a three-pointer by Regan Geiken with 1:30 remaining in the third period.

In the break before the fourth quarter, Lecher said he told his girls it was now or never.

Trailing 32-15, Gothenburg outscored the Panthers 14-9 but the hopeful comeback stalled.

“We chipped away at their lead a little,” Lecher said, “but we couldn’t get stops when we needed to.”

Aryn Meisinger and Geiken scored in the final 2:30 but the Panthers maintained a comfortable advantage as the horn buzzed.

Geiken was the high scoring Swede with 15 points.

Maddie Seamann paced the Panthers with 13.

Swedes contain Indians

Gothenburg used good ball movement on offensive and active hands on defense to beat Ogallala 39-19.

MaKaela Franzen started the game with a breakaway layin after stealing a pass to give Gothenburg a lead that wouldn’t be surrendered.

The Swedes’ defense, focused on stopping Indian guard Jenna Paloucek, forced six turnovers in Ogallala’s first eight possessions. Four Gothenburg players contributed to a 7-5 lead after one quarter of play.

Mady Vogel’s presence was felt as she scored seven consecutive points and extended Gothenburg’s lead to 16-8 with 3:57 left in the half.

In the final minutes, Vogel scored again before Aryn Meisinger took a steal the length of the court and scored the final basket of the half at 1:12.

Gothenburg led 20-12 at the break.

Defensively, Lecher said he was happy with the girls’ effort but the team talked at intermission and the goal was to hold the Indians to 11 or fewer points in the second half.

In the third stanza, Meisinger, Franzen, Geiken and Emily Franzen scored on early possessions to extend the Swede lead to 20.

While minutes ticked off the clocked, Lecher said he looked up and noticed Ogallala hadn’t scored for more than seven minutes.

Gothenburg scored two more times and carried a 35-11 lead into the fourth period.

Offense was tougher to come by for the Swedes as Ogallala forced eight turnovers and limited Gothenburg to two field goals in the frame.

Meanwhile, the Indians didn’t score for the final 3:15 as the Swedes won by 20.

Vogel led Gothenburg’s offense with 13 points.

Sophia Arensdorf scored eight for Ogallala.

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