Staff Photographer

Kearney Catholic’s Ainsley Aden tries to squeeze through Hastings St. Cecilia defenders Natalie Kissinger (22) and Tori Thomas (13) during their game Saturday at Kearney Catholic. The Bluehawks beat the Stars, 51-27.

KEARNEY — For the Kearney Catholic girls basketball team, this is unfamiliar territory.

With a 51-27 loss to Hastings St. Cecilia on Saturday at KCHS, the Stars lost the third of the last four games. In those three losses, the Stars (10-4) put a total of 90 points on the board.

All of the losses have come at the hands of some of the state’s best teams — Class A No. 8 North Platte, Class C1 No. 6 Broken Bow and Class C1 No. 1 St. Cecilia. But the lack of offensive production has been alarming.

Blame it on a poor shooting percentage. Blame it on poor shot selection. Blame it on too many turnovers. Blame it on a lack of rebounding.

All those factors played a part Saturday

The Stars shot 32 percent for the game while making 1 of 9 3-pointers. They had just three rebounds in the first half. They had a dozen turnovers. And, they went 0 for 2 from the free-throw line while St. Cecilia was 12 of 21 — a product of a more aggressive Hawekette offense.

The game started with the Hawkettes getting off five shots on their first possession before Tori Thomas, who led all scorers with 13 points, finally got the ball to fit in the basket.

A 10-0 run by St. Cecilia gave the Hawkettes (14-1) an 18-5 lead, and KCHS couldn’t significantly close the gap. By halftime, St. Cecilia led 29-11 — the second straight game where the Stars were limited to 11 points in the first half.

St. Cecilia stretched the lead to 41-17 at the end of the third quarter, but the Stars had started to get rebounds and find some offensive spark.

“I liked the fight that we had in the second half,” said KCHS coach Rick Petri. “Hopefully we’re going to try to tweak some things offensively and maybe make a couple changes, create a little bit more space for ourselves and go from there.”

Defensively, KCHS slowed St. Cecilia in the second half, allowing only one more point than they gave up in the first quarter.

“The second half at Broken Bow and the second half today, defensively, we were actually pretty good. We just have to find a way to do it for 32 minutes, especially when our offense struggles,” Petri said.

Ashley Keck was the only Stars player in double figures, scoring 10. Ainsley Aden had nine.

St. Cecilia’s Bailey Kissinger finished with nine points and 11 rebounds. Nine of her rebounds came in the first half.

KCHS returns to action Thursday at Aurora.

“They’re scrappy and they compete. So if you don’t come ready to play then it’s not going to be good,” Petri said.


Hastings SC 51, KCHS 27

Score by Quarters

HSC (14-1)21  8 12 10 — 51

KCHS (10-4)7  4  6 10 — 27

HASTINGS ST. CECILIA — Tori Thomas 13, Bailey Kissinger 9, Shaye Butler 8, Natalie Kissinger 7, Katharine Hamburger 6, Makenna Asher 5, Chloe McCauley 3.

KEARNEY CATHOLIC — Ashley Keck 10, Ainsley Aden 9, Ashlyn WIschmeier 4, Liv Nore 2, Jenny Kruse 2.

Quick start sends KCHS boys to win over Bluehawks

KEARNEY — Kearney Catholic hits its first three 3-pointers of the game Saturday and went on to beat Hastings St. Cecilia 51-29 at the Stars’ Cope Coliseum.

Kegan Bosshamer led the Stars with 16 points and Logan O’Brien added 12 points, five steals and five assists.

Brett Mahony contributed nine points and eight rebounds.

Kearney Catholic improved to 10-4 with the win, while St. Cecilia dropped to 8-7.

KCHS 51, St. Cecilia 29

Individual Scoring

KEARNEY CATHOLIC — Kegan Bosshamer 16, Logan O’Brien 12, Brett Mahony 9, Brandt Groskreutz 6, Blake Thiele 6, Tate Florell 2.

ST. CECILIA — Scoring not available.