KEARNEY — Kearney Catholic’s girls basketball team ended its four-game losing streak Tuesday night.
The Stars showed patience and smart shot selection while also outscoring Centura by 11 points in the fourth quarter to end their recent skid with a 63-50 victory over the Centurions at Kearney Catholic’s Cope Coliseum.
“They are competitive and played together most of the game,” KCHS coach Rick Petri said. “It was nice that we got a little bit higher quality of shots. We were able to turn them over a little bit to get some easy buckets, and we had a couple back cuts for layups. We weren’t out there just taking 3-point shots.”
After holding a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter, the Stars (13-9) outscored the Centurions (6-15) by 10 points in the second period. The Stars used a 12-3 scoring run, which included Liv Nore draining a deep 3-pointer at the second-quarter buzzer, to post a 34-23 lead at halftime.
The Stars’ defense pressured the Centurions throughout the second quarter, forcing them to commit nine turnovers and consistently take high contested shot attempts.
“It helped because lately we haven’t been a good third quarter team,” Petri said. “Any cushion we can get is very helpful. I think we got some stops, rebounded the ball and were able to get the ball inside a little bit tonight. That makes a big difference compared to what we have done in the past.”
The Stars didn’t carry that second-quarter success into the third. After Stars senior Ainsley Aden sank a pair of free throws about one minute into the quarter, the Centurions scored eight of the next nine points to cut the deficit to 37-36.
The Stars silenced the Centurions by scoring the next four points off a layup by Aden and two made free throws by Ashlyn Wischmeier.
The Centurions trailed by two points with 6 minutes, 50 seconds left in the game, but the Stars went on another scoring spree to put the game out of reach. The Stars scored the next seven points and outscored the Centurions 15-4 the remainder of the game.
In the fourth quarter, the Stars held the Centurions to 2 of 11 shooting for 18 percent and forced them to commit six turnovers. The Stars also had six turnovers but hit 5 of 6 shots and 7 of 12 free throws to preserve their lead.
“We just told them to not shoot 3s because they shot the ball well,” Petri said. “They had a bunch of 3s. We just told them to get out on their 3-point shooters and rebound the ball. We got on a little bit of a run, and it’s always nice to get those easy buckets.”
The Stars wrap up the regular season at Lincoln Christian (17-2) at 5 p.m. Thursday.
KCHS 63, Centura 50
Scores by Quarter
Centura (6-15) 13 10 20 7 – 50
KCHS (13-9) 14 20 11 18 – 63
CENTURA – Morgan Semm 9, Sydney Perez 11, Katelyn Fanta 13, Elly Keilig 8, Elayna Holcomb 3, Ava Baustert 6.
KEARNEY CATHOLIC – Liza Trettel 11, Ashley Keck 12, Ashlyn Wischmeier 7, Ainsley Aden 13, Kyla Reifenrath 7, Christina Arram 2, Sydney Owen 2, Liv Nore 7, Jenna Kruse 2.