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Eagles Fall Behind Early; Rally Falls Short At State

The glaring difference of a team making its second-straight appearance at State and a program making its first-ever trip to Lincoln was apparent Thursday morning at Lincoln Northeast High School.  Fullerton scored the first eight points in the first-round NSAA State Class D-1 Tournament match-up between the Warriors and Bruning-Davenport/Shickley and eventually held on for a 51-46 win.
Bruning-Davenport had last been to the girls' state tournament in 2004, while Shickley made it to Lincoln in 2006.  Fullerton came into the contest 24-1 and the No. 3 overall seed.
The 19-7 Eagles started the game off slow offensively turning the ball over five times in the quarter and only managing to score six points.   At the end of the first quarter, BDS was down 14-6.  The second quarter scoring was even for both teams and Fullerton took an eight point lead into half, 24-16.  The Eagles did have the Warrior's 6-3 post in early foul trouble.
"A couple missed box outs and losing our girl in transition led Fullerton to jumping on us to start the game," BDS head coach Shana Gerberding said.
The second half in Lincoln found the Eagles outscoring the Warriors 30-27.  Entering the fourth quarter the Eagles were down by 10 (41-31) and things didn’t look good.
"I’m proud of how the girls fought back and cut the lead to three with 36 seconds left in the game" Gerberding said.  "We had our opportunities to tie the game but we turned the ball over two possessions in a row.  The girls could’ve easily folded when they found themselves down by double digits but they started to believe in themselves again and kept fighting and got back in to the game."
Treys by Megan Grote, Catherine Mick and McKenna Schardt allowed for the BDS comeback.  A missed front-end of a one-and-one also gave the Eagles a chance at a tying 3-pointer.  But, it wasn't to happen.
"The slow start proved to be costly in the end," Gerberding said. "We were getting good looks at the basket—we just couldn’t knock down those shots."
BDS shot just 30 percent (18-for-60) from the field for the game.  Mick led the Eagle offense with 15 points.  The senior also made three steals.  Lexi Kadel netted nine points and dished out two assists.  Schardt scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds.  Brice Ardissono punched in seven points for the Eagles.  Grote added five points.  Carley Elznic scored a bucket and snagged seven boards. BDS was a meager 19 percent (6-for-31) from beyond the 3-point arc.

Seniors on this year's squad include Mick, Ardissono, Schardt, Tristen Mosier and Melissa Hinrichs.

"I want to say a special thank you to the seniors—for their leadership, determination, poise both on and off the court – just great kids to be around," Gerberding said.  "Also, thank you to the fans that came out to support the girls throughout the season."