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Posted by Matt Bloom - Wed, Mar. 9, 2016 - [ NEKS ]

We will look at the 5 girls teams that made it to state and look at their matchups and my predictions for the games.

Sabetha- The Blue Jays return to state for the second consecutive year and for the 3rd time in 4 years. Their opening round matchup features Southeast of Saline who is the 7 seed and 18-5 on the season. On their way to state the Lady Trojans knocked off defending state champion Hesston in the sub-state finals. The Blue Jays will look to slow down Senior Erica Montgomery who averages over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. With the Blue Jays only lose coming to Class 4ADI qualifier Paola, look for them to continue with what they have done all year with a solid team effort to advance.

My Pick: Sabetha 55-42


Centralia- The Lady Panthers return to state after finishing as the runner-up a year ago to Hoxie. A potential rematch of that game could await in the semi-finals if the Panthers can take care of 6th seeded South Barber (18-5). The Lady Chieftains moved up a class but were still able to navigate through their sub-state easily winning by an average of 29 points in their 2 games. A year ago South Barber fell in the first round of the Class 1ADII State Tournament against league foe Norwich. They return 4 seniors who played in that game. Look for the Panthers to continue to do what they have done all year in pressuring the ball defensively and working inside out offensively to advance to the semi-finals.

My Pick: Centralia 62-46


Hanover- Speaking of Hoxie its a tough draw for the Lady Wildcats. The 4 time defending champs seen their 107 game win streak end this year but have not lost since being beat by Hill City, a 2A State Qualifier. The Lady Indians are lead by Senior Terran Hoyt and Junior Brynn Niblock both of whom have started since they were freshman. For the Wildcats to be successful they will look to their experienced squad to continue to do what they have done all year which is play together as a team and force turnovers. This could be an up and down game as the Lady Indians look to make history by winning 5 state titles in a row.

My Pick: Hoxie 59-51


Axtell- The Lady Eagles have made it to state for just the 1st time since 1988 and are looking to win their first ever state tournament game. Almost the same can be said for their matchup in Elyria Christian (17-6) who is making its first ever state tournament appearance. The Elyria Christian Lady Eagles are lead by Senior Rachel Adamyk who averages 20.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. She is the key to their offense and look for Axtell to use their aggressive man to man defense to slow her down. Elyria averages just 43.8 points a game to Axtell's 60 points so applying pressure and creating turnovers is key for the Axtell Lady Eagles to advance.

My Pick: Axtell 65-42


Wetmore- The Lady Cardinals return to state for the second consecutive year as the 8 seed. Last year they nearly pulled off the upset of eventual state champions Beloit-St. John's. This year features another tough foe in the Lady Eagles of Norwich (22-1). The Lady Eagles are making their 4th trip to state in the last 5 years and finished 3rd a year ago. They return the core from that team in Senior Macy Stephens and Junior Jayden Schroeder. With the Lady Cards having lost 9 games this season by single digits this game is sure to be competitive, but they will have to create turnovers with their defense and keep Norwich of the offensive glass to be successful.

My Pick: Wetmore 46-45

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