The Gretna girls’ basketball team hasn’t had a losing season in at least the last 15 years making it to the Class B State Tournament every year since 2001, winning the title in 2006, finishing 2nd in 2010, and placing 3rd in 2012. This fantastic history makes a perennial contender for the Eastern Midlands Conference Title. Despite coming into the tournament with just a 5-9 record. The Dragons knew they could play with anyone. This confidence was on full display as they traveled to Class B No.9 Elkhorn on Thursday, January 24th for the first round of the EMC Tournament.
Elkhorn won the tip, but Avery Kallman of Gretna scored the first points of the game. A free throw form Madison Haddix quickly had the Dragons up 3-0 on the road. The defending Class B State Champion Antlers quickly responded to take a 5-3 lead, but Sidney Reimer drilled three for the Dragons to put Gretna back on top 6-5. Chelsea Anderson added to the lead with a baseline jumper to make it 8-5 after one quarter.
In the second quarter Gretna really got going. A basket form Jaiden Albright sparked a 7-0 Gretna run that left them up 15-7. Elkhorn’s Tia Murry ended the run with two in the paint, but Anderson responded with a layup for Gretna. This run forced Elkhorn into a full court press, but Albright easily broke the press for a layup giving the Dragons a 20-9 lead. A 5-0 run by Elkhorn at the end of the quarter though cut the Gretna lead to 20-14 going into the half.
In the third quarter Elkhorn struck first quickly pulling within 20-19. The two rivals traded baskets back and forth until a Maddy Meehan free throw tied the game up at 22-22. Hannah Spearman answered for Gretna with a huge three to keep the Dragons on top 25-22 after three quarters.
Unfortunately, for the Dragons basketball isn’t three quarters long. Elkhorn’s Payton Jakopovic opened the fourth quarter with a three pointer and sparked a 19-3 run. Things got even worse for Gretna with 1:25 left to go in the game as Jaiden Albright hit the deck hard and had to be help off the court. With time winding down and Elkhorn up 41-28 Gretna didn’t have a comeback in them as the Antlers won the game 43-40.
No stats were provided. Gretna is now 5-10 on the year.
Thursday, January 24
Gretna 8 12 5 5 – 30
#9 Elkhorn 5 9 8 21 – 43