NORFOLK – For the first time ever since the school merger, the West Point-Beemer girls basketball team is going to the state tournament.
West Point Public made state just once, earning a runner-up in 1977 in Class d, and Beemer made it once in 1999.
The Cadets met O’Neill for the C1-4 Sub-State final at Norfolk High on Thursday night, in a game heard on 107.9 The Bull.
Things looked bleak early, as the Eagle raced to an 18-5 lead after the first quarter.
The Cadets chipped away in the second quarter and found themselves trailing by just five at the half, 26-21.
Fueled by a late quarter three pointer and back-to-back free throws from Brooklyn Weddle, West Point-Beemer scored 17 points in the third quarter and led 38-36 heading into the fourth.
It was all Cadets from there, as they would go on to beat O’Neill by a final score of 53-43.
“They played great defense on us to start, and we just talked about improving our full court defense and it helped create a few things and gave us a little spark,” head coach Taylor Shepard said.
Shepard, in just her first as head coach, described the moment.
“It’s absolutely a sweet feeling to be able to go to state,” Shepard said. “Obviously it’s been a while, so we’re excited for the opportunity.”
Sidney Swanson had 17 points for the Cadets, with Weddle and Sierra Kile each adding nine.
West Point-Beemer improves to 23-2 on the season and will participate in the Class C1 state tournament Feb. 28-March 2 in Lincoln.