WAVERLY — Urgent, up-tempo and sharp shooting could’ve all been used to describe the Norris Titans on Tuesday night, but they’ll just settle for Class B-5 subdistrict champions.
The Titan girls stormed into the subdistrict final against Beatrice and established an early lead. Taryn Tracy had a team-high 19 points and teammate Madelyn Ramsey poured in 12 points for the Titans in their 51-47 victory.
“We were hitting our shots; I think at one point we had three transition kick-out threes and we were rolling,” Norris coach Mark Hagerman said. “Our smaller lineup tonight was our strength. Last time it was our bigger lineup but the kids were really hitting their shots tonight.”
Ramsey and Tracy combined for four threes in the opening quarter for the Titans as they took a 20-11 lead into the second quarter. The duo combined for six more points in the second quarter, but the Lady Orange offense started to heat up with 12 combined points for Michaela Jones and Carley Lenners, and Beatrice trailed by seven at half.
A 9-0 run by the Titans to start the second half put Beatrice in a 16-point hole.
Jones and Lenners scored 13 of the Lady Orange’s 16 fourth-quarter points, but Beatrice never cut the Norris lead below two possessions in the four-point loss.
“They came out and really attacked us,” Beatrice coach Dennis Coudeyras said. “We wanted to make them go left, they went right and they hit a bunch of threes early that really put us up against the eight ball. Those threes in the first quarter really made us scramble and we had to scramble the whole game, but we stuck in there.”
The Norris win made it six out of its last seven and the Titans are now looking like one of Class B’s most feared opponents. They entered the subdistrict as the fourth seed but dropped top-seeded and No. 4 Waverly on Monday before Tuesday’s win in the final.
“People have been asking about this team and I’ve said that I’ll be really disappointed if we don’t make it back to Lincoln,” Hagerman said. “These kids have really grown up and they’re really playing some decent basketball right now so hopefully we can keep it rolling.”
The loss does not end Beatrice’s season; the NSAA’s Class B format now moves on to a 16-team district final field with those winners advancing to state. The Lady Orange (13-8) entered the day 10th in the wild-card standings.
The eight subdistrict champions advance to Saturday's district finals, with the next eight wild-card teams filling in the other spots.