The Lady Swedes girls basketball team started out the

Southwest Conference tournament on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at

home against the Holdrege Dusters.

Head Coach for the Swedes, Kassie Schuett, said, “SWC

is a tough conference with some really good teams. We

opened the tournament with Holdrege who we played

once earlier in the year.”

The game against the Dusters started out slow as the

first quarter resulted in only 4 points on the board for the

Swedes. However, when the second quarter began, the

Swedes were able to pick up the pace and add 22 points

before heading in for halftime, making the score 26-16.

During the third quarter, the Lady Swedes kept the momentum

going and continued to rack up the points. Gothenburg

played great defense against Holdrege, keeping

them to only 2 points in the third. The Dusters began to

find their groove in the final quarter, and found ways to

score against the Swedes, but Gothenburg had accumulated

enough points to stay in the lead as the game came

to an end. The final score was 50-32.

The win against Holdrege advanced the Lady Swedes to

the semi-final match against the Ogallala Indians at Kearney

High School on Friday, Jan. 27. “Next round we had

Ogallala. They were a tough team in terms of length. They

have a few girls on their roster that are 6'0" tall and that

is a hard match-up for us as our tallest girl stands at 5'9"

on a good day!” said Coach Schuett.

The Swedes came into the game ready to achieve the

next advancement that would take them to the tournament

championship the following day. Their motivation

for the game was shown as they scored in the double

digits for every quarter of this game. “We were able to

shoot well in the first quarter from the outside which

then helped spread their zone out and open things on

the inside,” said Schuett.

This was the highest scoring quarter of the night for

the Lady Swedes, with 21 points. Throughout the rest of

the game, the Swedes gave minimal chances for the Indians

to score. Gothenburg continued to add points on

the board and lengthen their lead over the Indians. At the

end of the game, the score was 59-37.

“In the finals we saw a tough Minden team that is in the

running for ranks in C-1. We started setting the pace of

the game how we wanted, we caused turnovers with our

press and were able to get some points off transition,”

said Coach Schuett.

The Swedes proved that they could handle this tough

team as they doubled the Whippets in points as the first

quarter came to an end. However, Minden is a strong

team and was ready to fight back. The Whippets outscored

the Swedes in the second quarter, but as the halftime

break began, the Lady Swedes still held the lead by

just 3 points.

During the second half, the Swedes struggled to run an

efficient offense to allow them to gain much momentum,

resulting in Minden taking the lead. Coach Schuett

said, “We didn't get a lot of shots off from the outside,

pushed the ball inside and didn't get a lot of finishes that

we would normally get.”

When the fourth quarter began, the teams were tied up

at 38-38. The game quickly became very intense as the

two teams battled back and forth to add points to their

score. Ultimately, after a tough fight, the Swedes came

up just short 51-54, making them the SWC runners-up.

Coach Schuett said, “We gave up some free throw points

that would have helped in the close game at the end. Defensively,

in the half court we weren't as disciplined as

we could have been but these are all things that we can

improve on.”

The Lady Swedes came off of the conference tournament

for a road game Monday night to meet Southern

Valley in Oxford, where they dominated the game. Allowing

the to outscore them in only one of the three quarters,

the Swedes finished strong with a 49-29 win.

The Swedes are scheduled to play the Valentine Badgers

at home on Friday, Feb. 3, starting at 5:30 p.m. They will

then face the Minden Whippets again for a regular season

game on Saturday, Feb. 4, in Minden, starting at 4:30 p.m.