LINCOLN–(KFOR Mar. 4)–The run to the Class A girls state high school basketball championship wasn’t easy by any stretch for Millard South.
The Patriots, who easily sprinted past Lincoln Southwest and Bellevue West in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, met up with a red-hot Lincoln High ball club that was riding on a 24-game win streak.
After a seven-point deficit, Millard South found ways to rally to take as much as a 12-point lead before seeing it dwindle down to five before a Mya Babbitt three-pointer put the game out of reach in giving the Patriots a 72-60 victory over the Links Saturday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
It’s the first time Millard South won a girls basketball title since 1996 and fourth overall in program history. The Patriots finish with a 27-2 record.
Lincoln High, who was in the Class A final for the first time since 1992 (a loss to Millard South) and seeking their first state title since 1980, ended the season at 25-2.
The Links got off to a hot start, going up 17-10 after the first quarter but the Patriots found a way to attack the basket, which led to a 28-13 second quarter, in part to Babbitt’s outside shooting and senior forward Cora Olsen scoring close to the basket. Though the game was physical and intense, Millard South took control by as much as 12 points before Lincoln High got a three-pointer from senior guard Bri Robinson at the buzzer, with the Links trailing 38-30 at halftime.
Millard South’s trio of Babbitt, Olsen and Khloe Lemon just continued to prove to be too much in the transition game and shooting long-range shots. Considering that the Patriots were 5-of-17 from three-point range, it was Babbitt that hit three of those in the second half that helped put the game away.
After Robinson’s basket that pulled Lincoln High to within five, 56-51, with 5:09 to play it was Babbitt on the next Millard South possession that responded with a three-pointer that ultimately kept the momentum away the rest of the game.
Babbitt, Olsen and Lemon combined for 70 of the 72 points in the Patriots’ win. Only Lexie Finkenbiner was the only other player that scored, but grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds. Babbitt led all scorers with 30 points for Millard South, while Olsen and Lemon each tallied 20 points. Olsen had 10 rebounds to complete a double-double.
Four of the seven players to play for Lincoln High hit double-digits in the scoring column, led by Robinson’s 20 points, while Brill and Wiley each scored 12 points and Dyvine Harris added 10 points in the loss.