The Minden Lady Whippets made it official on Friday when they automatically qualified for the 2012 Nebraska Class C-1 State Tournament with a wild, high-scoring contest against Valentine in the C1-5 district final in Broken Bow.
The Whippets defeated Valentine for the third time this season in a shootout with Minden earning a 77-62 win. Minden improves to 22-2 on the season and enters the state tourney with an eight game winning streak.
Minden will be playing in their second straight tournament beginning on Thursday, March 1 in Lincoln. The Whippets will enter state as the third-seed and take on the sixth-seeded Hershey Panthers at 10:45 a.m. at Pershing Center. The Minden/Hershey winner will advance to the semifinals on Friday, March 2 at 9 a.m. against either second-seeded Boone Central or seventh-seeded Columbus Scotus for a spot in the C-1 finals on Saturday at the Devaney Sports Center. The C-1 finals are set for 9 a.m. at Devaney and the consolation game will be at noon at Lincoln Southwest.
Minden and Valentine are familiar foes and it showed on Friday in the district final. The Whippets had trouble with the Badgers in the first half of their last contest but Minden was the one who got off to a good start and built a 13-4 lead behind four points from Hallie Bauer and Jamie Kissinger while Brooke Kissinger hit a long three-pointer and Carly Sitorius scored a layup. Minden went ahead as much as 17-10 only to have the Badgers go on a 5-0 run to close the gap to 17-15 before Bailey Petersen made one of two foul shots to end the first period with Minden leading 18-15.
Minden was able to avoid getting into deep foul trouble but point guard Brooke Kissinger did have two fouls in the first and had to sit on the bench for the rest of the period while Bauer was also whistled for her second foul with only seconds left in the period.
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