The Minden Whippets girls basketball team was put to the test on Thursday in the opening round of the 2012 Nebraska Girls State Basketball Tournament at the Pershing Center.
The second-seeded Whippets (21-2) needed a furious second-half comeback to defeat the upset-minded seventh-seeded Hershey Panthers. Minden trailed 41-29 at halftime but rallied, holding Hershey to only 13 points in the second half. The Whippets survived to play in the semifinals with a 60-54 win.
The Whippets played the third-seeded Boone Central Cardinals (24-2) in the semifinals at the Devaney Center Friday in a rematch of a pre-Christmas meeting with Boone Central handing Minden one of its two losses on the year.
Things looked good for the Whippets in the early going as Minden rolled to a 7-2 lead behind a three-pointer from Brooke Kissinger and baskets by Jamie Kissinger and Bailey Petersen. Hershey settled down going on a 7-1 run to ahead 9-8.
Minden regained control behind a pair of three-pointers from Brooke Kissinger to take back the lead 17-3. The Panthers answered right back scoring the final four points of the period tie the game at 17-17.
Minden built a five point lead in the opening moments of the second only to see Hershey got hot from the field. The Panthers first of its six threes in the second tied the game at 22-22 at the 5:30 mark. Hershey went on a 7-2 run to take a five point edge, 29-24 over Minden. Jamie Kissinger’s layup closed the score to 29-26 only to have Hershey then make four straight three-point shots to build a 38-26 lead.
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