The Lady Dragons were one of three teams responsible for shaking up the Class D roster last week after defeating top-ranked Falls City Sacred Heart in the D2-1 district final. Ranked sixth in the class, Deshler toppled the No. 1 Irish, 43-27, clearing all obstacles on the path to the 2013 state basketball tournament.
No. 2 Wynot and No. 3 Humphrey were also defeated in their respective districts changing the lineup for state contention. Humphrey was the ultimate loser, however, after falling to No. 4 Lindsay Holy Family making room for Falls City Sacred Heart and Wynot to gain wild card entries.
The state tournament begins Thursday, Feb. 28; fifth-seeded Deshler faces fourth-seeded Osmond in the Lincoln Northeast gymnasium at 10:45 a.m. A victory will move them to the Pershing Auditorium on Friday. A full bracket can be viewed at the NSAA (Nebraska School Activities Association) website.
In the district final against the Lady Irish, April Maschmann and Jenscena Hansen combined for 27 of Deshler’s total 43 points. The team got off to an early start putting together a nine-point lead by the halftime buzzer, 18-9, before dominating the third period and eventually winning the game.
The D2-1 district champions are returning to the state competiton for the sixth time in the school’s history. Coach Heath Birkel, who stepped in as head coach for the Lady Dragons in 2006, took them to the state courts in 2009. There they ended their season in a first-round thriller that went into double-overtime against Silver Lake. It was the fourth time the two teams met in the 2008-09 season.