Fillies Prepare to Challenge Class C-2 State Tournament Field This Weekend

CHALLENGE-1: The Freeman Falcons

The Sutton Fillies and Freeman Falcons may have over 80 miles that separate the two schools, but these two teams are certainly very familiar with each other.
Freeman would down the Fillies in the opening round of the 2014 Class C-2 State Volleyball Championships back on Nov. 13, upending the Fillies in four sets before going on to defeat Crofton in four sets to win the Class C-2 State Championship.
Sutton and Freeman would then square off six weeks later, this time on the basketball court.
Paced by a 33-22 second half run, Freeman took a 15-14 halftime lead and expanded it to 12 points when the final buzzer sounded, beating the Fillies 48-36 in the finals of the Freeman Holiday Tournament on the Falcons home court in Adams.
According to Sutton coach Monica Smith, her girls are ready to go, we’re excited to draw Freeman in the first round and hopefully take care of some unfinished business.
“We talked to the girls Saturday after our practice and just told the girls that we have to relax and play our game.”
Smith added, “game by game our girls have improved, especially after that loss to Freeman in the holiday tournament. We’ve built a deeper bench and our starters have improved game by game.”
Sutton, who lost their leading scorer during the fourth game of the season, when sophomore Kailyn Wiseman went down with a season ending knee injury, have learned to battle and persevere in hindsight of Wiseman’s injury.
“The girls, while that was an emotional loss, a tough loss if you will, really came together and stepped up to the challenge of the season without Kailyn’s presence on the court,” said Smith.
“This senior class is on a mission of leading us this year. They’ve been dealt tough losses a couple years ago in the opening round at state, then to lose that volleyball first round match to Freeman this year at state, I think they will step up and give us that shot at playing Friday and Saturday this weekend.”
Smith speaks of the likes of her senior class in Delaney Lemkau, Savannah Schurman, Alexa Johnson, Teara Ramer and McKaylea Anderson.
“They are unique in that if you tell them they can’t do something they will all prove you wrong. That is just how those girls work. It effects the rest of the team and gives us a big boost.”
Since Sutton’s loss to Freeman Dec. 31, the Fillies have been on a roll, winning 16 of 17 games, with their only loss, a 61-51 setback, coming from Class B fifth ranked York.
The Dukes will make a run at the Class B State Title this weekend as the third seed in Class B.
Freeman has lost twice since beating the Fillies in that Dec. 31 showdown, falling to a pair of state qualifiers in Falls City Sacred Heart, the top seed in Class D-2, and to Yutan this past Friday night in the C2-1 District Final. Yutan avenged two previous losses to Freeman, with a 53-43 win over the Falcons.
Both teams have lost to Class C-1 top seed and top ranked Lincoln Christian. The Fillies fell to the Crusaders 61-50 on Dec. 13, while Freeman dropped a 77-52 decision to Lincoln Christian back on Dec. 6.
While Freeman has lost to Class D-2 top ranked Falls City Sacred Heart once, the Fillies ran past the Lady Irish in the opening round of the holiday tournament, 39-31.
Sutton’s other key wins this year include their 46-44 win over Hastings St. Cecilia in December. St. Cecilia is currently the third ranked team in Class C-2 and the second seed in this year’s tournament.
Sutton also avenged a season opening loss to Superior in the finals of the Southern Nebraska Conference tournament, beating the Wildcats 41-27 in the SNC finals to win the tournament title.
In addition, Sutton has a 57-35 win over Friend in the second game of the season. Friend is the eighth seed in the Class D-1 state tournament this weekend.
Like Sutton, Freeman is also a conference tournament champion, winning the East Central Nebraska Conference tournament with one of their two wins this year over Yutan.
As these two teams hit the court Thursday night to do battle at Lincoln North Star High School. The winner will advance to Friday night’s 8:45 p.m. semifinal against the winner of the Hastings St. Cecilia (#2 Seed) and North Platte St. Pats (#7 Seed). The Hawkettes and the St. Pats Irish will go head-to-head right before the Fillies and Falcons square off. Tip off for the game is set for 7 p.m., also at North Star.
“We just need to get that Freeman monkey off of our backs, get out and run the floor and play our game. We’re getting good minutes of our bench and our starters have really stepped up to get us off to good starts for the most part. We may struggle now and then scoring, but this team is resilient and keeps after it,” said Smith.
“I’m confident in our kids and their abilities. Come Thursday night in Lincoln, it is up to them to step onto the court with the confidence that they’ve played with throughout much of the season and just play our game.”
The Games Offensive Leaders...
The Sutton Fillies head into Thursday night’s 8:45 p.m., game with Freeman using a balanced scoring attack. Only one player, Savannah Schurman, is averaging in double figures, scoring just under 11 points per game. McKenna Griess hits just over nine points per game,while three other players average over six points per game, including senior Delaney Lemkau (6.5), junior Sydney Griess (6.4) and senior Teara Ramer (6.1).
For Freeman, offensively, the Falcons are led in scoring this year by senior Carley Remmers, who is averaging 12.5 points per game. Senior Katie Meyer hits for 10.7 points a contest, while three others average six points of more for the Falcons. Senior Riley Dorn averages 6.6 per game, while senior Cassidy Mason averages six points on the nose for the Falcons.
Senior Marissa Haynes averaged right at 6.1 points per game before going down in practice for Freeman with a season ending knee injury and broken leg
Sutton averages 53.3 points per game and allows 32.8 points per contest. In contrast, Freeman averages 51.5 points per game, while allowing just 28.5 points per game.
Lemkau leads the Fillies in assists with 101 on the year, an average of just under four assists per game. Freeman is led by Meyer’s 88 assists this season.
The Games Defensive Leaders...
McKenna Griess leads the Fillies rebounding efforts, averaging 6.2 per game. She has totalled 161 rebounds this year. Close behind is Schurman, averaging 5.8 boards per game, as she has gained 150 rebounds this year. Senior Alexa Johnson has gained 111 rebounds this year, an average of 4.3 per game.
Freeman’s rebounding leaders prove to be Remmers, with 167 (8.8), Mason, with 123 (4.7) and Emily Lenners, with 116 (4.5).
Lemkau leads the Fillies in steals with 67, while Ramer and Schurman have both gained 45 steals for Sutton.
Freeman’s leaders in this department prove to be Meyer, with 66 steals, Remmers, with 38, while Mason has made 35 steals this year.