LAUREL, NE — The Ponca Indians made their free throws down the stretch to earn a hard-fought 64-59 win over Winnebago to claim the Lewis and Clark Conference Championship.
The first two games between these teams were each decided by two points. Ponca (21-1) never surrendered the lead on Thursday night as they won the rubber match between the two rivals.
Ponca scored the first seven points of the game and didn’t let Winnebago (17-4) get on the board until around four minutes into the game. Ponca led 26-18 going into halftime.
Ponca led by as much as 12 points in the second half but couldn’t put Winnebago away. ‘Bago got hot from beyond the arc and shot their way back into a one possession game. They could never get over the hump, though, as Ponca was able to sink nearly all of their free throws in the fourth quarter.
Max Masin led Ponca in scoring with 23 points while Carter Kingsbury added 18. Logan Kingsbury scored 10 points including eight on free throws in the second half.
D’Von LaPointe and TJ Frenchman each had 20 points for Winnebago. Lance Denny chipped in nine points and seven rebounds before fouling out.
The Ponca win snapped a streak of four-straight conference championships won by Winnebago.