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A look at the Class 2A girls tournament

Published March 5 at 2:58 p.m. | Last updated March 5 at 2:59 p.m.

At Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan

Thursday’s Quarterfinals

3 p.m.: Meade vs. Jefferson North

No. 8 Meade (14-8) — The Buffaloes upset Elkhart with a 75-57 win in the sub-state championship. Meade’s six-game winning streak takes the Buffaloes to the state tournament for the third consecutive year, seeded eighth every time. Defensively, Meade averages 28.3 rebounds and 13.5 steals, while averaging 49.5 points. The Buffaloes are led by Kinzie Friesen (14 points, 9 rebounds), Bailey Olvera (10 points) and Tarah Weins (9 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals).

No. 1 Jefferson North (21-2) — The Chargers are not accustomed to losing, earning its two losses before Christmas to a 3A and 4A school, and only losing seven games in the last four years. Jefferson North is the returning state champion in Class 2A and is back in the state tournament for the third consecutive year. The Chargers average 65 points and are led by Jacee Kramer (26 points, 4 assists, 3.9 steals), Jamie Navinskey (16 points, 6 rebounds) and Heather Polson (10 points, 5.8 rebounds).

4:45: Northern Heights vs. Moundridge

No. 5 Northern Heights (19-3) — The Wildcats’ ability to press and run the floor, and distribute scoring has led them to the state tournament for the first time since 2008. Northern Heights had a seven-game winning streak to start the season, plus two five-game winning streaks while claiming the title at the Flint Hills League tournament to lead it to its 19-3 record. The Wildcats are led by sophomore Lakin Preisner (16.3 points, 6.8 rebounds), and junior Sydney DeLong (9.8 points).

No. 4 Moundridge (20-3) — The Wildcats are back in the Class 2A state tournament after getting knocked out of the 3A race last season, and winning the 2A state tournament the year before. Defensively Moundridge holds its opponents to 28.3 points per game, and 11.5 steals per game, while maintaining a turnover margin of plus 8.9. Moundridge is led by Brooke Holloway (10.3 points, 6 rebounds, 2.3 assists) and MacKenzie Suderman (11.8 points, 5.7 rebounds).

6:30: Sedan vs. Smith Center

No. 7 Sedan (17-6) — The Blue Devils defeated Pleasanton 53-48 in overtime of its sub-state championship to return to the state tournament for the first time since 2006. Most of Sedan’s 51.5 average points per game come out of transition, averaging 13.4 steals and 32.2 rebounds per game as a team. Sedan is on a five-game winning streak, and has not lost back-to-back games this season. The Blue Devils are led by Kaiman Smith (16.7 points, 10.5 rebounds) who scored 30 points in the sub-state final, and Hannah Williams (8.6 points).

No. 2 Smith Center (21-2) — Smith Center was knocked out of the race for a state title last season with its only loss coming in the sub-state championship game. In its four state tournaments, Smith Center finished second three times. The Redmen shoot 46 percent, averaging 63.4 points and allowing 40.2. Smith Center lost starter Briana Dietz to a torn ACL in its last game of the regular season, but Sydney Benoit averages 18.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.9 steals.

8:15: Republic County vs. Sterling

No. 6 Republic County (18-5) — The Buffaloes upset Washington County by six points in overtime of its sub-state final to reach the state tournament for the third consecutive year. Republic County has held its opponents to 34 points, while scoring 44 points. The Buffaloes finished third last year. The senior-heavy team is led by Abbey Anderson (10 points, 6 rebounds) and Devin Nutsch (10 points, 8 rebounds).

No. 3 Sterling (20-3) — The Black Bears started on a 13-game winning streak until freshman point guard Kylah Comley injured her knee, and Sterling lost three of its next four games. But Sterling bounced back to its current five-game winning streak, and Comley (14.2 points, 3.7 assists, 3.5 steals) is back in the lineup. Sterling will make its first appearance at the state tournament since 1999, and is also led by Dani Dowell (9.8 points) and Andi Dowell (9.8 points, 5.6 rebounds).

Friday’s semifinals

Meade-Jefferson North winner vs. Northern Heights-Moundridge winner, 3 p.m.

Sedan-Smith Center winner vs. Republic County-Sterling winner, 6:30.

Saturday’s finals

Third-place game, noon

Championship, 4 p.m.

Joanna Chadwick’s pick

Jefferson North over Smith Center