(Sidney) -- The Sidney Cowgirls kicked off the postseason by pulling away late to defeat Fremont-Mills 53-36 for their third victory over F-M this season in a Class 1A Region 7 first round contest heard on KMA-FM 99.1
"F-M's a great team," Coach Paige Landwehr said. "They came out tonight, played really hard and well."
Sidney scored the first three points of the game before F-M responded with seven straight to take a 7-3 lead. Sidney then answered with a 10-0 run to end the quarter, taking a 17-7 lead.
F-M got within four in the second quarter, but Sidney held on and took a 26-20 lead into the break.
The two teams traded baskets to begin the third quarter, with Sidney holding a 32-26 lead midway through the quarter before going on a 9-1 run to end the quarter and take a 41-27 lead into the fourth.
"It starts on the defensive end for us," Landwehr said. "When we started to get some stops and defensive rebounds and are able to push the ball, that's when we are at our best. When we're able to push the floor."
Senior Maddy Duncan paced the Cowgirls Thursday night with 23 points, 15 of which came in the first half.
"I knew I just had to be aggressive," Duncan said. "I'm a competitive player and I wanted to do everything I could to help my team."
Chay Ward tallied 10 points and Danica Laumann added nine points for the Cowgirls, who drained seven triples as a team Thursday night.
"We have some really good shooters, so when we're on, we're pretty tough," Landwehr said.
F-M was led in the defeat by 11 points from Kaelynn Driskell. Teagan Ewalt chipped in seven while Courtney Goodman and Kaylee Wright added five points apiece in their final game in an F-M jersey. The Knights close their season with a record of 9-12.
With the win, Sidney advances to a Class 1A regional quarterfinal against 1A No. 8 ranked Exira-EHK, a game that can be heard on KMA 960 Tuesday evening.
"They're a fantastic team," Landwehr said. "We're going to prepare for them the best we can. The biggest thing for us is believing we can compete."
Complete video interviews with Duncan and Coach Landwehr can be viewed below.