The Elkhorn North girls’ basketball team defeated Skutt for its third state championship in the program’s three year existence


Photo by Tara Binte Sharil

Britt Prince cuts the net at Pinnacle Bank Arena after winning the Class B State Championship.

March 6, 2021: The first dog pile of three in a row followed Elkhorn North’s 46-33 victory over the then-number one seeded Norris Titans. A state championship in the first year of the program. One of the most impressive feats that a high school sports team can achieve. 


March 12, 2022: Elkhorn North controlled both halves to defeat Skutt 49-36 and win its second state championship in a row. After being downed by Skutt in the regular season and beating the SkyHawks on a Britt Prince buzzer beater in subdistricts, the Wolves soundly handled Skutt in the state championship game.


March 4, 2023: With an unbelievable accomplishment, Elkhorn North defeated Skutt by a score of 64-51 and hoisted yet another state championship trophy. After losing to Skutt again in the regular season, the Wolves put together a phenomenal second half even amidst a banged up Britt Prince. 


Three state championships in three years. Wins against teams who had defeated Elkhorn North in the regular season. Each by a margin of 13 points. Usually in a state championship, you expect to see a back-and-forth, basket-for-basket type of game. In all three of these games, the Wolves took control of the driver’s seat and won by double digits. This is a real dynasty and currently one of the most dominant in all of Nebraska high school sports.

But, let’s take a look back at the season, how it unfolded, and the third state championship victory in a row.

Elkhorn North lost seniors Reilly Palmer, Molly Bruggeman, and Michaela Palmer to graduation, but still felt primed for another potent season. Obviously, nationally acclaimed star Britt Prince was set to return for her junior year. Junior transfer McKenna Murphy arrived from 2022 Class A state champion Fremont and was sure to add immediate shooting abilities around the perimeter.

The most significant question mark on the roster was in the post. With the loss of rebounding machine Bruggeman and Hannah Nadgwick out for the season due to an ACL injury, coach Ann Prince turned to Grace Heaney who hadn’t seen much action in the past. However, this decision would reap benefits as Heaney had a very efficient year. 

Elkhorn North opened the season with a rusty yet efficient 23-point victory over Platteview. However, the next day, the Wolves traveled to Skutt in a match-up that already featured the numbers one and two ranked teams in Class B.

Skutt stepped on the accelerator and left Elkhorn North in the dust. Just like the loss that occurred against the SkyHawks in the 2021-2022 regular season, the Wolves were stunned. Doubt began to surface surrounding the ability of Elkhorn North to repeat the last two years. 

However, Elkhorn North hit a quick reset button and entered full focus mode. The Wolves wouldn’t lose a game the rest of the year. A 65-63 overtime victory against Class A number one and eventual Class A champion Millard South in December was arguably the most substantial win of the year for the Wolves. 

In fact, Elkhorn North’s average margin of victory during the regular season was 34.5 points per game. That’s complete domination. For the second year in a row, the Wolves defeated Norris to win the EMC Championship, this one by a score of 50-37. 

To put it simply, the rest of the season was purely a steamroll for Ann Prince’s squad after that Skutt loss on December 2nd. 

Momentum running high, the Wolves were able to defeat Bennington to win the B-4 Sub-district in one swift blow which also secured them the one seed. Yes, despite the loss to Skutt earlier in the year, the Wolves still finished with more power points than the SkyHawks. This was followed by another decisive victory over Elkhorn High to win the B-4 District Championship, sending the Wolves to the state tournament.

Norris would be the next victim. A slight sense of worry surrounded the match-up as the Titans actually held a lead against the Wolves in the second half the second time these two teams played each other.

No matter, the Wolves stepped on the accelerator and controlled the game essentially after midway through the second quarter. 60-40 was the final score. Prince had 28 points. Murphy had 14. The two combined for all of Elkhorn North’s first half points. 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the bracket, Skutt had little trouble handling Waverly. It was practically imminent that the two powerhouses would face off in the state championship.

The Wolves advanced to the semifinals and faced a number four seeded York team in which they had defeated 55-9 exactly a month ago. Yes, 55-9. The Dukes scored 11 more points in this one, but it was Elkhorn North who won in commanding fashion, 62-20. Prince had 30 points on 11-12 shooting. Murphy had 13 and Grace Thompson pitched in 9. Grace Heaney worked the glass well and secured several rebounds.

Again, on the other side of the bracket, Skutt defeated Sidney by 27. The stage was set.

The state championship rolled around the next day. The third game in three days. The culmination of two spectacular seasons from two talent-filled, star-studded programs. Elkhorn North and Skutt for a second year in a row. Elkhorn North took the championship last year, but again, Skutt won the most recent match-up. 

Packed student sections filled Pinnacle Bank Arena, other fans and parents filed in, and the two teams prepared for what was sure to be a gauntlet of a game. 

The first quarter was as back-and-forth as any quarter these two teams had been a part of all season. Prince missed four of five shots in the first quarter, but Murphy was able to keep the Wolves in good position as she knocked down a couple of three-pointers. On the Skutt side, junior star player Peyton McCabe had three three-pointers in the first quarter. The score was tied up at 18-18 after one.

The Wolves were able to secure a 32-27 halftime lead after a much more productive second quarter from Prince, who knocked down four three-pointers. The second half was set to be an intense one.

However, the Wolves were able to dominate. Elkhorn North got out to a controlling start and jumped to a 44-29 lead early on. At this point, Prince experienced a foot injury and was forced to head to the bench for the remainder of the quarter. Skutt, able to narrow the deficit to 45-37 at the end of the third, gave itself a fighting chance headed into the fourth quarter, but it would prove to be meager.

Prince returned in the fourth quarter and never hit a field goal but still went 8 for 8 from the free throw line. The SkyHawks were unable to provide much of a challenge the rest of the game, and Elkhorn North found itself winning a third straight Class B title.

Prince finished the game with 26 points to lead all scorers even amidst what clearly was an aggravating foot injury. However, the rebounding effort from the Wolves was arguably the most key factor in this one. Led by Grace Heaney who notched 12 rebounds, the Wolves out-rebounded Skutt 34-18. A team who wins on the glass like that almost never loses the actual game.

To cap off another incredible season, Britt Prince was awarded the Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year. She averaged 24.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game. Prince is the first junior in Nebraska girls basketball history to accumulate 200 total points in state tournament games. 

The Wolves will lose seniors Grace Thompson, Grace Heaney, Hannah Nadgwick, and Emma Hanke to graduation. Nadgwick and Hanke were forced to miss the season due to ACL injuries, but entered the game for the final moments of the championship.

The possibility of Elkhorn North securing a fourth straight title next year is absolutely realistic considering Prince, Murphy, Reese Booth, Sydney Stodden, and a host of others will be back. No matter what, this Elkhorn North program is now a dynasty in not just Class B, but in Nebraska as a whole.