STILLMAN VALLEY – Hall played some of it’s best ball of the season and held the lead going into the fourth quarter, but an outstanding fourth quarter for Stillman Valley and foul trouble for the Lady Devils was too much to overcome in regional semifinal play Tuesday.
The host Lady Cardinals went on to win 43-34 to advance to Thursday's championship against Riverdale, a 39-31 winner over Mendota in the nightcap.
After a Tea Cattani runner in the lane at the buzzer gave the Red Devils a 21-19 lead at halftime, Hall was looking to add to their momentum in the second half.
Kayla Boyd tied the game at 21 for the Lady Cardinals, but a Rachael Kobold jumper off the fast break gave the lead right back to the Lady Devils.
Zoe Morris drained the shot from behind the arc to push the Lady Red Devils lead to 26-21.
Boyd then kept the Lady Cardinals within one possession with a nice move in the post, but Hanah Hart came right back down the floor and picked up the bucket and the foul.
“Hanah is such a strong player,” Lady Devils coach T.J. Orlandi said. “She can get the rebound and then has the ability to take it and go coast to coast and on that play got the foul as well.”
But fouls started to come into play as the Lady Devils best shooter, Jaclyn Cinotte, picked up her third personal.
Faith Folwer then hit the bunny shot to make it 29-25, but next time down the floor, Cinotte picked up her fourth foul with 56.8 seconds left in the third quarter.
Hall led 30-29 in the fourth when Cinotte entered and didn’t appear to be near the defender, but was whistled for her fifth foul with 7:46 left.
“I don’t want to sound like that’s what lost the game,” Orlandi said. “But the fouls were 13 to three and were tough to overcome. Hanah got elbowed hard and Jaclyn was called for the foul and then on her fifth I don’t think she ever touched the girl, but we were playing Stillman Valley in Stillman Valley and the breaks didn’t go our way in that area.”
On Cinotte's fifth, Boyd got the bucket and the foul to put the Lady Cardinals ahead 32-30.
Hart tied the game at 32 with a pair of free throws, but Lexi Lichty regained the lead 34-32 with a pair of free throws of her own and the Stillman Valley never trailed again.
Georgia Ballard got the rebound and went coast to coast before Boyd’s drive and layup to put the Lady Cardinals ahead 39-32.
Kobold got a late layup, but the damage had been done and Stillman Valley came away with the 43-34 victory over the Lady Red Devils.
“I love the effort of the girls out there,” Orlandi said. “But we were pretty limited offensively once Jaclyn (Cinotte) went out. I was hoping we could get one of those shots to fall from the other girls and see what happens, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
Cinotte led Hall with 12 points while Hart had 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Stillman Valley was led by Boy with 13, Fowler with 12 and Ballard with 10.
Hall got off to a slow start and committed some turnovers thanks to the Stillman Valley full court press. Lichty got a fast break layup and then Fowler got an easy layup to put the Lady Cardinals ahead 7-1.
But Cinotte hit back-to-back 3-pointers and cut the gap to 11-7. Boyd hit a shot from behind the arc as well, but Morris came right back down and hit a 3-pointer for Hall to make it 14-10 after the first quarter.
“I thought we got off to a slow start with their press,” Orlandi said. “But once we settled down I thought we did a nice job overall of handling the pressure which allowed us to get back into the game.”
Hart found Cinotte for the layup that made it 14-12, but Payton Barger nailed a 3-pointer for the Lady Cardinals. Not to be outdone, Cinotte came right back and hit another long range shot before Hart tied the game at 17 before a late Hall bucket gave them a 21-19 halftime lead.
Riverdale 39, Mendota 31
For over three plus quarters Mendota gave the nN. 4 ranked team in 2A all they could handle and then some, but a dry spell on offense in the second half and Riverdale’s offensive rebounding ultimately were the deciding factors as the Lady Rams defeated the Lady Trojans 39-31 in the second semifinal action of the night.
“I think this one is going to sting for a few weeks,” Lady Trojans coach John Hansen said. “It’s one of those games where it feels like it was right there. I feel like we should’ve won this game. We had a few 3’s that were half way down and then they got some rebounds there and ended up getting us in the end.”
Mendota’s all-state candidate Amelia Bromoschenkel got the Lady Trojans off on the right foot with an early 3-pointer, but early on both teams had some erratic play and struggles to get a lot of points on the offensive end of the court.
The Lady Rams then got a bank shot from Sidney Garrett and then a fast break layup from Katelyn Oleson to put Riverdale ahead 7-4.
But next time down the floor Bromoschenkel drained a step back 3-pointer to tie the game at then Jenna O’Donnell got a fast break layup of her own to tie the game at nine all heading into the second quarter.
Shae Hanrahan made a nice pass to Garrett for the bucket, but Bromoschenkel came right back and hit the shot with her foot on the line to give the Lady Trojans a 12-11 advantage.
Next time down the floor Oleson hit the reverse layup to regain the lead for the Lady Rams at 13-12. A few plays later Daisy Arteaga used her speed to chase down a loose ball and get the layup to put the Lady Trojans ahead 16-13.
Arteaga picked up an offensive rebound and then kicked it over to Bromoschenkel who drained the long distance shot for a 19-13 edge.
The Lady Rams tied the game when Molly Sharp got the put back to fall, but a late Mendota bucket late gave the Lady Trojans a 19-17 lead at halftime.
Bromoschenkel started the second half out with a pull up jumper, but then the Lady Trojans offense went cold for over six minutes.
Riverdale got back to back fast break layups from Garrett and Brooke Smeltzly to tie the game at 21. The Lady Rams defense did a nice job all night of smothering Anna Bokus, O’Donnell and Arteaga all night long and then were able to get out and run a little bit to get some fast break buckets that pushed the Riverdale lead to 25-21.
“I thought overall our defense was pretty good,” Hansen said. “They were able to get out a couple of times, but the majority of the night I thought we did a very good job on defense.”
Bromoschenkel finally broke the Lady Trojans dry spell when she hit one of two free throws for Mendota’s first points in over six minutes.
Smeltzly and O’Donnell trade 3-pointers and then Garrett hit a bunny shot as the Lady Rams took a 30-25 lead into the fourth quarter.
Then it was Smeltzly hitting the long range shot to put Riverdale ahead 35-29, but Bromoschenkel responded with two layups that cut into the deficit.
Mendota had the Lady Rams right where they wanted them as Riverdale missed several free throws that would’ve given the Lady Trojans the ball back and hopes of winning, but six times there were missed charity shots, the Lady Rams were able to get the offensive board and cemented the 39-31 victory.
“Yeah the rebounds killed us there,” Hansen said. “It wasn’t for lack of effort or even bad position. It was just great effort on Riverdale’s part. I give this group a lot of credit. A lot of people thought we would have some growing pains losing four starters and our sixth from last year and think maybe we overachieved, but even though we weren’t supposed to win 20 games, we feel like we were capable of achieving so much more and I hope the girls realize how truly close we were to doing it.”
Bromoschenkel led all scorers with 21 points and 12 rebounds while Garrett had 15 points and Hanrahan added 13 rebounds.
At Stillman Valley
Stillman Valley 2A Regional semifinal
Stillman Valley 43, Hall 34
Hall 10 11 9 4 - 34
Stillman Valley 14 5 10 12 - 43
HALL: Cattani 1-5 0-0 2, Kobold 2-3 (0-1) 0-0 4, Mautino 0-3 (0-3) 0-0 0, Hart 1-15 (0-1) 8-9 10, Morris 2-7 (2-5) 0-0 6, Cinotte 4-6 (3-4) 1-2 12. Totals: 10-39 (5-14) 9-11 34.Fouls: Hall: 18 (Cinotte 5). Rebounds: 28 (Hart 14).
STILLMAN VALLEY (43): Shelburne 0-1 0-0 0, Ballard 3-21 (0-4) 4-6 10, Lichty 1-8 3-4 5, Barger 1-10 (1-5) 0-0 3, Boyd 5-11 (1-5) 2-3 13, Broski 0-1 0-0 0, Fowler 6-19 (0-2) 0-3 12. Totals: 16-71 (2-13) 9-16 43. Fouls: 12. Rebounds: 42 ( Fowler 13), Ballard 9, Boyd 7).