FISHER — Whatever LeRoy needed Thursday night, Molly Marcum supplied it.
Three-pointers, free throws, offensive rebounds, diving after loose balls. You name it and the senior guard delivered.
Marcum scored a game-high 29 points and senior forward Ashley Walker added 14 points to power top-seeded LeRoy past third-seeded Fisher 58-41 in the Class 1A Fisher Regional championship.
"I knew that it could have been our last game, so I wanted to give it everything I had," Marcum said. "I didn't want to leave anything on the table. I dove all over the place wherever I could, and I just took care of it."
With Marcum and Walker clutching pieces of the net in their hands, the state-ranked Panthers played their way into an appearance in next week's Ridgeview Sectional.
"All season this is what we've wanted and what we've worked for," Walker said. "We always strive to get our goals, and this year we just put everything out on the floor we could. We weren't going to stop for anything, and we just played our hearts out tonight."
Marcum scored 19 points in the first half, and a key 10-4 surge by the Panthers (24-3) helped put some distance between themselves and Fisher. Fisher (19-13) cut its deficit to 26-22 with 2:04 left after a basket inside by senior forward Jacy Cochran (15 points, six rebounds), but then LeRoy went to work at the free throw line. The Panthers drained eight straight free throws to close the first half, and a manageable deficit for Fisher turned into a 36-24 lead for LeRoy at halftime.
"I just wanted to survive until halftime, and we didn't do that," Fisher coach Ken Ingold said. "We didn't close out the half very well, and LeRoy really attacked us. That's what they do. Walker and Marcum are so good at attacking the basket, and Marcum's such a good shooter."
LeRoy was 25 of 28 (89 percent) at the free throw line, with Marcum going 11 of 12 and Walker 6 of 6.
"Ever since I was little, my dad would tell me free throws win ballgames," Marcum said. "Now that I'm coming down to these big games, that's when it counts."
LeRoy amplified its defensive pressure in the third quarter, forcing Fisher into seven turnovers and holding the Bunnies without a field goal until the final 20 seconds of the quarter.
"We pushed our man-to-man intense-denial defense," LeRoy coach Danielle Cooley said, "and we kicked it into gear in the third quarter."
By then, LeRoy owned a 45-28 lead, and Marcum stretched it to 48-28 by sinking a three-pointer in the first minute of the fourth quarter.
"Molly's Molly," Cooley said. "She's a four-year varsity starter, and we know we can look to her to calm us down, play great defense and put the ball in the hole. She did that tonight."
At Hume. Tuscola took a 17-8 halftime lead and held on for the regional title, defeating Heritage 32-24.
Erin Weaver led the Warriors with 13 points. Sammi Kohlbecker hit a pair of three-pointers for Tuscola and finished with seven points.
Mariah Coleman led Heritage with 12 points.
At Macon. Paige Neuhauser scored 21 points as Sullivan defeated Unity 48-30 in a semifinal. Megan Bingaman led the Rockets with eight.
In the other semifinal, Alyssa Sawyer scored 10 points for Georgetown-Ridge Farm in a 76-29 loss to Pana.
At Schlarman. After trailing by a point going into the fourth quarter, the Illineks outscored Armstrong-Potomac 17-11 in the final eight minutes and won 49-44.
Jamie Blue led Urbana University High with 15 points and Emma Hoyer added 14.
Erika Sieberns led A-P with 14 points and Morgan Zindars had 11.
At Arcola. Taylor Edwards scored 19 points for Arcola, but the Purple Riders couldn't overcome a 36-point effort by Decatur Lutheran's Jerica Hawkins, losing 65-35.
Decatur Lutheran held a 34-18 advantage at half and increased the lead to 24 after three quarters.
At Watseka. Sarah Oprondek scored 20 points, leading four scorers in double figures for the Hawks, who defeated Watseka 59-40. Lindsey Krippel scored 11 and Laura Crane and Courtney Somers added 10 each. Prairie Central led by only one at halftime, but outscored Watseka 37-19 in the final two quarters.
Devin Curry scored 13 points for the Warriors.
At St. Anne. Jen Cox scored 11 points for Iroquois West (17-13), which lost 33-32 to St. Anne.