Sabers peaking at right time; Uni wins at buzzer
ST. JOSEPH — Even though it has compiled a 26-5 record, St. Thomas More has been a bit of a makeshift unit for much of the season.
"It's kind of been a weird year where we didn't have everybody at first then a couple of girls were sick and then we had a little bit of an injury bug," coach Jason Schreder said.
The good news for the Sabers is everyone's healthy and playing probably their best basketball of the season. St. Thomas More defeated St. Teresa 56-43 in Monday's Class 2A sectional semifinal at St. Joseph-Ogden.
"I would say we're playing our best right now," Schreder said. "To have everybody playing their best, it's nice to be peaking when it matters most."
Lexi Wallen scored eight of her team-high 15 points in the fourth quarter and Jade Brinkoetter (6 for 6 from the free throw line) added 14. The Sabers also got eight points from Randa Harshbarger and seven apiece from Sierra Myerscough and Erica Wallen.
"We told them when they get in to make that their special moment, their time to shine, and everyone who got in had a steal or a rebound or something to help the team," Schreder said.
Prairie Central 37, Seneca 30. The Hawks used the momentum of a 16-2 lead after the first quarter to advance to Thursday's title game against the Sabers.
Sarah Oprondek led the Hawks with 14 points.
In Class 1A:
LeRoy 52, Heyworth 46. Ashley Walker led the way with 19 points and Molly Marcum added 17 to lift LeRoy into the Ridgeview Sectional title game.
Shannon Steffen scored eight points and Allyson Hanlin added four.
"Ally Hanlin had a tremendous effort and I think she was a large key to our success tonight," LeRoy coach Danielle Cooley said.
It's the second straight year the Panthers will play for the sectional crown.
Urbana Uni High 61, St. Anne 59. Emma Hoyer (21 points) scored on an inbounds tip-in with 0.4 second remaining in overtime to send the Illineks to the Ridgeview Sectional title game.
"We've had that play since last year. It's been in play and worked well for us this season," said Uni coach Allie Lindemann, whose team trailed by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter. "We put our press on and had a never-give-up attitude. We got stops, got to the line and scored when we needed to. It was an incredible win."
Jamie Blue scored 21 points and Jaki Vipond had 16 for the Illineks, who will play LeRoy on Thursday.
"We played them in the regular season and they beat us by 14," Lindemann said. "They're a very tough team and we'll have to play our best, and even better than we did today."