Meridian used a big second half run to come from behind and beat Exeter-Milligan in the semifinals of the MUDECAS Tournament.
The Lady Mustangs trailed Exeter-Milligan for the majority of the game, but 14-0 run in the second half turned a nine point deficit into a five point lead.
With the win, the undefeated Mustangs move into the championship game at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday at the Beatrice City Auditorium.
Meridian Coach Robert Schropfer said they didn't make any big adjustments at half time, they just started knocking shots down.
"I didn't think we played too bad in the first half, we just couldn't make any shots," Schropfer said. "I just told the team at half time to keep shooting and stay positive with yourselves -- don't hang your heads."
Schropfer said Exeter-Milligan really took it to them at the beginning of the third quarter, building a nine point lead and forcing a Meridian timeout.
"I challenged the girls and said it was gut check time," Schropfer said. "They were hanging their head and I told them we had to cut it to a five point came before the fourth quarter and I'll be darned, they responded and we had a four point game going into the fourth."
Exeter-Milligan jumped out to a 5-1 lead early, but a three point play by Erin Johnson closed the gap to 5-4.
The Lady Timberwolves answered with a three pointer, but Hailey Schafer came back with a three pointer of her own to make it 8-7. Exeter-Milligan went on a 5-2 run to close out the first quarter, making it 13-9.
Exeter-Milligan opened the second quarter with a basket, but Jaicee Sobotka came back with a three pointer to make it 15-12.
Exter-Milligan opened a 22-14 lead, but four straight points by Johnson made it 22-18. The Timberwolves closed out the first half with a free throw, making it 23-18.
Jaicee Sobotka opened the second half with a three pointer to make it 23-21, but Exeter-Milligan came back with six straight points to make it 29-21.
A three point play by Halle Pribyl cut the deficit to four, but Exeter-Milligan came back with a 4-0 run to make it 33-24.
Meridian then countered with a 14-0 run to take a 38-33 lead. Josiee Sobotka started the run with a thre epointer and Johnson's steal and layup at the end of the third quarter made it 33-29.
Hailey Schafer opened the fourth quarter with a three pointer and then knocked down a free throw to make it 33-33.
A three pointer by Jaicee Sobotka made it 36-33, giving Meridian their first lead of the game with 6:39 remaining in the game.
A steal and a layup by Johnson extended the lead to 38-33. Exeter-Milligan finally ended the run with a basket, but a basket by Schafer and two free throws by Johnson made it 42-35. Meridian would knock down enough free throws late to hold off Exeter-Milligan 46-37.
Johnson led the way for Meridian with 15 points while Pribyl was also in double figures with 10 points.
Schropfer said Johnson has been creating a lot of points off steals and he's become spoiled by expecting that from her now.
"She is so good and reading ball handlers, especially when they get a little bit tired," Schropfer said. "She anticipates things so well and she's been doing that for the last three years. It seems like whenever the game is on the line, she always comes up with big steals and easy baskets."
Jaicee Sobotka and Hailey Schafer had nine points each while Josiee Sobotka had three and Breanna Miller had one.
"Every girl I have out there is capable of shooting," Schropfer said. "Six of them are capable of shooting threes. And these girls are so experienced and they are so confident with a lead in the fourth quarter. They do a great job of putting a game away."
Meridian will play for the MUDECAS Championship for the second consecutive year. Last year, they lost to Falls City Sacred Heart in overtime in the finals.
Sacred Heart girls 49, BDS 43
Falls City Sacred Heart moved into the MUDECAS Championship game with an overtime win over BDS on Friday.
The Irish led 12-10 after the first quarter, but only scored three points in the second quarter and trailed 20-15 at half time.
The Eagles then extended their lead to 34-24 in the third quarter, but Sacred Heart was able to battle back and tie it 39-39 at the end of regulation.
Sacred Heart outscored BDS 10-4 in the overtime period to get the 49-43 win. They will now play Meridian in the championship at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday at the Beatrice City Auditorium.
Sacred Heart was led by Mckenzie Witt and Lauren Parish, who had 11 points each. Sara Wertenberger had nine, Abby Fiegener had eight, Randee Witt had six and Ahren Ebel and Elizabeth Keithley had two points each.
BDS was led by Regan Alfs’ 11 points while Jadyn Kleinshmidt, Macy Kamler and Megan Grote had eight points each. Lexi Kadel had five points and Carly Elznic had three points.
BDS falls to the third place game where they will play Exeter-Milligan at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday at SCC.
Sacred Heart boys 60, BDS 52 2OT
The Falls City Sacred Heart boys moved into the A Division championship with a thrilling 60-52 win in double overtime over Bruning-Davenport-Shickley Friday night.
With the win, Sacred Heart will play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night at the Beatrice City Auditorium against the winner of Friday’s late game between Freeman and Johnson-Brock.
BDS falls to the third place game where they will play at 4:15 p.m. on Saturday against the loser of Freeman and Johnson-Brock at the city auditorium.
Exeter-Milligan boys 57 JCC 49
The Exeter-Milligan boys moved into the B Division Championship with a 57-49 win over Johnson County Central Friday night.
The Timberwolves will play their championship game at 1:15 p.m. Saturday at the Beatrice City Auditorium against the winner of Friday night’s late game between Pawnee City and Southern.
JCC will play in a third place game at 11:45 a.m. Saturday against the loser of Pawnee City and Southern.