Both Arts & Sciences basketball teams overcame slow starts to win the opening semifinal games of the District 5-A tournament Monday at CSAS. In the two late games, both top-seeded teams advanced to meet Arts & Sciences in Tuesday's championships.
The regular-season champion Silverdale Baptist girls defeated No. 4 Grace Academy 51-38, while second-seeded CSAS beat No. 3 Boyd-Buchanan 35-30. CSAS and Silverdale, who split their regular-season games, will meet again in the 5-A final Tuesday at 7 p.m.
In the boys' tournament, No. 2 Arts & Sciences pulled away in the second quarter for a 62-37 win over third-seeded Copper Basin. Top seeded Boyd-Buchanan defeated No. 4 Grace Academy 62-44, and will try to defend its district title against the Patriots at 8:30.
In Monday's opening game, the first quarter ended with the Boyd-Buchanan girls leading CSAS 9-3 after a sluggish start for both teams.The Lady Bucs' biggest lead came at 15-7 on a Marisa McCalla basket with 3:46 left in the first half, but CSAS rallied to within 17-15 at the break after 3-pointers from Lennex Walker and Sheridan Randolph.
The Lady Patriots opened the second half with back-to-back baskets from Sarah McElvain, and they built a 25-19 lead after a steal from Brooke Mitchell, an assist from Keturah Billen and a basket from McElvain. McCalla ended the third quarter with a three-point play to get the Lady Bucs within 25-22, and her free-throw with 2:55 remaining in the fourth would bring her team within two at 30-28.
Aizha Little responded with a steal for CSAS (14-13) and found Billen for a basket on the other end. Another forced turnover resulted in a Lady Patriots basket from McElvain with 46 seconds remaining, and her late free throw secured the 35-30 victory.
"I kept telling the girls to just keep playing," CSAS coach Zach Dragoo said. "We got down, and I think they started to panic. I thought it showed some character for us to fight back after everything seemed to be going the wrong way. I told them that good teams find a way to win."
The top-seeded Silverdale girls built an early 14-6 lead against Grace, and took a 23-16 advantage into halftime. The Lady Golden Eagles stayed within striking distance in the third, getting to within 10 points on a three-point play from Jessica Bonner with 3:23 remaining, but Sloane Woodward's 3-pointer with under 30 seconds left put Silverdale up 44-28.
The Lady Seahawks extended that margin in the final quarter to earn their spot in the final. Bonner finished with a game-high 18 points for Grace, which will play Boyd-Buchanan in the girls' consolation game Tuesday at 4 p.m. Claire McMasters added 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Lady Golden Eagles, while Woodward led the Lady Seahawks with 13 points and Emily Skelton contributed 13 rebounds.
The CSAS boys also overcame a sluggish opening period to advance to Tuesday's district final. The second-seeded Patriots had to play from behind against No. 3 Copper Basin, but took their first lead on Darius Graves' 3-pointer from near midcourt at the first-quarter buzzer.
"I told them before the game that Copper Basin hadn't been in this situation in a long time, and that they were going to come out and play hard, which they did," Patriots coach Mark Dragoo said. "We kind of got our feet under us after a little bit of an adjustment period."
Graves' long shot came in the middle of a 20-0 CSAS run, which took the Patriots from a 10-6 deficit at the 2:59 mark of the first to a 26-10 lead with 49 seconds left in the half.
The Arts & Sciences defense held Copper Basin to two points in the second quarter, and the Patriots (19-7) carried that momentum into the second half. They led 41-24 at the end of the third period, and took the victory at 62-37. Joshua Carter led CSAS with 11 points, while Graves and Nick Moore finished with nine apiece.
"In the second quarter, we told them don't worry about scoring, just get stops," Dragoo said. "That's what we started doing. I thought we played pretty well in the last three quarters."
In the second boys' semifinal, fourth-seeded Grace Academy hung with defending champion Boyd-Buchanan until the midway point of the second quarter, but the Bucs closed out the half on a 13-2 run that featured baskets from five different players.
Boyd-Buchanan led 36-18 at the half, and maintained at least a 20-point margin throughout most of the third, which ended with the Bucs up 51-35 and all their starters on the bench. Justus McMillan finished with 14 points and Austin Walker followed with 13 as Boyd-Buchanan closed out the 62-44 win and moved on to meet CSAS in the district final.
Grace, which was led by Brandon McQueen’s 19 points, will take on Copper Basin in the boys' consolation game Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. All the district semifinalists will advance to the Region 3-A tournament, where they will be paired with the top four teams from District 6-A.
(E-mail Jaime Barrett at email@example.com)
District 5-A Semifinals at CSAS
ARTS & SCIENCES GIRLS 35, BOYD-BUCHANAN 30
Boyd-Buchanan 9 8 5 8 -- 30
Arts & Sciences 3 12 10 10 -- 35
Boyd-Buchanan (30) -- Highfield 2, Parker, Abed, Hiland 5, Balthrop 2, Sewell, Marisa McCalla 17, Wright 4.
Arts & Sciences (35)
-- Little 2, Billen 8, McElvain 9, Mitchell 3, Walker 7, Randolph 3, Montgomery, Ealey 3.
3-point goals: Boyd-Buchanan none; CSAS 2 (Walker, Randolph).
ARTS & SCIENCES 62, COPPER BASIN 37
Copper Basin 10 2 12 13 -- 37
Arts & Sciences 13 13 15 21 -- 62
Copper Basin (37) -- Miller, Trentham, Ja. Goode, Jones 5, Wilcox 7, Starnes, Je. Goode 6, Banks 2, Swinehart 4, Panter, Limburg, Cooper.
Arts & Sciences (62)
-- Joshua Carter 11, Moorer 8, Wheeler 2, Hamilton 2, Brown 2, Dodds, Graves 9, Nelson 2, Ratliff 3, Houston 6, Moore 9, Fuller 6, Lansden 2.
3-point goals: Copper Basin 1 (Swinehart); CSAS 6 (Carter 3, Graves 2, Ratliff).
SILVERDALE BAPTIST GIRLS 51, GRACE ACADEMY 38
Grace Academy 6 10 12 10 -- 38
Silverdale Baptist 14 9 21 7 -- 51
Grace (38) -- Ransby, Pollock 6, McGaughey, Jemaine, Jessica Bonner 18, Compton, Claire McMasters 14, Ruefernaught, Carter.
Silverdale (51) --
Lewis 4, White 8, Harkelroad 4, Sloane Woodard 13, Smith 6, Skelton 8, Sims 6, Sanders 2.
3-point goals: Grace 3 (Pollock 2, Bonner); Silverdale 3 (White 2, Woodard).
BOYD-BUCHANAN 62, GRACE ACADEMY 44
Grace Academy 9 9 17 9 -- 42
Boyd-Buchanan 15 21 15 11 -- 62
Grace Academy (44) -- Will Slack 11, Roberts, Lyons, Savard 8, Russell, Hughes, Godsey, Brandon McQueen 19, Matheny 6, Cooke.
-- Allen 6, Evans, Arendale 5, Justus McMillan 14, Cox 6, Nason 2, Macon 8, Austin Walker 13, Jenkins 8, Hodge.
3-point goals: Grace Academy 4 (McQueen 2, Savard); Boyd-Buchanan 4 (McMillan 2, Allen, Walker).
Girls' consolation game:
Boyd-Buchanan vs Grace Academy 4 p.m.
Boys' consolation game:
Copper Basin vs Grace Academy 5:30 p.m.
Girls' championship game:
Silverdale Baptist vs Arts & Sciences 7 p.m.
Boys' championship game:
Boyd-Buchanan vs Arts & Sciences 8:30 p.m.