MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- It didn't look good for Lausanne Collegiate School when its 7-foot, 300-pound senior center fell to the floor only 59 seconds into Thursday's Division II semifinal against Chattanooga Notre Dame.
Holding his right ankle and writhing in pain, Lausanne's Marc Gasol looked like a player who might not see action the rest of the state tournament basketball game.
Instead, Gasol went to the scorer's table, sat down and made sure he would get back in the game at the next break. The brother of Memphis Grizzlies' standout Pau Gasol not only returned, but scored 24 points in leading Memphis Lausanne to Saturday's championship game against Brentwood Academy.
"Nobody said winning a state championship would be easy,'' said Gasol, who also grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked five shots. "You only get one chance so you have to take it.
"The ankle kept hurting as the game went on, but then I looked up in the stands at my dad and he said, 'Suck it up.' I just forgot about it and kept on playing.''
Even though Gasol came back in the game quickly, Notre Dame (26-8) raced to a 16-9 first-quarter lead. The Irish went up 12-2 by driving to the basket, but then Lasanne coach Jason Peters switched to a zone defense.
"It only took about four possessions for us to switch,'' Peters said. "We had prepared to do that. We lost the first quarter, but then we won the second quarter. If you had to choose, winning the second would be better because it turned momentum in our favor.''
Lasanne pulled within 24-23 at halftime, then took a 42-40 lead after three quarters. Adarius Bowman scored for Notre Dame to open the fourth quarter, but then Carlos Taylor made a field goal and Gosol added four straight free throws for a 48-42 Lausanne lead.
"The refs hurt us some, but I don't want to get into that,'' Bowman said. "We just didn't pace ourselves, but I still feel like we were the better team. It just didn't work out our way.
"It's tough to face a guy that size. But I don't understand how a guy my size (6-4) can foul out against a guy his size.''
Notre Dame made 20-of-61 shots from the floor and 6-of-27 from beyond the arc. William Valentine made 4-of-9 threes, and the rest of the team shot 2-for-18.
"The bottom line is just that we shot bad,'' Notre Dame coach Jesse Nayadley said. "When we don't shoot well, we don't win. We're not a low-post team.
"We just didn't convert the things we usually do. Gasol is a big human. When he stays inside, he causes a lot of problems.''
Taylor added 17 points for Lausanne (27-5) and Barry Dickens had eight. Freshman Jonnie West, son of NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West, made a key three-point goal in the fourth quarter.
"Notre Dame was very physical,'' Gasol said. "They are all seniors and they know how to play. I just think they lost their focus at the end.''
Coach Peters said his team was prepared to play without Gasol if the 7-footer had not been able to play through his injury.
"It would have changed the course of the game, but we practice every day for that situation because a lot of times we don't have him due to foul trouble,'' Peters said. "His ankle limited him and slowed him down, but he felt like he could play through it. He showed a lot of courage.''
Bowman led Notre Dame with 18 points and Valentine added 15. Brandon Cook scored 10.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
Lausanne ..........9 14 19 15 - 57
Notre Dame..........16 8 16 12 - 52
LAUSANNE (52) -- Kevin Glenn, Barry Dickens 8, Carlos Taylor 17, Marc Gosol 24, Jonnie West 3, Cody Peck, Kyle Wall, James Harvey, Andrew Pohlman, Shun Trevillian 5, Adrian Charbonnet.
NOTRE DAME (52) -- Brandon Cook 10, Dewayne Ellison 3, Dewaun Ellison, Adarius Bowman 18, William Valentine 15, Zach McLaughlin 6, Taylor Patton.
Three-point goals -- Valentine 4, Dewayne Ellison, McLaughlin, Taylor, West.
LAUSANNE -- Field goals (19-38); Free throws (17-21); 3-point field goals (2-7); Rebounds (31-Gosol 14); Assists (8-Trevillian 3); Blocks (5-Gosol 5); Turnovers (22-Taylor 6); Steals (11-Taylor 4).
NOTRE DAME -- Field goals (20-61); Free throws (6-10); 3-point field goals (6-27); Rebounds (33-Dewaun Ellison 7); Assists (10-Dewaun Ellison 5); Turnovers (19-Cook 6).