EDWARDSVILLE - Anna McKee led the way with 12 points, while Madison Webb added 11 points and both Charlize Luehmann and Alexis Bond each had nine points as Father McGivney Catholic went on to a 57-19 win over Brussels in the semifinals of the IHSA Class 1A regional Wednesday night at Hooks Gym.
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The Griffins came out aggressively on defense, forcing many Raiders turnovers in building a 24-2 first-quarter lead and never looking back in advancing to the final of Friday night.
"The girls came out pretty focused," said McGivney head coach Jeff Oller, "and got some defensive pressure early on. We forced 35 turnovers, which is a pretty good stat."
Not only did the Griffins get great defense, but also balanced scoring, as nine different players scored in the game.
"The girls really played hard on both ends of the floor," Oller said. "Hopefully, this will give us some momentum going into Friday night."
The Griffins did jump out to the 24-2 lead after one quarter, then led at halftime 30-12, then extended the advantage to 46-16, forcing a fourth-quarter running clock. McGivney outscored Brussels 9-3 in the final quarter to make the final score 57-19.
Besides the four leading scorers for McGivney, Riley Zumwalt had eight points, and four more players --- Shannon Cadagin, Macy Hoppes, Rachel Maller and Mariah Starnes --- scored two points each.
The Raiders were led by Alyssa Kress, who had nine points, followed by both Emma and Tessa Clark, who had four points each, and Mary Vogel, who scored two points.
Brussels was eliminated with a 3-17 record, while the Griffins meet the host Knight, who rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat Dupo 56-53 in the second semifinal, in the final Friday night, with the tip-off coming at 7 p.m. Oller knows what it will take to defeat Metro-East and win McGivney's first-ever regional title.
"We have to get through to their shooters," Oller said, "we have to value every possession offensively, and just focus in on the things we can control to the best of our ability."
Past the possibility of getting past the regional into the sectional next week, Oller and his team will take it the old school one-game-at-a-time approach.
"We're definitely taking it one game at a time," Oller said. "and we've got a good chance on Friday night. Anybody can beat anybody this time of the year, so we've got to be ready to play."
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