NOKOMIS - Sami Oller led Father McGivney Catholic with 14 points, while Natalie Beck added 12 points and also made a pair of key defensive plays in the final minute to give the Griffins a 46-39 win over Winchester West Central in the first semifinal of the IHSA Class 1A Nokomis Sectional Tuesday night at the Nokomis gym.

The Griffins advance to the Sweet Sixteen in the sectional final on Thursday night, where awaiting them will be Okawville, a 64-46 winner over Carrollton in the second semifinal.

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McGivney goes through to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history, defeating a Cougar team that had upset top-seeded Hardin Calhoun-Brussels in the regional final last week at Concord Triopia 46-45.

The Griffins and West Central were tied after the first quarter 15-15, with McGivney taking the halftime lead at 30-26. The Cougars cut the lead slightly to 37-34 after three quarters, but the Griffins outscored West Central 9-5 in the final quarter to win and advance to the sectional final.

McGivney head coach Jeff Oller said his team had great composure offensively taking advantage of what West Central's defense to keep his squad in the game.

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"Defensively in the second half, the girls did a good job," he said. "We thought there would be some openings offensively and we did a good job finding gaps. Our girls are a very unselfish team."

To go along with Oller's 14 points and Beck's 12 points, McGivney saw Mia Lieberman come up with eight points, while Sabrina Ivnik hit for six points, Emily Johnson scored three points, and Devin Ellis had two points.

The Griffins are now 24-10, while the Rockets improve to 20-11, and will play each other for the sectional crown and the right to play in the Elite Eight next week in the Okawville super-sectional, on Thursday night at 7 p.m.

The winner will play against the Elkville Elverado sectional winner, either Albion Edwards County or Goreville, next Monday night at Okawville in a 7 p.m. tip-off.

The super-sectional winner plays in the state semifinals on Feb. 29 at CEFCU Arena in Bloomington-Normal against the winner of the Elgin Harvest Christian Academy super-sectional at 11:15 a.m.

Dan Brannan also contributed to this story.

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