NORFOLK – Facing a potential two-point deficit at halftime against Hartington Cedar Catholic, Pierce’s Sidney Zimmerer hit one of her four-three pointers to give the Bluejays a halftime lead.
The three-pointer came as time expired in the first half and banked in from half court, but it seemed to give the Bluejays (13-7) momentum as they carried it into the final two quarters and came away with a 44-28 win over the Trojans (11-6) on Thursday night in the Mid-State Conference semi-finals at the Cox Activities Center. The Bluejays’ defense was dominant in the second half as HCC failed to make a field goal in the final two quarters and managed only eight points in total, all coming from the free throw line.
Zimmerer’s three gave Pierce a 21-20 lead at the break. The Trojans would get four free throws to take a 24-23 lead midway through the period, but a put back from Carly Sutherland and two threes from Zimmerer started what would become a 21-4 run to close the game and send Pierce to their fifth-straight victory.
Zimmerer and Sutherland led all scorers with 12 points, while Maggie Brahmer and Brenna Collison added nine points apiece. Hartington Cedar Catholic got eight points from Anna Reifenrath and six from Jada Cattau and Maddie Wieseler as Pierce avenged a 57-54 overtime loss to the Trojans back on January 12.
With the win, Pierce will meet Crofton in Saturday’s Mid-State Conference final at 6 p.m. The Warriors advanced with a 49-44 win over Guardian Angels Central Catholic in the first semi-final on Thursday. The Bluejays defeated the Warriors in Pierce 50-41 on January 25.
HCC (11-6) 8 12 5 3 28
PIERCE (13-7) 10 11 13 10 44
TROJANS SCORERS – Anna Reifenrath 8, Jada Cattau 6, Maddie Wieseler 6, Mallorie Steffen 4, Sydney Steffen 2, Brianna Miller 2
BLUEJAYS SCORERS – Carly Sutherland 12, Sidney Zimmerer 12, Maggie Brahmer 9, Brenna Collison 9, Brianna Aguilera 2