WEIRTON _ Morgantown Trinity handed Madonna's girls a 17-point loss back in January. On Thursday at the Bill Barrett Gymnasium, the Blue Dons got some revenge.
Katie Lammers delivered a critical free throw in overtime as Madonna (10-7) earned a 39-38 victory in the semifinals of the OVAC Class 1A Tournament. Don Ogden's club will face unbeaten and Ohio-ranked Conotton Valley in Saturday's 5:30 p.m. title game at Ohio University Eastern.
The Rockets demolished Paden City 77-23 in Thursday's other semifinal.
"To go from a 17-point loss to where we come back and win, I couldn't be prouder of the girls," Ogden said. "We can take a sense of satisfaction with us but not necessarily a sense of accomplishment. We haven't accomplished anything yet, we want to do that Saturday.
"During the last couple of weeks, I've been making the girls look at the banners in the gym and ask them where they are represented. We're trying to use that as a driving force. This was our championship because without winning, we couldn't achieve our goal. Now we get to play for the real championship against a very good Conotton Valley team."
Powered by the outside shooting of Megan Myers and the inside play of Jackie Halapy, the Warriors grabbed a 30-25 halftime lead. Myers drained three straight 3-pointers during the second quarter and finished the half with 13 points.
Halapy, meanwhile, scored 10 of the 30, eight coming from the paint.
Hoops by Peyton Konchesky and Halapy helped the visitors stretch their lead to nine (34-25) early in the third. Halapy drew her fourth foul and that opened the door for a key Madonna scoring run.
Rachel Grubbs got the spurt going with two free throws. Becca Holt banked in a deuce after a steal on the defensive end and Isabella Rosso hit a jumper to make it 34-31. Grubbs swished another foul shot before Holt drove the baseline for a bucket. Monica Bragg capped the 11-0 run by canning two from the line.
On the defensive end, the Dons went to their man-to-man and shut down Trinity's outside shooting game. Madonna led 36-34 heading into the fourth.
Defensive pressure and offensive patience were featured during the final eight minutes. Madonna led 38-34 after Bragg turned an offensive rebound into points. Konchesky scored twice to knot the score. Trinity (10-5) had a good look late in regulation but Grubbs came through with a critical block to force overtime.
During the extra four minutes, each team had a chance to take the lead but couldn't convert from the line. When fouled late, Lammers calmly knocked down her first of two attempts, giving Madonna the lead for good.
Madonna's defense held Trinity to eight points during the second half and overtime. In addition, the Warriors were guilty of 27 turnovers (in its earlier loss to Trinity, Madonna turned it over 33 times).
"Fortunately, our move paid off. The girls did a heck of a job adjusting defensively."
Bragg recorded a double-double for Madonna (13 points and 10 rebounds) and also swatted away two shots. Lammers finished with eight points and Grubbs seven. Point guard Cameron Dowiak doled out five assists.