Amherst and Marshall advanced to the championship game in Division 3 with wins in the semifinals at the State Girls Basketball Tournament Thursday afternoon at the Resch Center in Green Bay.
Four players scored in double figures to lead a balanced scoring attack for Marshall (26-1) in their 58-47 victory over Wisconsin Dells. Anna Lutz led the team with 17 points. Mia Morel netted 16 points and made a Division 3 record nine steals. Laura Nickel and Samira Arvin each contributed 10 points. Lutz grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, and Morel dished out nine assists.
The Chiefs were led by Katelyn Meister, who poured in a game-high 26 points. Jamie Pfeifer notched a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The Cardinals led for all but the first two minutes of the game. They led by as many as 11 points in the second half. The Chiefs cut their deficit to five points at 46-41 with 4:34 left in the game. However, Marshall pushed the lead back up to 11 with under two minutes to play with a 6-0 run.
Top-seeded Marshall advances to the final for the first time since winning the back-to-back Class C titles in 1976-77. Wisconsin Dells (25-2) ends its season with its first trip to the State Tournament.
Heather Pearson was a force inside in leading Amherst (26-1) to a 45-32 win over Thomas More in their semifinal Thursday afternoon.
She was the only player to score in double figures in the game. Pearson tossed in 17 points and grabbed a game-high 20 rebounds, which was three short of the Division 3 rebounding record that was set in 1980.
The Cavaliers struggled on the offensive end, shooting 22 percent for the game, including 1-of-15 shooting from beyond the arc. It was an inopportune time to score their lowest scoring output of the season. Lindsay Kirby led St. Thomas More with nine points, and Taylor Kirby added eight points and seven rebounds.
The Falcons jumped out to a 19-3 lead to start the game and never trailed. The closest the Cavaliers could get the remainder of the game was eight points with two minutes remaining in the game.
Second-seeded Amherst advances to the championship game for the first time since the Falcons won the title in 2009. St. Thomas More (21-6) completes their season with the program’s first-ever appearance in the State tournament.