As teams move along in tournament play, the crowds get bigger, the gyms get hotter and the games get better. After Moravia easily downed Mormon Trail in their regional opener, they needed a big fourth quarter to pull away from Wayne and win 62-48 in the Class 1A region six quarterfinals, Tuesday night in Moravia.
The Lady Mohawks used two baskets by Jenna Sheehan and the total dominance of the play in the lane by Katelynn Tracy and Kendall Brown to pull away.
The bigs for Moravia combined for eight early points for an 8-4 Moravia lead just three minutes into the action. Wayne went on an 8-0 run to lead 12-8 after a 3-pointer by Emily Bellon. Two baskets by Brown pulled Moravia back into a tie at 12. Wayne’s game high scorer Breanna Fortune scored consecutive baskets before a Brown basket pulled Moravia back to within two at the break.
Brown’s three consecutive scores came after she ran the floor and Autumn McDanel found near the block for the scores.
“Coach stresses running the floor and I think it’s a strength for me,” said Brown.
In the second, the Moravia bigs (Tracy, Brown, and Nicole Self) combined for all 14 of the team’s points to erase the first quarter deficit.
Moravia led 28-24 at the half.
Moravia used multiple defensive looks as they always do but it was the trapping at half court by the Falcons that did some damage. Moravia committed 14 first half turnovers but used a 23-7 rebound advantage to hold the lead.
“We made an adjustment at the half that helped us,” said Moravia coach Clint Woodward. “We are committed to playing uptempo, so we have some turnovers.”
Wayne used two 3-pointers by Brennan Banks and 10 points by Fortune to close to within two after three. Tracy, who had a quiet first half scoring, had two baskets as did Sheehan and McDanel to hold the lead throughout the quarter.
Tracy, well on her way to another double-double, would have seven rebounds in the third to give her 14 with a quarter to play.
“When I’m not scoring, I look to make assists and go to the boards as hard as I can,” said Tracy.
Fortune added two baskets for Wayne to keep them close at 49-45 before Moravia started to take control. A Tracy basket and Sheehan’s second of the final eight minutes put the Lady Mohawks up 54-45 with just over three minutes to play.
“I had two early fouls so it took me a while to get into rhythm,” said Sheehan. “I just felt comfortable scoring off the dribble instead of looking for something outside.”
Wayne hurt themselves at the free throw line in the fourth. They reached the bonus with over six minutes to play but only converted three of 10 from the line.
Moravia concentrated on pounding the ball inside to Tracy and Brown as they stretched the lead to the 14 point spread.
“We don’t hide the fact that inside is always our first look,” said Woodward. “We jsut ask our girls to make plays.”
Tracy and Brown each finished with a double-double. Tracy had 17 points and 20 rebounds while Brown had a game high 20 points and added 15 rebounds.
The win sends Moravia (19-2) to the fourth encounter with Blue Grass rival Twin Cedars Friday night in Albia.
Class 1A, Region 6 Quarterfinals
Moravia 62, Wayne 48
Wayne 16 8 16 8 — 48
Moravia 14 14 14 20 — 62
Wayne (48) — Brennan Banks 11, Emily Bellon 7, Mandie Gassman 5, Breanna Fortune 25. Totals 18-72 5-16 48.
3-point goals — 7-30 (Banks 2, Bellon 2, Fortune 3). Fouled out —Bellon . Rebounds — 25 (Gassman 5, Fortune 5). Assists — 15 (Banks 4, Bellon 4). Steals — 18 (Raquel Relph 4). Blocks — 2 (Relph, Fortune). Total fouls — 18. Turnovers — 9.
Moravia (62) — Hannah Eastlick 2, McKenzie Smith 2, Katelynn Tracy 17, Autumn McDanel 5, Sheehan 8, Nicole Self 8, Kendall Brown 20. Totals 27-56 8-22 62.
3-point goals — 0-2. Rebounds — 55 (Tracy 20, Brown 15). Assists — 16 (McDanel 10). Steals — 5 (McDanel 3). Blocks — 7 (Tracy 5). Total fouls — 17. Turnovers — 25.
Sabers moving on
BUSSEY – Less then two weeks after eking out a one-point road win over Southeast Warren, Twin Cedars made things much easier on themselves in advancing past the squad from Liberty Center. The Sabers jumped out to a 15-7 lead and never looked back, winning 52-35 in the Class 1A, Region 6 quarterfinals in the final home game of the year for Justin Nolte’s squad.
Senior Ayla Crosby led the Sabers with 15 points, six rebounds and four steals. Junior Brittney Roby added 14 points and six boards as the Sabers won their 20th game of the season, ending Southeast Warren’s season at 13-10.
Twin Cedars (20-3) will now face Bluegrass rival Moravia for the fourth time this season as the two teams battle in the regional semifinals Friday night at Albia High School at 7 p.m. After suffering their first loss of the season at home to the Mohawks, 48-45 on Jan. 4, the Sabers handed Moravia their only two losses as Twin Cedars won the Bluegrass Conference title 48-36 at Lamoni on Jan. 19 and beat Moravia in Appanoose County 59-47 just three nights later.
Class 1A, Region 6 Quarterfinals
Twin Cedars 52, Southeast Warren 35
SEW 7 10 6 12 — 35
T.C. 15 14 12 11 — 52
Twin Cedars (52) — Ayla Crosby 15, Brittney Roby 14, Alee Hugen 7, Kenzie McCarty 6, Elizabeth Rowley 6, Shyann DenBurger 3, Payton Fee 1. Totals 14-43 20-33 52.
3-point goals — 4-13 (Roby 2-4, Crosby 2-7). Rebounds — 36 (Crosby 6, Fee 6, Roby 6, Hugen 5, Rowley 4, DenBurger 3). Assists — 10 (Fee 6, Roby 3, Rowley). Steals — 12 (Crosby 4, Roby 3, Rowley 2, McCarty, Fee, Hugen). Blocks — 2 (DenBurger, Fee). Total fouls — 10.