ND girls fall to Masuk in SWC quarters
Updated 5:06 pm, Tuesday, February 21, 2012
For 24 minutes the ND-Fairfield girls basketball team kept its Masuk-counterpart in check.
But unfortuantely for the Lancers, high school girls basketball is a 32-minute game.
The fifth-seeded Panthers outscored No. 4 ND by 19 points during an eight minute stretch of the third and fourth quarters and held on for a 37-35 win in the SWC quarterfinals on Saturday at Lauralton Hall High School.
Freshman Jana Migliaro scored a team-high 13 points, all in the second half as Masuk advanced to play Lauralton Hall on Tuesday night.
Trailing by two in the final minute, ND had five chances to tie the game but could not capitalize. Alex Danas' 3-point attempt hit the rim and Bianka Bell's off-balanced jumper to tie at the buzzer was short.
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"We had chances to take a tie or the lead late," ND coach Eric DeMarco said.
Bell led ND with 13 points, grabbed six points and had two steals. Brianna Mann also had 11 points for ND.
ND used a 7-0 run to take control of the game from the outset, building a 7-3 lead. After Masuk got within 11-10, ND scored the next nine points building a 10-point lead. Mann scored six of her 11 in the first half, as the Lancers held a 20-12 lead at halftime.
DeMarco thought that lead could have been greater, though.
"I would've liked it to be more," he said. "I thought we had some chances earlier that we did not have late."
ND's lead peaked at 25-12 as the Lancers scored the first five points of the second half. But Masuk countered with Migliaro, who scored all of her points on the Panthers' 23-4 run over the next 7:20, as the Panthers turned the game completely, building a six-point lead, 45-39.
"Masuk upped the intensity," DeMarco said. "They put us on our heels a little bit."
ND will now turn its attention to the Class M tournament. The Lancers are currently slotted as the tournament's No. 18 seed.
"The finality of this feeling gets us ready if we don't execute in the Class M," DeMarco said. "This season doesn't have to end yet."