Winchester turned to star senior guard Jill Morrison in the second half of its Class 2A girls basketball sectional tournament game Friday to pull out a victory and advance to the championship game.
The Golden Falcons struggled much of the game to find their offensive rhythm, and Morrison gave them just what they needed as she sparked a 47-44 victory over Lapel.
The triumph put Winchester (19-4) in the title game against Frankton at 7:30 p.m. today. The winner gets a berth in the Feb. 16 Lapel Regional.
Winchester scored only 17 points in the first half and trailed 21-17 at halftime.
The Falcons missed numerous shots and struggled on the boards in the first half.
That changed in the third quarter when Morrison, a Ball State recruit, took over. She scored all 15 Falcons points in the third period to push her team to a 32-30 lead.
Morrison scored 17 of her team-high 21 points in the second half.
The Falcons hit 12-of-16 free throws in the game, including seven in the final minutes. Maggie Williams, Delaney Miller and Bailey Gates each made two free throws in the closing minutes, and Hayley Myers had one.
Gates finished with 11 points, and Miller had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Williams collected nine boards.
Burris stymied its opponent for a quarter with its triangle-and-two defense and led by eight after the opening eight minutes. But Frankton then dominated the middle periods to pull away for a convincing 61-36 victory.
“The first quarter we played really well,” first-year Burris girls basketball coach Brian Carr said, “but the second quarter they kind of figured it out.”
The Eagles (18-5) outscored the Owls 23-9 in the second quarter and then 19-5 in the third. Frankton star wing Kelsey Key lit up Burris for 40 of its 61 points.
“We did a good job on her early and then she just got hot,” Carr said.
Grace Shymanski scored a team-high 16 points for the Owls. Shymanski and Barber shared team-high honors with six rebounds each. Emma Turcotte assisted on six of the 12 Burris baskets.