OAKDALE — Although it was not as close as the first matchup, the final quarter felt like an eternity for Plainview.
While Plainview went the final five and a half minutes without scoring a field goal, the team avenged its early-season loss to Singer and defeated its visitors, 54-39, in the LHSAA Class C quarterfinals Saturday.
“It was a hard-fought battle,” Plainview coach Justin Miller said. “We knew that coming into the game. We knew their style and we knew we had to keep the game at our tempo and pace.”
Plainview struggled to score in the fourth quarter, only scoring on three free throws in the final five minutes. However, its defense picked up the slack to clinch its sixth consecutive trip to the LHSAA Ladies Top 28.
“I’ve been preaching to them all year about putting teams away and luckily enough we were able to put them away early that we had cushion to fall back on,” Miller said.
Sophomore Lauren Rasmussen led the way the way with 18 points, including hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to put her team comfortably ahead 51-31 with 5:30 left. Rasmussen made 4 of 11 shots from beyond the arc and is now focused on the semifinals.
“We feel great,” Rasmussen said. “We feel like we executed our game plan like we needed to and we are ready for another game.”
Singer tried to keep the game close, but numerous miscues hurt its chances. The team could not get any going from long range — only making two of its 14 3-point attempts — and committed early turnovers to further compound its problems.
“We did a great job at that early on for three and a half quarters,” Miller said. “At the end, my girls got a little bit rattled and we let them back into the game.”
When Rasmussen struggled to score in the third, junior Shy Thompson and sophomore Morgan Calhoun took over to keep Plainview afloat and up double digits.
Next for Plainview will be No. 1 Summerfield, which defeated No. 8 Elizabeth in its quarterfinal game Saturday and has yet to allow 20 points in the playoffs. Plainview lost to Summerfield, 53-48, Nov. 8 in the Fairview Tournament.
“It’s definitely a revenge game for us,” Rasmussen said. “They beat us earlier in the season so we’re out looking for blood.”
Plainview will look to get past the Class C semifinals hump for the first time in five seasons, yet is looking forward to doing so.
“We’re just anxious to get over that hump and make it to an extra game,” Rasmussen said.