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Walther Lutheran's Dana Turner (22) is guarded by Nashville's Emily Gill(20) during a class 2A state quarterfinal girl's basketball game at Redbird Arena in Normal, Ill., on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013.
NORMAL, lll. — Nashville taught Walther Lutheran that if you have a good defensive plan, it goes a long way to winning a basketball game.
That’s how it played out in the Class 2A state semifinals at Redbird Arena Friday, as Nashville rolled to a 50-29 victory.
Besides clogging the middle with their bigger players, the Hornettes also made sure that any fast breaks would be challenged by two players.
“They executed well and my hat’s off to them,” Walther Lutheran coach Todd Fisher said. “They were ready and their defensive plan was effective. Our own defense was extremely aggressive and we played with intensity all year. It hurts when you challenge them, play with that type of intensity and then do not hit your shots.”
The only Walther player who did not have a bad shooting night was Dana Turner. The guard finished with 16 points on 7-of-20 shooting, while the rest of the team made only 3-of-35 from the field.
“They were so athletic and so quick, we knew we had frustrate them as much as possible,” Nashville coach Wayne Harre said. “I think our defense broke down [just] one time, as far as keeping their fast-break game in check.”
Walther Lutheran (26-7) led 4-2 before Nashville (32-2) went on a 9-0 run to end the first quarter up 11-4. Nashville’s Emily Gill hit two three-pointers, in the final two minutes of the quarter to highlight the surge.
The Broncos scored just two points — on a pair of free throws by Isimeme Edeko (four points, 11 rebounds) — in a span of 10:24 of the first half and trailed 23-12 at halftime.
Nashville extended its lead to 15 points (35-20) by the end of the third quarter and continued to pull away in the fourth. The Hornettes’ final margin was their largest of the game.
Shaye Harre scored a game-high 19 points for Nashville and Shawn Rennegarbe added 10 points.
Walther Lutheran plays El Paso-Gridley (29-2) for third place at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. St. Thomas More (32-2), which beat El Paso-Gridley 62-48 in the other semifinal, meets Nashville for the title at 8:15.