PARK HILLS – Ste. Genevieve battled out of an early double-digit hole, and threatened to complete the largest upset thus far in the MAAA girls basketball tournament on Tuesday.
But senior Anna Thomas delivered a big fourth quarter after being perched on the bench in foul trouble, and the 2nd-seeded Lady Tigers emerged with a 55-50 quarterfinal win.
Arcadia Valley (19-2) mounted a 15-4 run down the stretch, and booked a semifinal meeting with North County on Thursday after notching its 11th consecutive victory.
Sophomore guard Jerrika Brockes provided another spark off the bench with 12 of her 15 points coming before halftime, and her 3-pointer with 6:17 to play put the Lady Tigers ahead to stay at 45-42.
Thomas picked up her third foul less than three minutes into the third quarter, and Ste. Genevieve (11-10) used her extended absence to ignite a go-ahead rally.
Opposing point guard Madison Reynolds drained a 3-pointer to put the Dragons ahead 33-31, and gave her team a 39-37 lead with another field goal after teammate Natalie Engel secured a loose ball.
Ste. Genevieve senior Maggie Flieg exchanged threes with Thomas to start the fourth quarter, but her team suffered five empty possessions as Arcadia Valley netted nine straight points.
Thomas finished off a brilliant passing play from sisters Kristen Williams and Megan Williams, then hit two free throws for a 49-42 advantage.
Reynolds completed her impressive outing with a 3-pointer that capped the scoring with 20 seconds remaining, and tallied a game-high 25 points.
The 7th-seeded Dragons got an ensuing steal, but missed a chance to draw within one possession. The ability to match physicality inside was paramount in their upset bid.
Brockes used an elusive spin move to open the second quarter with a basket, and elevated an early AV lead to 19-7 by slipping behind the defense on a long pass from Briar Johnson.
Effective pressure from the Dragons turned the momentum, however, and baskets in the post by Regan Zerwig and Courtney Donze sparked a 14-3 response.
Reynolds helped bring Ste. Genevieve to within 22-21 before a Thomas 3-pointer pushed the Lady Tigers toward a 29-23 halftime lead.
Kristen Williams grabbed 12 rebounds and Rebecca Buffington added eight points for the Lady Tigers, who shot 32 percent overall.
Zerwig had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds while Riley Meyer secured nine rebounds in defeat.
Both teams were superb from the line. Arcadia Valley made 13-of-17 free throws while Ste. Genevieve knocked down 15-of-18.
Ste. Genevieve 7 16 16 11 – 50
Arcadia Valley 13 16 8 18 – 55
Ste. Genevieve – Madison Reynolds 25, Regan Zerwig 10, Maggie Flieg 7, Riley Meyer 4, Courtney Donze 2, Katie Palmer 2. 3-point FG – Reynolds 4, Flieg. (FT: 15-18)
Arcadia Valley – Jerrika Brockes 15, Anna Thomas 13, Rebecca Buffington 8, Megan Williams 7, Savannah Price 4, Kristen Williams 4, Briar Johnson 2, Makayla Moise 2. 3-piont FG – Thomas 2, Buffington, Brockes. (FT: 13-17)