BONNE TERRE – The top-seeded Central girls basketball team moved past upset-minded Potosi on Monday night with a second-quarter surge.
The Lady Rebels erased a 12-point deficit before halftime, and finished off the Lady Trojans 64-57 in a Class 4, District 2 semifinal clash.
Junior guard Avery Norris paced Central with a career-high 27 points, while senior Callie Thurston compiled 17.
Sophia Horton tallied eight points, Kaley Kimball totaled seven more and the Lady Rebels (21-4) advanced to face Ste. Genevieve for the title Thursday.
Senior guard Cameryn Yount drilled two straight 3-pointers, and followed with a steal and layup as Potosi opened the game on a determined 10-0 spurt.
The Lady Trojans (11-16) used shutdown defense in the first quarter to hold Central at three field goals, two of which belonged to Norris.
Potosi picked up nearly every loose ball and closed out the quarter with eight straight points for a 21-9 lead.
Norris took over in the second quarter, however, finding open spaces off the dribble to produce 12 of her team's 20 points during the period.
Central continued on a 16-0 spurt until freshman Carley Hampton dropped in the only two Potosi points of the quarter with 2:45 remaining on the clock.
Norris highlighted the dominant stretch with three field goals and four made free throws, and Central had a 29-23 advantage at halftime.
Norris tallied her lone basket of the third on a layup that Yount answered from beyond the arc to draw the Lady Trojans within 31-26.
Junior forward Olivia Coleman powered Potosi in defeat with 20 points, getting 12 of them in the second half.
Yount added 13 points following her tremendous start, while Peyton Blair compiled eight and Jayleen Like netted seven.
Coleman made two successful free throws to make the deficit to 36-30 with 4:26 remaining in the third quarter.
Potosi and Central then traded three field goals apiece until Horton converted two free throws and extended the Lady Rebels' lead to 44-36.
Madeline Bradley tallied a 3-pointer off the Potosi bench, but was answered by Horton’s layup at 46-39.
Thurston scored five points and Norris hit two more shots as an important 11-0 Central run opened the fourth stanza.
Coleman dropped in a putback for the Lady Trojans, but was offset by Horton with a made 5-footer as the difference stood at 59-44.
Potosi finished the game with a 13-5 push before running out of time. It was the last game for head coach Matt Bradley, who is stepping down to assume an administrative position this summer.
Central swept four meetings with Potosi this season, and has won eight of its last 10 games.