CLINTONVILLE — No. 4 seed Minerva/Newcomb took a lead into the second quarter and trailed No. 1 seed Moriah by just five points at halftime of Tuesday’s Section VII Class D girls’ basketball semifinal.
But the Vikings turned it up in the second half and pulled away to a 54-37 win at AuSable Valley. Madison Stahl led Moriah with 19 points, and Taylor Sprague had 13, including nine after halftime.
“We were definitely running the floor,” Stahl said of the second half. “We kicked it up offensively and defensively. We were doing well defensively all game, but we really kicked it up in the second half.”
The Vikings (18-0) earned a spot in Friday’s championship game against Elizabethtown-Lewis, which defeated Keene 68-51 in Tuesday’s first game.
Stahl scored five straight points to put Moriah ahead by four in the middle of the second quarter, and Sarah Slattery followed with a jumper to add to the lead. The Vikings went into the half up 25-20.
After four points from Caitlin Pelkey in the middle of the third, the Vikings had their biggest lead of the game — nine points — and the Mountaineers had to call a timeout. Moriah kept Minerva/Newcomb (14-4) at bay the rest of the way.
The first quarter and early part of the second quarter went back and forth, and Moriah coach Erica Slattery said her team wasn’t getting its offense set.
“I don’t think we were moving very well,” Stahl added. “We were just kind of stationary. I think the nerves were kind of stopping us from moving.”
Sprague totaled 13 rebounds for the Vikings, and Pelkey finished with 10 points and seven assists. Slattery pulled down 10 rebounds to go along with six points.
“Everybody can score. Everybody can contribute on every single night,” Stahl said. “That’s what makes us good.”
Minerva/Newcomb’s Astasia Myler scored 10 in the second half for a total of 14. Makenzie Winslow added seven points.