No. 2 vs. No. 3. Unbeaten vs. unbeaten. Alter vs. Clinton-Massie.
It happens at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Springfield High School in a Division II girls regional semifinal.
Alter dominated Cincinnati Norwood 73-33 in the first district final Friday night. In the third game, Clinton-Massie put away cold-shooting Tippecanoe 60-30.
The question for Tuesday is whether Clinton-Massie star Sydney Brackemyre will play. She left the court with a bleeding finger on her non-shooting hand with 5:38 left in the first quarter with six points. As she approached the bench, she told her coaches that her finger was broken. She left the gym and did not return. Her dad tweeted after the game that she had an open dislocation.
Falcons coach Allen Wilkinson did not know whether Brackemyre will be able to play Tuesday. Brackemyre, who has signed to play at Louisville, missed most of last season with a knee injury. The Falcons won the district, then lost in the first round of the regionals.
The Falcons, up 9-5 when Brackemyre was injured, were OK without her on this night. Kasey Uetrecht picked up the slack with 14 points.
If Alter (26-0) comes out shooting Tuesday like it did Friday, Massie (26-0) will have its biggest challenge this season with or without Brackemyre.
“Well, I hope it’s a lot better than we played them this summer,” Wilkinson said of a camp. “The outscored us like 20-1, so hopefully we’ve improved a little bit since this summer.”
Alter missed a few shots in building a 29-7 lead in the first quarter, but it didn’t seem like it. Freshman guard Braxtin Miller made two 3-pointers and scored 10 of her game-high 20 points in the quarter. And backup freshman guard Libby Bazelak made two 3-pointers in the quarter on her way to 14 points.
“Neither one of them plays like a freshman,” said Alter co-head coach Christina Hart. “They both play well beyond their years. They have a lot of poise, they know the game and that makes it easy for us.”
Neither freshman averages double figures, but they each finished with four 3-pointers.
“They did more than we asked,” said junior Emma Bockrath, the Knights’ leading scorer. “They made every shot they took it felt like. We couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Alter didn’t let up against Norwood (16-10) and led 43-10 at halftime. Bockrath added 14 points.
“We came out really hard and that’s the key to winning,” Bockrath said. “If you come out hard, you automatically put a team down. And that’s exactly what we did.”
For Tipp (21-4), it was a case of starting slow and never finding a higher gear against the bigger and more physical Falcons. The Red Devils hinted at staying close when Halee Printz scored with 6:03 left in the second quarter to trail 22-14. But the Falcons scored the last eight points of the half, then the first five of the second half to lead 35-14.
“A little excitement got to us a little bit,” Tipp coach Aaron Jackson said. “Our intensity wasn’t quite the same, our shots were a little rushed and we’re used to holding teams in the 30s.”
The state’s No. 7-ranked team will also be playing at Springfield at 6:15 on Tuesday. Kenton Ridge (25-1), which beat Cincinnati McNicholas 63-41, will face the winner of today’s game between Reynoldsburg (21-4) and Hilliard Bradley (19-6).
Baylee Bennett scored 16 points to lead the Cougars’ balanced attack against McNick. Thornton scored 14, Jamari McDavid 13, Sydney Bates 11 and Davis 9.
“I thought we were a little better shooting team than them,” Cougars coach Ed Foulk said. “It was the balanced scoring, and they were confident coming in the way we’ve been playing lately.”
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