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University 56, Jac-Cen-Del 40; 1A Regional 15 Semifinal

Smithland- Coming off its historic five overtime sectional championship win on Monday, Jac-Cen-Del could not extend that magic into Saturday’s regional semifinal against University.  The Lady Trailblazers from Carmel avenged last year’s regional semi loss to JCD by defeating the Lady Eagles 56-40.

This game was seen live as part of our Highpoint Health Basketball Webcast Schedule and can be seen again in 720p HD by clicking here.

Coach Justin Blandling’s Pioneer Conference North Division champions were the regional favorites.  No. 3 in the final ICGSA poll, University came in ranked fourth in the Sagarin.  The Blazers’ 79.0 rating was a full 20 points higher than their fine 18-8 team from last season.  That’s a significant improvement for group which only lost one player to graduation.

Coach Scott Smith’s ORVC champion Eagles were making their 11th straight regional appearance despite losing two studs and one key bench player from last year’s sectional title team.  No. 6 JCD entered Saturday down one starter.  Forward Anna Hubbard was out after injuring her knee in extra time on Monday against Waldron.

The first quarter was very sluggish for both teams as errors and poor shooting resulted in only nine total points.  Jac-Cen-Del led 5-4.

But in the second quarter, the threes started to drop for University as Jenna Blakley and Maddi Sears sank a pair of triples each to give the Trailblazers a 27-20 advantage at the half.  Neither of those University players scored in the first quarter, but Blakley bucketed 15 in the second period and Sears scored six.  Jac’s Mariah Day had nine points (seven on free throws) while Regan Carroll, getting the start in place of Hubbard, scored six.

Leading 31-25 in the third, the Blazers took off posting 12 straight points to go up 18.  They finished the frame up 18 as well, 47-29. Seven points from Blakley, six by Sears and five via Jhordan McGuire accounted for the bulk of the 20-9 advantage University enjoyed over the eight-minute stretch.  Annabelle Williams had a trifecta and two freebies for five Eagle points.

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