COVINGTON — Anna girls basketball coach Jeff Maurer had his team well-prepared for Monday’s Covington D-III district semifinal.
And the Rockets executed to perfection to open a 33-12 halftime lead en route to a 49-30 win over Miami East.
Anna (19-5) will play Arcanum in a D-III district final on Saturday at Springfield High School, while Miami East closes the season at 12-12.
“The kids were really focused and came out and did a great job,” Maurer said. “We knew were going to see their (1-2-2) zone. I thought the kids did a great job of reversing the ball and hitting shots.”
Anna got it inside early, with Ella Doseck scoring seven points in the first quarter Lauren Barhorst adding six.
“That’s been our bread and butter all year,” Maurer said. “We don’t necessarily need our post post players to score, but we want to get them touches.”
But Miami East’s Camryn Miller countered with five points to get the Vikings within 12-8.
The Rockets then countered with 13 straight points to go up 25-8 midway through the second quarter and took a 33-12 lead to the locker room.
The first quarter ended with a basket by Barhorst and a three-point play by Doseck.
Michaela Ambos started the second quarter with a basket, followed by back-to-back 3-pointers by Kayli Brewer to blow it open.
“We got in a hole because they knocked down shots,” Miami East coach Bruce Vanover said. “They did a nice job against our zone. We probably let them have a few too many touches in the post. We wanted to make them shoot from deep and they knocked the shots down.
“And we had some missed shots and turnovers which didn’t help anything.”
But it was a different story in the third quarter.
East came out in a man defense and outscored Anna 11-3 to cut the Rockets lead to 37-23.
“We tried to warn the kids at halftime,” Maurer said. “It was 0-0 going to the third quarter. They switched to a man defense and we didn’t do a good job attacking it.”
Vanover knew he had no choice.
“We switched to a man defense for probably the first time since the third game,” Vanover said. “I just wish we had went with it from the start of the game. You can’t get very far down playing a 1-2-2 zone, so we switched things up.”
Anna regained control in the fourth quarter, getting the ball inside to Barhorst, as she was 4 for 4 from the floor in the fourth quarter to finish with a game-high 18 points and five rebounds.
“I thought we did a good job handling the situation,” Maurer said. “It would have been easy to panic when they got back within 14 points.”
Doseck added 11 points and six rebounds for Anna.
Miller led Miami East with 10 points.
“I just have to thank Camryn (Miller) for the countless time and work she is put into our program the last four years,” Vanover said. “We lost a really good player (Morgan Haney) and made it back to the sectional finals and went 12-12. We only lose Camryn, so I feel really good about the future.”
Anna was 21-of-36 from the floor for 58 percent and 4-of-5 from the line for 80 percent.
East was 11-of-32 from the floor for 34 percent and 4-of-7 from the line for 57 percent.
Anna won the battle of the boards 23-15 and had nine turnovers to Miami East’s 11.
Versailles 62, Middletown Madison 39
The Tigers overcame an early deficit and ran away in the second half to a big victory in Monday’s second district semifinal in Covington.
The Mohawks had an 11-6 lead at the end of the first quarter but Versailles used a 27-9 scoring edge in the second quarter to take a 33-20 halftime lead. The Tigers outscored Madison 18-10 in the third quarter and 11-9 in the fourth.
Brooke Stonebraker led Versailles with 18 points while Lindsey Winner scored 16 and Danielle Kunk scored 15.
Versailles (17-8) advances to face Bethel-Tate in a district final on Saturday in Springfield.