The Comets owned the glass throughout, building a 28-14 advantage on the boards by the half, where they took a 29-20 advantage into the locker room on the scoreboard.
Luers (14-12) had one more charge left in it. Trailing 36-26 with 5:16 to play in the third, Erin Butler and Emma Wolfe hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to four at 36-32 with 4:24 to play in the third, but Eastern responded with a 10-4 run to stretch the lead back out to 10 at 46-36 before taking a 48-38 lead into the fourth quarter.
After Luers’ Addie Reimbold completed an old-fashioned three-point play to cut the Eastern lead to 48-41 with 7:02 to play, the Comets rattled off a 10-1 run to stretch the lead out to 58-42 with 5:30 to play in the game.
Luers poor shooting from the outside began to really take its toll down the stretch. Eastern grabbed long rebound after long rebound and feasted on the Knights’ poor transition defense, stretching the lead out to 74-54 in the final minute before Dexter cleared his bench to let reserve players also bask in the glory of a semistate championship.
“I hinted on Thursday that part of our gameplan was to get out in transition,” Dexter said. “We knew if we were able to get out in transition we were going to be tough to contain. First, you have to get the rebound and get a clean outlet. Early in the game, they tried to jam us up. We’d get the rebound and they’d send one or two players to scrape. If we got the ball out we knew we’d have four-on-two or five-on-three opportunities to shred them getting to the basket. That was one of the primary things on the board all week.”
Brittany Neeley put forth a performance for the ages Saturday afternoon, scoring 36 of her career-high 48 points in the second half while grabbing a game-high 20 rebounds. She was 19 of 21 from the charity stripe. Her final point tally tied a Howard County single-game record. Taylor’s Myndie Vaughn (Everling) scored 48 points in a game against Tipton during the 1994-95 season.