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Posted by Matt Bloom - Thu, Mar. 10, 2016 - [ NEKS ]

With 4 girls teams advancing today we will take a look at their semi-final matchups.

Sabetha- The Lady Blue Jays advanced with a strong performance against Southeast of Saline winning 47-26. They now will face Sterling who was very impressive in the opening round against Caney Valley winning 70-30. The Black Bears were paced by Kylah Comley who had 28 points and 9 steals. The Blue Jays will have to take care of the ball as Sterling was able to force 23 turnovers. Look for the Blue Jays to lean on their defense to control the game. This has the makings of a great game and I think the Blue Jays experience will prevail.

My Pick: Sabetha 62-56

Centralia- Well it's a rematch of the game we seen just a year ago but the only difference is that it happens to be a semi-final matchup instead of the championship game. Hoxie was able to take down Hanover 59-46 behind strong performances by Brynn Niblock and Terran Hoyt who finished with 18 and 17 points, respectively. The two also combine to go 23-28 from the free throw line. The game was a foul fest as there was a total of 56 fouls called. On the flip side Centralia advanced by beating South Barber 53-38. Look for the Panthers to focus on slowing Niblock and Hoyt while looking inside at where they will have a clear size advantage offensively.

My Pick: Centralia 59-53

Axtell- The Lady Eagles finally got the monkey off their back as they were able to defeat Elyria Christian 53-26. It marked the first state tournament win in school history. With the win the Eagles now look to Ingalls who was able to advance past Sylvan-Lucas 60-40. The Lady Bulldogs were lead by Senior Kaisha Batman as she scored 18 points and Hope Beach added another 12.  Look for Axtell to find a way to exploit the full and three quarter court pressure the Bulldogs like to use. The Eagles will clearly have the size advantage in this one so look for them to go inside early and often.

My Pick: Axtell 48-44

Wetmore- After falling 3 points short a year ago against top seeded Beloit St. John's the Lady Cardinals were able to pull of the upset as they took down Norwich 47-39. After trailing at halftime 24-12 the Cards opened the 3rd quarter on a 13-0 run to take the lead and went into the 4th leading 33-28. Next up will be the tournament favorite Dighton who disposed of Golden Plains 68-39. The Lady Hornets looked like a well oiled machine lead by Sara Cramer who scored 21. Jordan Speer and Dakota Hoffman also added 18 and 16 points, respectively. It will be a tall task for the Lady Cardinals as Speer and Hoffman provide Dighton with extreme size and Cramer and Kiara Budd give them shooting from the outside. Look for the Cards to play their same aggressive man to man defense to force turnovers defensively and use their quickness offensively to score.

My Pick: Wetmore 51-50

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