The form chart held Wednesday at the IHSA Class 2A girls basketball regional tournament. The top two seeds will meet in the championship game at 7 p.m. at the Hilltop.
And it’s the game everyone has been waiting for.
Mt. Carmel (25-4) looked sharp in an 85-33 rout of Lawrence (13-13) in the second semifinal game of the night, preceded by top seed Marshall’s 59-40 victory over Little Illini Conference opponent Casey-Westfield (10-18).
Undefeated Marshall, the tourney’s No. 1 seed, defeated Mt. Carmel in November at the Robinson Thanksgiving tournament.
“I thought we came out with much more intensity,” said Mt. Carmel coach Tim Willis of the Lady Aces win. “We wanted to be focused off the bat.”
Mt. Carmel, three-time defending regional champions, jumped to a 13-0 lead and never allowed Lawrenceville a shot at an upset. The Lady Aces led 56-16 at the half.
Tyra Buss led Mt. Carmel with 41 points in the win and six 3-point field goals, playing only three minutes of the third period before being pulled .
But what impressed Willis the most was the way Buss’ surrounding cast, particularly the underclassmen, played.
“We’re getting better,” Willis said. “That group played hard tonight, and that will help them down the road.”
Seniors Reagan Keepes (11 points) and Alex Rosignol (10) joined Buss in double figures, but the play of freshman Eryn Gould (8 points) and Dylan Marshall (4 ) were impressive off the bench.
Lawrenceville was led by Kelsie Ferrell with 11 points and Brianna Mefford with 10.
Marshall (26-0), which had just beaten Casey-Westfield, 77-17, Friday in a regular-season finale, seemed almost disinterested in its’ post-season opener.
“I don’t think we played very well,” said Marshall coach Kathy Miller. “It didn’t help that we be them by 60 last week. (The Lady Lions) didn’t think they needed to come out and do anything I guess. I wasn’t really surprised.”
Casey-Westfield hung around, still within nine points late in the third quarter before Marshall began to pull away.
The closeness of the contest forced Miller to show some things on offense and defense that she didn’t want Mt. Carmel, with its’ coaches in the stands, to see before the championship game.
Kaydie Grooms, a 5-foot-11 senior who has already signed to play at USI next year, led the Lady Lions with 30 points.
“I would have hoped to not showed as much as I did, but (Willis) has seen us play,” Miller said.