NORFOLK – Back and forth it went in the Mid-State Conference title game between Pierce and Crofton with the Bluejays making just enough plays down the stretch to claim the championship.
Behind 16 points from Maggie Brahmer and 13 from Carly Sutherland, Pierce (14-7) knocked off Crofton (12-8) 45-41 on Saturday night at the Cox Activities Center in Norfolk. The Bluejays held a 14-4 lead after the first quarter but the Warriors fought back behind the play of Josie Sanger in the second period as Sanger hit two three-pointers and scored nine points in total as the teams went into halftime tied at 23-23.
The senior Sutherland was at her best in the second half as she scored nine of her 13 points after the break including five in the third quarter as Pierce started to take control. Crofton managed just eight points in the third period as the Bluejays held a slender 33-31 lead heading into the fourth.
Two nights after hitting four three-pointers in a win over Hartington Cedar Catholic, Sidney Zimmerer nailed her only three pointer of the contest for Pierce, who outscored Crofton 12-10 in the final period to come away with the win, their second over the Warriors in a span of nine days. Crofton led by as many as five points late in the second quarter and got a game-high 17 points from freshman Lacey Sparkel and 16 from Sanger, but managed only five field goals in the second half.
Pierce won the Mid-State Conference title for the first time as Crofton was attempting to repeat as champions. The Bluejays are next in action on Thursday hosting Guardian Angels Central Catholic while the Warriors return to action Thursday as well at Norfolk Catholic.
PIERCE (14-7) 14 9 10 12 45
CROFTON (12-8) 4 19 8 10 41
BLUEJAYS – Maggie Brahmer 16, Carly Sutherland 13, Sidney Zimmerer 9, Kayla Simmons 5, Brenna Collison 2
WARRIORS – Lacey Sparkel 17, Josie Sanger 16, Elyssa Tramp 6, Ryah Ostermeyer 2