The Batesville Lady Bulldogs and Jac-Cen-Del Lady Eagles advanced to the championship game of the Ripley County Tournament with victories Wednesday evening at Milan High School.
It will be the third consecutive trip to the finals for the Lady Bulldogs, while the Lady Eagles last played for the title in 2010.
The Lady Bulldogs defeated the defending champion South Ripley Lady Raiders in the second game by a score of 43-31.
Defensively, the coach Matt Maple’s crew continued to excel and the offense was better.
The Lady Bulldogs held South Ripley without a field goal until the 1:48 mark in the second quarter. Still, the Lady Raiders were well within reach.
Batesville led 6-4 at the end of the first quarter and later 19-11 at halftime.
Junior Brooke Rohlfing jump-started the Lady Bulldogs by scoring the first five points of the second quarter. Brooke Bradford added four of her nine points as the BHS lead grew to 17-9 in the second.
Batesville continued to pressure the Lady Raiders and the offense began to pick up. Just as the South Ripley cut the margin to five points, Bradford hit a 3-pointer to put Batesville in front 26-18.
South Ripley outscored the Lady Bulldogs 7-2 over the final 3:56 to make it 28-25 at the end of the third period.
But the Lady Raiders would not get any closer.
Batesville led by as many as 14 points in the closing minutes.
Rohlfing led the Lady Bulldogs with 12 points followed by Bradford’s nine and Bailey Baumer with seven.
The Jac-Cen-Del Lady Eagles were easy 60-19 winners over the host Lady Indians in the first game.
A 16-4 JCD lead grew to 32-6 by halftime.
Milan was more successful offensively in the second half, but the difference was too great to overcome.
Brianna Volz led all scorers with 16 points followed by teammate Brooklyn Ronsheim with nine.
Grace Herzoset the paced for the Lady Indians with eight points.
The two winners will play in the championship game Friday night at Milan. The game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.
The consolation game between South Ripley and Milan is set for 6 p.m.