Davenport Assumption entered Wednesday’s Class 3A Region 5 semifinal against visiting Tipton shooting just over 29 percent from beyond the 3-point arc this season.
But the seventh-ranked Knights matched their season high with 11 3-pointers in a 74-45 rout of the Tigers.
“We’ve got kids all the way up and down the bench and all over the floor who can shoot the ball outside,” said Assumption head coach Katelyn McNamara, whose team went 11-for-23 from distance in the contest. “They were getting some open looks, so they were taking them. Thankfully, they started falling tonight.”
Bailey Brown, who scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Knights (15-8), hit five 3-pointers. Allie Timmons, who had made just five 3-pointers this season, hit a pair in the first half and finished with 10 points. And Carlye Brown also sank a pair of shots from beyond the arc and finished with 10 points.
“Timmons hit a couple there in the first half, and I think she had made five all year,” Tipton head coach Chad Rezac said. “She was 5-for-13 on the year, or something like that. We knew they were going to step out and shoot from beyond the arc. That’s why we wanted to stay man, because we didn’t want to lose sight of them, but they stepped out and hit them. The inside-out action hurt us a couple times. Good teams take advantage of those types of things, and they did that.”
Assumption led 33-25 at halftime but then opened the second half with a 12-0 run to take control of the contest. Hannah Wislander got inside for back-to-back layups, and then Bailey Brown hit a long 3-pointer. And after Wislander made a pair of free throws, Carlye Brown drained a 3-pointer that pushed the Knights’ lead to 20.
“We came out and let them score seven quick ones, and now we’re kind of playing behind the eight ball,” Rezac said. “We kind of got out of sync and lost tempo of the game. They’re obviously a very good team. They’ve got some great shooters and some great players out there, and we just didn’t locate them quick enough.”
The Knights came up with eight steals in the third quarter as Tipton (8-15) turned the ball over 10 times in the period. Many of those turnovers turned into easy baskets for the Knights.
“We’ve got some really quick, athletic kids who just really are looking to get those steals and turn our defense into offense. We love to see that,” McNamara said. “I was happy with their aggression.”
The Knights totaled 19 steals in the contest, and Bailey Brown led the way with five. The visitors struggled with the physical style of play in the contest, turning the ball over 25 times.
“That’s something that you can’t necessarily duplicate in practice,” Rezac said. “We knew it was going to be a physical game. We talked about playing through it, and that’s what you have to do. I think we had our opportunities there early on.”
Emily Hermsen scored 16 points to lead the Tigers, and Amanda Smith finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Wislander added 15 points for Assumption, which had 10 players score in the contest.
“We had four kids score in double figures, so the offense definitely picked up tonight,” McNamara said. “We’re ready to roll into Saturday with that.”
The Knights advance to face No. 12 Camanche (17-6) in the regional final, which will be played at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Pleasant Valley High School. Bailey Brown hit a buzzer beater to lift Assumption to a 70-68 victory over the Indians when the two schools met in the regional semifinals last season.
“We’ve been following them all year long,” McNamara said of the Indians. “We knew that this was probably going to be a matchup that we were going to have to get to the state tournament. They’re a great team. They’ve got some good shooters and really solid kids. They’re going to be ready to come at us, and we’re going to be ready to go as well. It’s going to be a great game.”