Springbrook, West Springfield and Seton won with strong second-period efforts, while St. Anthony's needed something extra in the final seconds to advance to the semifinals of the IAABO girls basketball tournament last night at Springbrook.
Unbeaten Springbrook took advantage of 13 turnovers by Mount Hebron in the second quarter en route to a 46-30 victory in the first of four first-round games. West Springfield also benefited from a shaky second quarter by Holy Cross in winning, 68-44.
Penny Toler made two free throws with a minute remaining and St. Anthony's forced two turnovers in the final 30 seconds in a 49-48 victory over Crossland.
In a rematch of last year's championship game, Seton outscored Blair, 21-10, in the second quarter and defeated the Blazers, 77-55, in the nightcap.
Springbrook (6-0) plays West Springfield (6-0) at 6:30 and St. Anthony's (5-0) meets Seton (4-1) at 8. In consolation games, Mount Hebron (3-2) plays Holy Cross at 3:30 and Crossland (4-2) faces Blair (4-2) at 5.
The defending IAABO champion Blazers, who finished with a 26-0 record last year, had problems defending against Seton's inside players, Stacey Springfield and Lisa Green, and trailed, 18-14, at the end of the first period.
Blair's chances began to slip away after all-Met center Charlene Thomas was called for her third and fourth fouls in the second quarter. Before going to the bench, Thomas had 10 rebounds, four blocks, three steals and four points. She finished with eight points.
Without Thomas, Seton dominated the boards and scored easily in the second quarter. Green (19 points), Springfield (18) and Angie Matthes (16) scored 17 of their team's 21 points in the quarter as the Roadrunners held a 39-24 advantage at the half.
In the only close game of the evening, Crossland lost its bid for an upset by committing three turnovers and missing the first of two one-and-one free throws in the final five minutes. The Cavaliers took a 48-46 lead on a bank shot by Julie Atkinson with 2:50 to play.
After St. Anthony's cut the margin to one point with 1:48 to play, Natale Whisonante missed her first foul shot two seconds later for Crossland. Shortly afterward, Toler (21 points) made two free throws to put the Tonies ahead, 49-48.