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Comets advance to 5A state semifinals

The third meeting between the Crater girls basketball team and Springfield wasn’t nearly as interesting as the first two.

It was certainly more important though.

The third-seeded Comets led the whole way as they downed the sixth-seeded Millers, 47-36, in a matchup of Midwestern League co-champions during the Class 5A state quarterfinals at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis on Wednesday night.

Crater (24-2) will next face La Salle Prep (25-1) in the semifinals at 8:15 tonight. The Falcons beat Hillsboro, 35-25, in another quarterfinal.

“I am so excited for these girls moving on to the semifinals,” Crater head coach David Heard said. “I’m proud to coach these kids.”

Senior post Courtney Setzer went for 18 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks and sophomore guard Mallory Heard added 10 points and four rebounds for the Comets, who owned a 9-5 advantage after the first quarter and 24-12 lead by halftime.

A free-throw make by Bailey Bascom with 2:38 to go in the third quarter gave Crater an 18-point edge.

Springfield (17-8) — which couldn’t buy a bucket for much of the contest — cut the deficit to six points on a Emma Klym 3-pointer with 6:09 to go, but the Comets soon pulled away for the triumph.

The two programs were quite familiar with one another, splitting their regular-season series. Crater won at home, 45-43 in overtime, and the Millers prevailed, 32-27, as the host.

It was a rocky night on Wednesday for Springfield, which shot 10 of 48 (22 percent) from the field, including 3-for-22 in the first half. The Millers committed 17 turnovers while not scoring a single point off Crater’s 13 turnovers. Meanwhile, the Comets logged 17 points off Springfield turnovers.

“We just did a really good job because all five kids (for Crater) can handle the ball, so we spread them out,” coach Heard said. “We withstood their physicality.”

Setzer finished 4 of 8 from the field and 9 of 16 at the free-throw line. She was named the player of the game.

“She played great from the start,” coach Heard said. “She made shots early, played under control, rebounded and battled big.”

Destiny Fahndrich had eight points and five rebounds and Cheyenne Scott six points, four rebounds and three steals for the Comets, who also valued a strong defensive effort off the bench from Paige Berriochoa.

Crater is seeking its first finals appearance since 2001 and its first-ever state championship. Coach heard has thrice led Comet squads to the finals.

Saniah Simpson paced the Millers with 13 points.

La Salle Prep has only lost to Hermiston this season, a 61-57 setback on Jan. 16.

In the other quarterfinals Wednesday, No. 1 Hermiston beat No. 9 Pendleton, 48-30, and No. 5 Corvallis edged No. 4 Silverton, 41-40.

SPRINGFIELD (17-8)

Saniah Simpson 3-13 7-9 13, Emma Klym 3-14 0-0 8, Hannah Eddens 2-9 3-4 7, Hannah Durbin 1-4 2-4 5, Shelby Blackwell 1-1 0-0 2, Sydney Baker 0-3 1-2 1, Stacey Carlos 0-1 0-0 0, Cielo Gonzales 0-3 0-0 0, Aliyah Dade 0-0 0-0 0, Elizabeth Todd 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 10-48 13-19 36.

CRATER (24-2)

Courtney Setzer 4-8 9-16 18, Mallory Heard 2-4 5-11 10, Destiny Fahndrich 2-6 4-6 8, Cheyenne Scott 2-9 1-2 6, Kes Noles 1-4 2-2 4, Bailey Bascom 0-2 1-2 1, Evie Kent 0-0 0-0 0, Olivia Ryerson 0-0 0-0 0, Paige Berriochoa 0-1 0-1 0, Emily Scott 0-0 0-0 0, Lauren Bean 0-0 0-0 0, Jacie Gavin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 11-34 22-40 47.

Springfield;5;7;6;18;—;36

Crater;9;15;10;13;—;47

3-point goals — Springfield 3-8 (Emma Klym 2-5, Hannah Durbin 1-2, Cielo Gonzales 0-1), Crater 3-12 (Cheyenne Scott 1-4, Mallory Heard 1-2, Courtney Setzer 1-4, Kes Noles 0-1, Destiny Fahndrich 0-1). Fouled out — Eddens, Klym, Gonzales. Rebounds — Springfield 38 (Hannah Eddens 13), Crater 35 (Courtney Setzer 10). Assists — Springfield 6 (Saniah Simpson 3), Crater 5 (Mallory Heard 2). Total fouls — Springfield 29, Crater 16.

Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email djones@mailtribune.com. Find him online at twitter.com/danjonesmt