SPRINGVILLE — A balanced offense, a stifling defense and a bit more seasoning proved to be the winning recipe for Springville.
The No. 8 Orioles defeated Clinton Prince of Peace, 62-48, in a Class 1A girls’ basketball regional semifinal Friday night.
The Orioles (20-4) were led by junior Lauren Wilson, who dropped 22 points. And Wilson, against a variety of defensive formations, drove the ball along the baseline several times, resulting in open perimeter looks for her teammates.
“I draw a lot of attention when I drive to the hoop,” Wilson said. “They’ll usually send two or three girls on me for help defense. And then you have three girls standing on the perimeter, just wide open, waiting for that pass. So I just find them and they knock down the shot.”
“She’s a very selfless player,” Springville Coach Christina Zaruba said. “We love it when she drives because she draws a lot of attention.”
Wilson wasn’t the only Oriole in double figures.
Grace Matus had 17 points, hitting five 3-point attempts, three of them in the first half.
“I was nervous at first, but we hit 3s in the first and second quarter, and I knew we had it in the bag,” Wilson said.
Morgan Nachazel, also a junior, hit three 3-pointers and finished with 15 points.
As impressive as Springville’s offense was, the defense may have been better.
The Orioles mixed defenses throughout the game and forced Prince of Peace (16-5) into 22 turnovers.
“We’re able to adapt our defense to stop what we need to stop,” Zaruba said. “So if there’s times where I have to go to a 2-3 zone, or even a box-and-one, we have girls on our team that know what we’re doing and we know how to stop that.”
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This was the second meeting between the two teams this season. In the first matchup on Dec. 12, Springville edged Prince of Peace, 57-54. Wilson said that practice and getting healthy helped the Orioles this time around.
“It was early in the season, we didn’t get a lot of practice in,” Wilson said. “We had issues with COVID at the beginning of the season, but we haven’t had any since. So I just don’t think we had much practice and were a little rusty.”
With the win, Springville advances to a 1A regional final on Wednesday against No. 10 Burlington Notre Dame (19-1) at Muscatine.
“We can beat anyone,” Wilson said.