JASPER – If anyone in the Jasper gymnasium was unsure if the No. 2 Evansville Mater Dei Lady Wildcats were for real, there was little doubt as the fans left the building. Behind the 1-2 punch of IU bound Maura Muensterman and junior Tori Schickel, the Lady Wildcats ended the No. 4 Lady Lions’ season 62-34.
The two-time defending Class 2A state champs, forced to move to Class 3A this year due to that success in previous years, advanced to take on No. 7 Madison in the regional final. Madison defeated Southridge 66-51 in the first semifinal.
The Lady Lions end the season at 19-5.
Muensterman and Schickel got things going for Mater Dei, combining to go 4-for-4 from the charity stripe in the first minute of the contest. Schickel scored in the paint to make it 6-0 before Kelsi Ash hit from behind the arc to cut the lead in half at 6-3. Muensterman answered on the other end before Kaitlyn Howe scored her first two for the Lady Lions.
Later in the first quarter, Rushville cut the deficit to 10-7 as Casey Yager hit the jumper. A bucket by Mater Dei’s Ali Spahn gave the Lady Wildcats a 12-7 lead after one quarter.
The middle two quarters is where the Lady Wildcats put distance between themselves and the Lady Lions. Schickel and Julie Kelley scored to open the second quarter and Rushville head coach Melissa Marlow called a time out to slow the Lady Wildcats. Mackenzie Campbell scored out of the break, but Muensterman drained a 3-pointer from the right side to extend the lead to 19-9. After a bucket by Campbell on the other end, Muensterman hit a 3-pointer from the left corner to double-up the Lady Lions 22-11. With the lead at 26-13, Howe hit from beyond the arc to cut the deficit to 10, but two Schickel free throws closed the half with Mater Dei leading 28-16.