Jackson, Farmington, Massac County and Notre Dame all won first-round games.
The Notre Dame girls basketball team used a 10-0 run over the final few minutes of the third quarter to open a 15-point lead and held on for a 77-63 victory over fifth-seeded Sparta on Tuesday in the quarterfinal round of the Saint Francis Medical Center Holiday Classic at the Show Me Center.
Meridith Medlin and Brooke Beussink, who was filling in for injured Allison Toole, combined for 18 points in the deciding third quarter. Notre Dame, the fourth seed, led just 30-29 at the half before exploding for 26 points in the third period.
"Meridith got a little rattled in the first half, but she settled down in the second half," Notre Dame coach Jerry Grim said. "Brooke, she was in the lineup due to Allison's injury, and she stepped up."
Notre Dame will play No. 1 Jackson at 7 p.m. today in one semifinal, while Farmington will play Massac County in the other semifinal.
While playing mostly man-to-man defense in the opening half, Notre Dame switched to a zone late in the half and stayed in a zone in the second half. The move paid dividends right away, helping the Bulldogs erase a 27-21 lead late in the second quarter to go ahead by one at the break.
Sparta guard Lauren Buch, who had eight points at halftime, managed just two points in the second half. Fellow guard Kasey Claybourn was held to just 10 points, with most of those coming late in the game.
"We went to the zone to stop their penetration," Grim said. "That seemed to frustrate them a bit."
Key to Notre Dame's victory was its success from the free-throw line. The Bulldogs were coming off a 9-for-22 performance from the line in a one-point loss Saturday. Notre Dame made 11 straight free throws in one stretch in the second half and shot 15-of-23 from the line in the fourth quarter when Sparta fouled to try to get back in the game.
"Free throws, all that is is a little concentration," Grim said. "That stuff can be corrected."
Kristain Burger kept Notre Dame in the game early with 10 first-quarter points and 13 in the first half. Notre Dame jumped to a 9-1 lead, but Sparta used several big runs to stay in the game. An 8-0 run by Sparta early in the second quarter gave Sparta its first lead at 21-19, and a 6-0 run later in the quarter gave Sparta its biggest lead at 27-21.
Notre Dame's 9-2 run to close the half helped it secure the lead at the half.
"What we didn't do well is block off the boards," Grim said. "At the half, they had 20 rebounds, with a number of offensive rebounds."
Burger finished with a game-high 21 points for Notre Dame. Medlin had 20 points, and Beussink finished with 16. Claudia Brauss added nine points off the bench.
"The team played well as a team today," Grim said. "This time of year you can't ask much more than that."
Liere Dancy and Ashley Perry scored 15 points apiece for Sparta. Buch and Claybourn had 10 apiece.
The Indians (6-0) routed No. 8 Woodland 91-16 behind 37 points from Bobbie Jones. Andrea Barnes added 13 points for Jackson.
Tasha Lincoln led Woodland (3-4) with eight points. Woodland will play Sparta in a consolation semifinal today.
Second-seeded Farmington advanced to the semifinals with a 59-31 rout of No. 7 Central. Farmington outscored Central 31-12 in the second half.
Freshman center Wendi Zickfield led the Tigers (1-5) with nine points.
Third-seeded Massac County topped No. 6 Perryville 55-31.
Annette Weibrecht led the Pirates (2-3) with nine points.
Notre Dame 77, Sparta 63
SPARTA (63) -- Liere Dancy 15, Ashley Perry 15, Lauren Buch 10, Kasey Claybourn 10, Grace Weber 7, Bridget Holloway 2. FG 27, FT 8-14, F 25 (3-pointers: Weber 1. Fouled out: Buch, Dancy, Claybourn)
NOTRE DAME (77) -- Kristain Burger 21, Meridith Medlin 20, Brooke Beussink 16, Claudia Brauss 9, Amanda Toole 8, Miranda Schlosser 3. FG 24, FT 25-38, F 16 (3-pointers: Medlin 2, Beussink 2. Fouled out: none)
Jackson 91, Woodland 16
WOODLAND (16) -- Tasha Lincoln 8, Cortney Glastetter 6, Whitney Woods 2. FG 8, FT 0-1, F 9 (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none)
JACKSON (91) -- Andrea Barnes 13, Kara Vangilder 3, Cody Goodpasture 5, Tara Kelley 6, Lindsay Poole 8, Kylie Werner 8, Gabrielle Garritano 4, Ashley Charbonneau 3, Bobbie Jones 37, Amanda Peiffer 4. FG 37, FT 11-11, F 6 (3-pointers: Barnes 3, Kelley 2, Poole 2, Werner 2, Goodpasture 1, Jones 1. Fouled out: none)
Farmington 59, Central 31
CENTRAL (31) -- Wendi Zickfield 9, Courtney Schuessler 5, Tierra Walker 6, Christina Sexton 5, Dani Gross 1, Katie Mothershead 3, Gina Yarbrough 2. FG 10, FT 9-14, F 11 (3-pointers: Sexton 1, Mothershead 1. Fouled out: none)
FARMINGTON (59) -- Sydney Winslow 21, Danielle Littrell 12, Natalie Sago 9, Briley Milfeld 6, Tiffany Sucharski 3. FG 25, FT 7-10, F 10 (3-pointers: Sago 1. Fouled out: none)
Massac County 55, Perryville 31
PERRYVILLE (31) -- Meghan Roth 2, Krista Miesner 5, Amber Hacker 5, Annette Weibrecht 9, Alyssa Bauwens 2, Chastity Marr 2, Kendra Schilli 2. FG 10, FT 9-10, F 16 (3-pointers: Miesner 1, Weibrecht 1. Fouled out: none)
MASSAC COUNTY (55) -- Jackie Jacobs 5, Josha Rogers 14, Destiny Mitchell 14, Brandi George 4, Kamryn Hosman 2, Mallory Gentry 15. FG 19, FT 10-16, F 15 (3-pointers: Mitchell 3, Gentry 3, Rogers 1. Fouled out: none)