High School Sports

Merkel uses balanced effort, late push to advance past Poth, 56-47

AUSTIN, Texas - Three Merkel lady Badgers scored at least ten points, and Allison Szabo poured on 15 of her own to compliment 10 rebounds, as the ladies beat Poth 56-47 on Friday. They advance to play 4-time defending 2A champ Brock on Saturday.

One way to describe the team effort put up by Merkel is the "sharing is caring" mentality displayed throughout the game. The lady Badgers racked up 13 assists in the semi-final victory, compared to Poth's 11.

And no one player dominated the game for more than a couple buckets at a time. The team effort resulted in veteran leaders Allison Szabo, Macy Mays and Ciara Cope scoring at least 10 points apiece.

Poth was unable to find a rhythm and put the ball through the net for much of the first half, shooting just 20 percent from the floor thanks to a staunch defensive effort on the part of Merkel. Poth's 33 percent shooting in the second half was enough to spark the team to a tie in the third quarter. Merkel responded by out-scoring its opponent 20-14 in the final period.

Merkel advances to play Brock for the 2A state title, a crown which has belonged to Brock for 7 of the last 11 years and the previous four straight. Before that long stretch of titles, Jim Ned won the crown in 2008.

Merkel and Brock play for the state title on Saturday, at 1:30pm in the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.

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