BEECHER | Beecher followed its scouting report going into Wednesday's semi-final game against top-seeded Seneca in its own Class 2A Regional.
First-year coach Mike Meyer said they had to shut down Irish guard Alyssa Applebee, deny post player Coley Baker the ball and not worry too much about guard Lexi Brown.
The Ladycats shut out Baker, but Applebee and Brown combined for 46 points in Seneca's 52-44 victory to advance to Friday's championship against Peotone.
"We came into this game knowing one could dribble and one could shoot, but we didn't stop them and shut (them) down and it costs us," Beecher senior center Amari Griffin said.
"We didn't adapt very well to in-game adjustments some times, but our scouting report said 21 (Baker), 12 (Applebee) and 14 (Cortney Helms), and 15 (Brown) beats us," Meyer said. "Let somebody else beat us, and (Brown) made some plays. They're deep."
Beecher (21-7) trailed 10-7 at the first stop and fell behind 27-15 at the half. Seneca upped its defensive pressure in the third quarter to force numerous Ladycat turnovers. The Irish (22-8) opened its biggest lead at 40-23 late in the third before the Ladycats roared back.
Senior guard Rachel Lee hit a pair of 3-pointers and Griffin tallied four points to get the Ladycats within 49-39 with 1 minute and 30 seconds left in the game but could get no closer.
Griffin nearly finished with a triple-double, scoring a team-high 14 points, collecting seven rebounds and eight steals.
"I worked hard, and I think we could've made it to the regional championship had we shut them down and put a few more points up, but that happens," she said.
Lee added 11 points, while classmate Paige Wehling finished her career with eight points and three assists.
"We had a great season -- back-to-back conference champions, and that was one of our goals," Wehling said. "Another goal was (to win) regionals, and that didn't work out for us. It was a close game all the way through. We had a rough start.
"It's not the way we wanted it to end."
Applebee and Brown finished with 23 points each, and only three Irish players scored.
"I think our defense played well for three quarters, and we stopped some things they were looking for," Seneca coach Barb Beck said. "There at the end (Beecher) hit some big threes and got (them) back real quick."
Meyer was proud of what his team accomplished.
"Those seniors have been great for the program," he said.