HOBART | The prohibitive favorites took care of business Tuesday night.
Led by Nickole Finch’s 20 points, Wheeler defeated River Forest for the second time this season 47-29 in the Class 2A Sectional 33 opener.
Not to be outdone, No. 4 Bishop Noll won its 20th game of the season in the nightcap with a convincing 56-41 victory against Bowman Academy.
Finch led the Bearcats on an 8-0 opening run with a pair of short jumpers from 12-15 feet. She also nailed a 3-pointer to spread the lead to 12-2 as Wheeler established dominance early.
The Ingots came out cold, missing their first 12 shots and falling behind 24-4 at the half.
Alondra Avalos caught fire in the third, scoring all nine Ingot points. She finished with a team-high 11 for the game.
Allie Stevenson hit double digits for the Bearcats with 10 points.
In the nightcap, the first quarter was even, with Noll getting seven points from Elena Sobilo. Diamond Harvey had six points on three layups for the Eagles, who trailed 11-10 at the end of one.
Noll cut the lead on a trey from freshman Brenda Pennington and a jumper from Sobilo.
Bowman went on a 7-0 run late in the second with all seven points coming from freshman Rodnikka McCormick. The Eagles led 23-18 at the half.
The Warriors ripped off a 17-2 run to open the third quarter behind 10 points from Pennington, who had a pair of 3-pointers. They built a 37-30 lead at the end of three quarters.
Julia Kusiak scored the first five points of the fourth to give Noll a 42-32 lead with 4:44 left in the game.
Then the wheels came off of the bus for the Eagles. They had six turnovers that fueled an 11-0 Warrior run to ice the game.
Sobilo finished with 12 points, and Pennington scored 16. Tori Keilman chipped in 11.
The Bearcats (9-12) advance to play No. 10 Whiting (18-3) Friday at 6 p.m. The Oilers defeated Wheeler 47-34 in January.
The Warriors (20-2) will play Lake Station (5-15) Friday at 7:30 p.m. They beat the Eagles 58-21 back in December.