CEDAR LAKE | Andrean and Hanover Central both earned double-digit first-round victories, but the 59ers' 58-15 win over Calumet came a lot easier than the Wildcats' 57-44 victory over New Prairie.
"It's good to not play your best and move on," H.C. coach Doug Nelson said. "We say it every year. It beats the alternative."
The teams will meet in Friday's semifinal.
Hanover Central (12-9) opened the nightcap with a 7-0 run, but let New Prairie climb back into it and led only 12-10 after the first quarter.
The Warriors did it again in the second frame, beginning with a 9-2 run and growing the lead to 13 points. However, the Cougars (3-16) cut that advantage to five points just before the half.
H.C. led 35-27 at the break.
"That's the factor of youth," Nelson said. "We're coming down on a break, and we shoot an open 3. Let's run some clock. We can get an open 3 whenever we want."
Rebounding was the difference, as the Wildcats pulled down 43, while New Prairie grabbed only 25. Kristen Roper had 17 rebounds for Hanover Central.
Many of those boards gave the Wildcats second and third chances.
"Sometimes if you're not shooting a good percentage, volume is good," Nelson said. "We preach rebounding, and it's a good thing we do, because we sure missed a lot of shots tonight."
Hanover Central didn't pull away until the fourth quarter. Brooke Sterkowitz led all scorers with 21 points for H.C., while Frankie Turturillo added 14.
The 59ers (7-14) got off to a slow start offensively, but eventually cruised by the Warriors (4-17) behind strong defense.
"I have played a few (Calumet coach) Dori (Downing)-coached teams that have beaten us, so we wanted to come out and get after them right away, but I don't think our energy level was there in the first half," Andrean coach Tony Scheub said.
Calumet scored only seven points in the first two quarters.