CROWN POINT | Amidst the 47 total fouls called in Saturday's Class A North Semistate, Oregon-Davis found its rhythm.
Despite the difficulty of an up-and-down-then-stop cadence, the Bobcats countered a rally by Lafayette Central Catholic behind the offense of a known defensive stalwart.
Guard Alicia McIntosh, who is better known for her high-caliber defense, led all scorers in a 67-46 O-D win. Her 18 points helped send the Bobcats to the state championship game for the first time since 2007.
"Alicia hitting that first 3, that sparked us," senior Ashley Campbell said. "That spark was good."
When Central Catholic changed its attention to McIntosh, that allowed Campbell, who finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, her chance to shine.
"McIntosh, she's a streaky shooter, but when she's hitting, she's unbelievable," O-D coach Terry Minix said. "Campbell willed us to win. Because of foul trouble, I had kids on the floor that rarely play and she just led like she had all of her starters on the floor."
Central Catholic pulled as close as two points early in the third quarter before the Bobcats (22-2) went on a 10-0 run with five points by McIntosh.
"That's where our bench was able to really come in and play hard," McIntosh said. "With the foul trouble, and with Jessica (Avarone) out, that was tough because she really handles the ball well. We practiced with a lot of different options and the bench played really well."
O-D picked up 11 points from bench players.
Also hampered by foul trouble, Central Catholic had just one player finish scoring in double figures. Angela Tharp hit five 3s and tied for a game-best 18 points.
"We can't afford to get in foul trouble and our point guard, we can't afford to have her off the floor," Knights coach Craig DeVault said. "If the game hadn't been called so tight, they'd have their starters on and we'd have our starters on and it could be a different game. But we had one of our worst games tonight, and we'll learn from that."
Each team had one player foul out and Central Catholic had another two finish with four fouls.
Oregon-Davis won the state championship in 2007, but hasn't been past the regional round since.
The Bobcats will play Vincennes Rivet in the state title game at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute, 190 miles from Oregon-Davis High School.
"I'll drive 10 hours if it means we're playing in the state championship," Minix said. "Being able to be with these kids one more week, wow, that's a lot of fun."