RENSSELAER | Rensselaer senior girls basketball player Laura Tonner hid her face in her hands after missing two free throws after a technical foul was called on Benton Central late in the second half.
It was that kind of day for area teams in the Joe Burvan Gymnasium at the Class 3A regional on Saturday. Griffith battled Plymouth all game long but fell short 32-25 after Benton Central eliminated host Rensselaer 64-28 in the other semifinal game.
Griffith (15-9) led 10-6 after one quarter but fell behind 19-14 at halftime. The Panthers never trailed by more than eight points but couldn’t get closer than three points the rest of the way.
“It’s tough to end any season,” said Griffith senior Samantha Adams, who finished with a game-high 16 points. “But I’m very happy in how we ended it because they are a very, very good team, and a lot of people didn’t think we had a chance.
“We went out there and played hard, and I’m very happy with the outcome.”
Plymouth was deliberate on offense and didn’t give the Panthers many chances to shoot.
“We talk about two things -- competing and executing,” said Griffith coach Tom Golumbeck. “I thought we competed pretty well, and sometimes execution isn’t always there.
“They’re a hard team to play against. They limit your possessions, so I thought we needed to shoot 40 to 45 percent and we shot about 35.”
In the opener, Rensselaer never recovered from a disastrous first quarter and fell to No. 4-ranked Benton Central.
The Bombers (16-8) trailed 24-2 after one quarter but got to within 30-11 at halftime.
“We didn’t get the start that we needed, and they got the start we didn’t want them to get,” Rensselaer coach Jeff Marlow said. “They’re the No. 4 team is the state for a reason, and they have an excellent group.”
After the Bombers scored the first four points of the third quarter, the Bison put the game away with a 14-0 run. The Bison made 14 of 27 3-pointers in the game.
Tonner led the Bombers with 15 points.
“It’s upsetting that we didn’t win, but I’m just glad that we had the opportunity,” she said. “Our goal was to win sectional, and we made it past that.”
Emilie Ziese added seven points and eight rebounds for the Bombers.
“I thought we battled, we battled all the way ‘til the end,” Marlow said.