FRANKFORT | It's a tall order trying to stop a team that shoots 76 percent from the field.
That was Lincoln-Way East's magic number in the middle two quarters on Wednesday night.
The Griffins, with an infinite variety of drives to the basket and passes to the cutters heading that way, beat Bloom Township 74-59 to advance to today's Class 4A regional final at Lincoln-Way North.
The inability to defend the taller Griffins thus negated the big showings of Danielle King and Anika Johnson. The backcourt duo scored all but seven of Bloom's 59 points, King accounting for 28 and Johnson for 24.
On defense, coach Ron Newquist's plan wasn't followed to fruition.
"We talked about front their posts and make them make alternative moves to get open," Newquist said of the interior defense. "Make them pivot. We didn't. We stayed behind them the entire time. They're too good to stay behind. That killed us."
With East's Claire McMahon hitting a quartet of 3-pointers en route to a team-high 23-point night in the first three quarters, Dana O'Grady scoring 13 of her 18 points in the final quarter on drives and layups, and the Griffins (21-5) shooting 19-of 25 in the middle two quarters and 62.5 percent for the game, Bloom (14-15) gradually fell more and more behind.
"Our defense wasn't as tight as it had to be," Johnson said. "We just let 'em go by."
Between 6-foot-2 McMahon, 5-11 Jill Connolly and 6-2 sub Anna Rose, the Blazing Trojans gave up plenty of height. At 5-8, starter Ariana Dampier and sub Makaya Sanders were Bloom's tallest players.
But Newquist saw a lack of cohesion, rather than a paucity of height, as a determining factor.
"We didn't talk it up," she said. "There's been a lack of communication was a major problem on defense. It's been our Achilles' Heel all year long. Chemistry was a problem. We're still five parts trying to fit."
The Griffins used a 26-point second quarter to take command, as McMahon scored 11 points in the period. Bloom contributed to the carnage by shooting 3-of-11 in the quarter, compared to the Griffins' 11-of-15 sharpshooting.