MERIDIAN — McBain rebounded from a poor shooting performance in the first half to overtake Beaverton and secure a 61-44 decision Thursday in a Class C girls regional championship game.
The Ramblers (21-2) captured the title and advanced to the quarterfinals for the fourth time in the past six years. They will face familiar rival St. Ignace on Tuesday in Gaylord. The Saints (22-2) defeated L’Anse 81-58 in their title game.
McBain trailed the Beavers 21-10 and 32-25 at the first two quarter breaks before turning the game in its favor with a dominating third quarter. Junior point guard Meredith Hamlet and senior backcourt mate Kara Hughston were locked in like radar, making the nets dance three times each from 3-point land as the Ramblers outscored Beaverton 23-5 in the quarter to turn a seven-point deficit into a 48-36 lead.
“At halftime, we just told ourselves we know we’re a good team and we know what we have to do,” said Hamlet, who teamed with Hughston to score 32 of McBain’s 36 second-half points. “My dad (coach Todd Hamlet) and our other coaches challenged us. They told us if we expect to win we’ll have to play 10 times harder than we played in the first half.”
The message was received and taken to heart by the Ramblers, who not only broke out of a first-half scoring funk in a big way but limited the Beavers to just 12 total points in the third and fourth quarters at the same time.
Beaverton twin guards Mercedes Parker-Urban and Jasmine Parker-Urban combined to score 19 of the Beavers’ 21 points in the first quarter. After that, however, the sisters were limited to just three points as McBain adjusted its defense accordingly.
“We weren’t expecting the Parker-Urban girls to shoot the lights out against us the way they did,” Coach Hamlet said. “Our scouting report told us to pack it in and keep their bigs covered and that’s what we did at first. We had to move our defense out and keep them from getting those open looks.”