GAYLORD — McBain couldn’t overcome a slow start Tuesday against St. Ignace in a Class C girls basketball quarterfinal clash in Gaylord.
The Ramblers trailed 16-2 after the first quarter and could never regain the ground, falling 54-37.
The Saints (23-2) moved on to the Final Four at the Breslin Center and a date Thursday with Grosse Pointe Woods. The Ramblers’ season ends with a 21-3 log.
St. Ignace employed swarming, suffocating defensive pressure, as expected, and the Ramblers struggled with it at the outset, uncharacteristically turning the ball over six times in the opening quarter. McBain played the Saints on relatively even terms through the remainder of the game but couldn’t trim the deficit to less than 12 points.
“When you turn the ball over six times in seven possessions against a team like St. Ignace, it’s awfully hard to overcome,” said McBain coach Todd Hamlet. “I thought our girls battled back and played pretty well. We moved the ball well and created shots but they didn’t fall for us and St. Ignace did a good job of rebounding and not giving us second chances.”
“That was the toughest defense we’ve faced all year,” said McBain guard Maddie Barnette, who scored four and was one of three seniors to play their final game. “They switched when we picked them and it was really hard to break free and get an open shot.”
The Saints led 16-2, 27-14 and 43-31 at the quarter breaks.
The Ramblers trimmed the lead to 12 points four different times in the third quarter, only to have St. Ignace come back and score on the next possession. Saints sophomore Abby Ostman hit for nine of her 12 points in the third quarter, including a trey, and senior Kelley Wright, who paced the Saints with 15 points, also hit a 3-pointer.
McBain junior guard Meredith Hamlet, who led all scorers with 19 points, drained a pair of 3-pointers and scored 10 of her points in the third quarter to spark the Ramblers. Senior guard Kara Hughston tallied 10 and was 6 for 7 from the line.