VALMEYER — Known more for her ability to outrun opponents on the track, Metro East Lutheran senior Jessica Jump helped the Knights chase down Gibault on Tuesday at the Class 1A Valmeyer Regional.
A future NCAA Division I track and field athlete, Jump prolonged her basketball career at least one more night as she scored 27 points to help Metro East Lutheran to a 60-50 win over the Hawks.
Third-seeded Gibault (14-10) led 31-27 at halftime and when Cierra Colbert and Kendra Davis both scored n the opening minute of the third quarter, the Hawks had an eight-point lead.
But with Jump scoring five points and Johanna Johnson adding a pair of short jumpers, the Knights went on a 12-0 run to take the lead.
"She's our sparkplug," Knights coach Rob Stock said of Jump. "She's quick and when she gets out on the break she's tough to stop. I thought we did a much better job of moving the basketball in the second half. We got better looks and we were able to knock them down."
Jump wasn't done. After Gibault junior Courtney Schutt hit a pair of jumpers to tie the game at 48 early in the fourth quarter, Jump scored six of the Knights next seven points as Metro East went on a 9-2 run to put the game away.
A basket by Johnson made the score 57-48 with under two minutes remaining and all but clinched the Knights berth into the title game on Thursday.
Seeded second, Metro East Lutheran will play top-seed Lebanon (16-9) for the regional title at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Getting a brilliant first half effort from Kendra Davis and Kellie Kapp, Gibault led by as many as eight points in the first half. Davis scored 10 of her 16 points in the first quarter while Kapp had 11 of her 14 in the second period.
Gibault led 31-27 at halftime.
"I thought we did a good job of getting good shots and we were making them in the first half,'' Hawks coach Jill Puckett said. "Our defense created turnovers. But in the second half, I think maybe fatigue set in a little bit and our defense suffered a little bit. Still, we had a good year and we improved. As a coach that's what you want to see.''
Stock also thought the Knights execution was the difference in the final two quarters.
"I think we had 15 to 17 turnovers in the first half. We told the girls we had to have five or less in the second half in order to win,'' Stock said. "I think we were close to that number.
Lebanon 44, Madison 42
The top-seeded Greyhounds will live to see another game after a second half rally boosted them past the athletic Trojans in a first round game.
Sophomore guard Kara Koester scored 14 points and made a key steal with under 10 seconds remaining as Lebanon survived a Trojans upset bid to move into the title game.
Fourth-seeded Madison (8-10) took a 42-41 lead with 35 seconds remaining on a basket senior Leslie Hardin.
But Lebanon came right back three second later and took the lead back when senior Madison Dauch scored.
Forsaking a timeout, the Trojans worked the clock down to under 12 seconds. However off an out-of-bounds play, Koester stepped in front of a Trojans player for the steal with 9.5 seconds left.
Koester was fouled and made one free throw to give Lebanon a 44-42 lead.
Again not calling a timeout, Madison failed to get off a good shot at the basket as time expired.
"I didn't think we played very well. We were nervous and didn't do a very good job of rebounding. There is pressure because it's one loss and the season is over. I think we kind of felt that a little bit,'' Greyhounds coach Doug Schieppe said. "But we made enough plays to win. I think we'll play better on Thursday.'
With Hardin leading the way, Madison outplayed Lebanon for much of the first half. The Trojans led 19-11 at halftime.
But getting a combined 13 points from Koester, Aileigh Wilkin and Dauch, the Greyhounds climbed back into the game with a 16-5 surge in the third quarter.