Rolla, Mo. (For OzarksSportsZone.com) -- Lauren Aldridge helped key a big Marshfield rally, scoring 14 third-quarter points and as the Lady Jays erased a 14-point deficit en route to a 53-50 Missouri Class 4 sectional game over St. Francis Borgia on Wednesday at Missouri S&T in Rolla.
CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS
Marshfield (24-5) trailed throughout the second half, pulling within two points at the end of the third and within one point with 4:05 remaining in the game. Borgia led by four (49-45) with 2:02 remaining when Marshfield sophomore Peyton Greenlee banked in a 3-pointer to pull the Jays within one (49-48).
After a missed layup by Borgia, Aldridge, a 5-foot-7 guard who has signed to play next season at the University of Kansas, hit a pair of free throws with 36.5 seconds remaining to give Marshfield its first lead of the second half (50-49) lead. Aldridge added two more free throws with 19.7 seconds remaining to give the Lady Jays a 52-49 lead.
Borgia's Janie Arand hit 1-of-2 free throws with 10.7 seconds remaining to pull the Knights within two (52-50), but at the other end, Greenlee hit a free throw to give the 'Jays a three-point lead with 9.1 seconds remaining.
Borgia (25-3) got up a last-second desperation shot, but the attempt fell short at the buzzer.
Marshfield will next face Republic (25-5) in a Class 4 quarterfinal at 12 p.m. on Saturday at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar.
"I think when we started this journey, it was four wins and we get (to the Final Four)," Marshfield head coach Shelly Jones said. "We are down to one. If we can stay focused and do what we did for the 29 other games, I think we will have a good shot at making it."
The Knights went to the half holding a 10-point lead (30-20), then opened the third quarter by scoring the first four points of the second half, building a 34-20 lead.
But Aldridge got hot, knocking down three 3-pointers, a pair of long jumpers and scored 14 points in the third quarter, outscoring the Knights 14-12 in the frame and helped pull the Lady Jays within two points (42-40) heading into the fourth quarter.
"I have to give all the credit to Borgia," Jones said. "I thought they were the more aggressive team that first half and I told them at half time, 'Just a little piece by little piece and we are going to be able to get back in this thing.'
"I thought Borgia shot pretty well, but we didn't play very aggressive. When we turned it up a little bit, we got them off rhythm."
Aldridge finished the game with 26 points and knocked down five 3-pointers and was clutch at the free throw line down the stretch, going 3-for-3 in the final minute of play.
"(Aldridge) hit big shots," Jones said. "She hit big shots against Bolivar (in the district championship game) in the fourth quarter and I thought we all stepped up in every way in the second half. The defense stepped up, rebounding, shot selection stepped up and attacked more.
"Lauren is the captain of the team, as far as being out front, and she hit some big shots. But at the end we got some big rebounds and hit some big free throws."
High school girls' basketball
MARSHFIELD 53, BORGIA 50
on Wednesday, at Missouri S&T
Borgia 10 20 12 8 — 50
Marshfield 9 11 20 13 — 53
Borgia — Emily Grahl 5 2-4 12, Molly Arand 5 0-0 13, Cassandra Halsted 1 0-0 2, Janie Arnad 6 1-3 13, Megan Jensen 3 1-2 7, Kaylee Heggermann 1 1-2 3.
Three pointers (3) — M. Arnad 3.
Marshfield — Lauren Aldridge 8 5-6 26, Peyton Greenlee 1 5-7 8, Makenna Smith 3 0-0 9, Alison Van Diggelen 4 0-0 8, Samantha French 1 0-0 2.
Three pointers (9) — Aldridge 5, Smith 3, Greenlee.