The Cardinals advance to meet South Range in a sectional final Wednesday.
HANOVERTON -- Amber Bodrick scored 32 points and teamed with Colleen Zajac for a dominating 1-2 punch, leading Cardinal Mooney High to a 52-45 victory over Columbiana in the opening round of the girls Division III basketball tournament at United High School Saturday night.
Bodrick also had 16 rebounds, and Zajac finished with 22 rebounds as the Cardinals (12-7) advanced to a sectional final Wednesday at 6 p.m. against South Range.
The Cardinals trailed 9-6 after one quarter, but held Columbiana (17-4) scoreless for the first 4 minutes, 13 seconds of the second period, taking an 18-9 lead. The Clippers got back to 18-17 in the final minute of the half, before Bodrick scored a layup and 3-pointer, finishing an 11-point quarter and 17-point half, to give Mooney a 23-17 lead at the intermission.
The Cardinals extended their lead to 36-21 by the end of third period as Bodrick scored 11 more points, including three three-point plays.
"I thought we played well in spurts," said Mooney coach Jack Bermann. "We went down early and pressed [full-court] a little bit to get back into the game. The third quarter we steadily pulled away which was a good thing."
Leading the way
Kacie Kubik added eight points and Gina Brunetti scored five for the Cardinals, who shot 16-of-38 (42.1 percent) for the game. Bodrick had 28 points after three quarters, though, outscoring Columbiana by herself.
"I hate to single kids out," said Bermann. "Amber played a great game offensively, the stats just bear that out. Brunetti hit some big shots, Colleen played great inside again.
"Everybody played well, it just wasn't just one person and that's been our thing all year. Everybody's got their little role and that's how things are getting done right now. You don't have to score to be important."
Clippers rally back
Still, Columbiana was able to rally from 15 points behind entering the fourth quarter to seven in the final minutes. The Cardinals were 12-of-16 at the foul line down the stretch and 19-for-28 overall.
"The fourth quarter went a little nuts and made it interesting," said Bermann, "but we always had enough of a lead and we hit free throws down the stretch which is what you are supposed to do for a tournament team.
"Columbiana is 17-3 and won their league three years running. They weren't going to fall over and play dead."
Columbiana coach Wayne Johnson said his team played "pretty well, just not good enough.
"We did not get transition offense, we couldn't get anything going," he said. "Even when they were scoring we were trying to push the ball up but we couldn't get any kind of transition offense."
Johnson said he was concerned about both Bodrick and Zajac.
"We shut one of them down but we couldn't shut down the other one," he said. "Those three-point plays in the third quarter [were] huge. We fouled her and she finished; we couldn't get back from that."
The Clippers were 13-of-42 (31 percent) from the floor and 16-for-20 at the foul line. Audrey Davidson led Columbiana with 16 points, while Lisa Simon added 10. Whitney Goist had six rebounds and four assists, and Krista Johnson had four steals.
"We scored only 12 points in two quarters -- we haven't done that too often this year," said Wayne Johnson. "They play good help defense and we couldn't get too many wide open looks."