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Heidelberg sweeps past East Webster in Class 2A Semifinals

The Oilers stifled the Wolverines on defense, forcing 32 turnovers

JACKSON — When Heidelberg coach Broderick Hall set the table for the Oilers at the start of the season, he told his team their identity would be defense-first.

The girls bought in, and that decision has carried them all the way to a state title shot.

The Oilers suffocated East Webster in the semifinal round Tuesday, beating the Wolverines 59-33 behind a strong second half surge.

“Defense is definitely our identity,” Hall said. “I told the girls that defense travels. Even if you are having an off-night shooting, you give yourself a chance with good defense. We’ve ridden ours all the way to a state championship game.”

Heidelberg will face defending 2A champ Lake in the title game. The Hornets knocked off Belmont in the other semifinal game 60-48 in the other semifinal game Tuesday.

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Against East Webster (23-11), the Oilers (27-7) feasted on 34 turnovers, blocked seven shots and held the Wolverines to an 11-for-43 shooting mark (26 percent) from the floor.

“They weren’t doing anything we haven’t seen before,” East Webster coach Courtney O’Briant-Wright said. “I told the girls we have seen this defense before… we just didn’t knock down shots and we didn’t rebound the ball the way we have the past couple of games to get here.”

Annearrea Ducksworth was the star on offense for the Oilers. She led the way with nine buckets, including four from beyond the three-point arc, to pace the Heidelberg attack with a game-high 24 points. Mariyah Farrell chipped in 14. Anyiah Pierce did work on the boards, pulling down 12 rebounds to go with six points.

D’Aonasia Logan led East Webster with 11 points.