MOKANE — A duplicate rout has the South Callaway Lady Bulldogs positioned for a shot at a repeat in a rematch.
Top-seeded South Callaway outscored No. 4 Russellville 38-14 in a dominating first half as the Lady Bulldogs breezed to a commanding 69-45 semifinal victory at the South Callaway Invitational Tournament on Wednesday night.
The decisive win was the fourth in a row for South Callaway (10-2), which overpowered the Lady Indians by an identical 69-45 outcome in a Show-Me Conference game at Russellville on Jan. 3.
Wednesday night's win gives the Lady Bulldogs a chance to collect a second straight title in their own tournament. South Callaway will match up with a familiar adversary — the No. 2 seed Hermann Lady Bearcats — in the championship at 4 p.m. Saturday.
"It's an unbelieveable feeling," Lady Bulldogs head coach Darren Humphrey said. "The girls are so excited right now."
Hermann advanced to the title game with a 65-48 victory over No. 3 seed Owensville in Wednesday night's other semifinal. The Lady Bulldogs downed the Lady Bearcats 62-48 for their first-ever South Callaway championship in a memorable clash last year.
South Callaway bolted to a 16-5 advantage after one quarter Wednesday night and then took control by outscoring Russellville 22-9 in the second quarter to establish a comfortable lead.
"That was probably as well as we've played a game of basketball in the first half," Humphrey said. "We forced a tremendous amount of turnovers — we put so much pressure up on top that it throws teams off.
"We had our shots falling and we were able to move the ball pretty consistently. We got good looks inside and we were able to drive the lane. When players relocated, we kicked it out and that allowed us time to get set and get an open shot."
Freshman guard Raegan Brown responded with 18 points to direct four players in double figures for the Lady Bulldogs. Sophomore guard Paige Clubb logged 15 points, sophomore center DeLaney Horstman added 14 and junior guard Raeghan Meyer had 11.
Macey Edwards led Russellville with 18 points.
South Callaway already owns a win over Hermann this season, 60-51 at home on Dec. 6.
"They're tall and experienced," Humphrey said. "It'll come down to a rebounding battle — we've got to concentrate on keeping them off the boards."