MOKANE — The state-ranked South Callaway Lady Bulldogs were punishing in the prelude to a championship clash.
Senior guard Paige Clubb tallied a game-high 24 points as No. 2 seed South Callaway dismantled the No. 3 South Shelby Lady Cardinals in a 79-43 blitz in the Class 3, District 7 semifinals Wednesday night.
The Lady Bulldogs are now 19-2 on the season, winners of 15 of their last 16 and ranked sixth in Class 3 by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association.
"The girls played very well — this is one of the best games they've played so far this season," South Callaway head coach Daniel Burns said. "It's a great time to play that way."
The Lady Bulldogs' dominating win sets up an eagerly anticipated showdown Friday night in Monroe City against the top-seeded and second-ranked Lady Panthers for the District 7 title.
Monroe City (23-2) reached the championship with an impressive 66-35 rout of No. 4 seed Father Tolton in Wednesday night's other District 7 semifinal.
"Monroe City is obviously ranked second for a reason — they play a really tough schedule," Burns said. "They're big and they're long.
"We'll have to show up and do the things that we do. It'll be a physical game and a tough game — it'll be a big challenge."
South Callaway didn't allow South Shelby to offer any kind of a test Wednesday night. The Lady Bulldogs marched to a 25-4 advantage after one quarter and expanded its lead to 50-22 at halftime.
South Callaway was on top 69-38 going into the fourth quarter.
"I liked the girls' overall intensity from the opening tip," Burns said. "They made a statement and they kept going and going. They were relentless."
Clubb was one of four players to finish in double figures for the Lady Bulldogs. Senior center DeLaney Horstman provided 22 points and junior guards Hailee Potter and Raegan Brown added 16 and 12, respectively.
"We were very efficient on offense and we took care of the ball," Burns said.
Emma Dovin responded with 18 points to direct three players in double figures for the Lady Cardinals (15-11). Miranda Patterson contributed 11 points and Kaylee Gains had 10.
"Defensively, our game plan was to try to limit numbers, contest jump shots and rebound," Burns said. "I thought we did a pretty good job with that."