Monona Grove freshman guard Taylor Nelson will certainly be making a name for herself on the basketball court in the coming years.
For now, the time and attention belongs to the Baraboo Thunderbirds girls basketball team and sophomore forward Sam Terry.
Behind Terry's game-high 25 points, including 10 in the third quarter and a pivotal bucket late in the fourth, the top-seeded T-Birds held off a hard-charging ninth-seeded Eagles team, 63-53, in a WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal on Friday in Baraboo.
"There were several times throughout the game when we could have folded," said BHS coach Dave Crane, whose team advances to play Waunakee in tonight's regional final at Verona. "But we were able to get that crucial basket or that defensive stop when we needed it. We did the little things when we had to and we survived."
In a game of momentum swings (eight lead changes), the Thunderbirds countered last.
Baraboo's eight-point fourth quarter lead was erased when Nelson (team-high 15 points) scored six straight points to a key a 9-0 run, putting the Eagles ahead 52-51 with 2 minutes, 53-seconds to play.
But the T-Birds responded on the defensive end on MG's next possession and didn't give up a field goal the rest of the way.
BHS's offense then sprang to life to take the lead for good, as sophomore Emily Brinker recorded three straight points, before Terry sank a turnaround jumper with 1:56 remaining to give her team a 56-52 edge.
From there, BHS kept Nelson in check as well as teammate Ashley Werner (10 points), and iced it from the free-throw line.
"We knew Monona Grove would come in with nothing to lose, but we stayed confident and stayed together as a team the whole way," Terry said. "Each of us has each others back when things don't go exactly our way, so it was hard for us to get to down on ourselves late in the game."
The Eagles led by four after one quarter and went into the break with a 27-23 advantage.
Baraboo trailed most of the third period, but when Werner had to sit with foul trouble, Terry began taking control under the basket dropping in three layups and converting four free throws.
Megan Digmann, who shot 7-for-9 from the line and notched 13 points, gave BHS its first lead since the opening minutes of the game with a bucket off the glass near the 3-minute mark.
Game time tonight is 7 p.m. Waunakee defeated Sauk Prairie in its semifinal, 78-48.
BARABOO 63, MONONA GROVE 53
Monona Grove 15 12 14 12 - 53
Baraboo 15 12 14 12 - 63
Baraboo: Meghan Kreilkamp 2 4-7 8, Emily Brinker 3 1-5 7, Megan Digmann 3 7-9 13, Emily O'Rourke 3 4-6 10, Sam Terry 9 6-10 25. 3-pointers: Terry. TOTALS: 20 22-37 63. Monona Grove: Kelly Calhoun 3 0-1 6, Kelsey Veserat 1 1-2 3, Alyssa Strangstalien 3 0-1 6, Ashley Werner 5 0-0 10, Alexa Kelsey 3 0-0 9, Emily Schmitz 1 0-0 2, Kaitylyn Long 0 2-2 2, Taylor Nelson 5 5-8 15. 3-pointers: Kelsey 3. TOTALS: 21 8-14 53.