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Brooke Derstler got things started for Hardin-Central Tuesday night as the Lady Bulldogs stopped Hale 68-47 in the first round of the CLAA Tournament at Tina-Avalon.
Derstler, who ended the night with a game-high 26 points, put 13 of those on the board with the help of three 3-point buckets in the opening quarter as the Lady Dawgs grabbed a 20-11 lead.
Hale stayed within striking distance until a 27-10 Hardin-Central scoring advantage in the third period boosted the No. 4 seeded Lady Bulldogs to their ninth win in a row.
The Lady Cardinals had cut the Hardin-Central lead to 20-15 at the intermission, but then the Lady Bulldogs regained their scoring touch in the third period with Allison Oyler hitting for 8 of her 10 points.
Brianne McGuire ended the contest with a double-double for Hardin-Central with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Reanna Newham and Megan Layman each added 8 points, with Morgan Nail scoring 3 for the Lady Dawgs.
In addition to her scoring, Derstler also dished out 5 assists with Oyler also credited with 5 helpers, while Newham had 4 assists.
Layman led in steals with 6 in addition to blocking a pair of Cardinal shots.
Megan Fisher led the scoring for Hale with 14 points, followed by Casey Childress with 12, and Alison Eggers with 11.
Hardin-Central is now 17-3 overall and will face top-seeded Tina-Avalon in Thursday’s semifinal contest. The Lady Bulldogs have won both meetings with the Dragons this season – 85-62 in the Braymer Invitational semifinals in January, and a 54-42 victory at home a couple of weeks later.