Hitting some long-range shots in warm-ups was a good omen for Macy Jordheim.
"Your confidence always goes up when you start out hitting some shots,'' the Thompson High School junior said. "But if you miss a few, then it goes down.''
Jordheim's long-range accuracy was a key as the Tommies defeated Mayville-Portland-CG 59-48 in the semifinals of the Region 2 girls basketball tournament Tuesday at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
Jordheim's team-leading 13 points including three treys and another long 2-pointer.
"We knew they (Patriots) would probably pack their defense inside,'' Thompson coach Jason Brend said. "We needed somebody to hit those perimeter shots, to open things up. We called on Macy and she answered. She's a pretty good shooter. She hit big shots at big moments.''
In the second quarter, the Tommies went on a 14-1 run to pull ahead 26-14 and take the lead for good. Jordheim had a pair of 3-pointers in the spurt and Allie Ness also hit a trey.
While May-Port-CG never regained the lead, the Patriots stayed within striking distance. They were still within 51-44 with 2:45 left after Julia Kohls hit a free throw.
But Jordheim hit from the top of the key to start a 6-0 run. Taylor Zak scored on the fast break off a Mackenzie Hughes pass, then Hughes drove for a basket and a 57-44 lead with 1:36 remaining.
"Those are some of our top scoring threats,'' said Brend, whose team is defending region champion. "They were doing what we needed from them. When they cut it down to 6, 7 points near the end, that's where an inexperienced team could crumble. But we stepped it up. We're battle tested. I think that definitely helped.
"It was a game where we never felt comfortable. May-Port plays a tough defense, with the ability to disrupt things.''
Hughes added 12 points, Carrie Nistler 10 and Zak nine for the balanced 20-2 Tommies.
"We wanted to plug up the middle defensively,'' May-Port-CG coach Ben McClenahen said. "But they made four threes in the first half. That forced us to spread our defense out.''
Hannah Ust's 16 points led the Patriots, with Cora McClenahen adding 14.