For about eight minutes on Thursday night, Silverado High’s girls basketball team looked as if it was in big trouble.
That was before senior center Jessica Schmidt took over.
After a slow start, Schmidt exploded for 26 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Skyhawks to a 50-45 victory over Tech in their Sunrise Region semifinal game at Green Valley.
The win lifted Silverado (24-9) into today’s 5 p.m. championship game against Green Valley (27-3). The Gators won all three regular-season meetings between the teams.
“We finally got some momentum,” said Schmidt, whose team trailed the Roadrunners 12-4 late in the first quarter. “It just built up. Once you have momentum, things seem to go much better.”
After trailing 14-9 at the end of the first quarter, Silverado used a 7-2 run to get back into the game. Schmidt’s 13 second-quarter points helped the Skyhawks take a 25-21 lead into halftime.
Silverado coach Diane Hernandez said she was forced to change tactics after her team fell behind early.
“It was a game plan that wasn’t working,” she said. “The girls were a little tense, and they weren’t rotating the ball. We made some adjustments and got a couple of quick baskets.”
In fact, Schmidt scored all but three of Silverado’s 16 second-quarter points.
“They were allowing us to get the ball back to our point guard,” Hernandez said. “When they did that, (Schmidt) was under the basket, and we got a lot of easy baskets.”
As Tech (14-9) began covering Schmidt tighter in the third quarter, several other players helped the Skyhawks expand the lead to 41-32.
But the Roadrunners weren’t done. Mechel’la Logan opened the fourth quarter aggressively, igniting an 8-0 run that cut Tech’s deficit to 43-40. A steal and a layup by teammate Adriana Heredia moments later cut it to 46-44.
But a basket by guard Shea Collins with 1:04 left helped to squelch the Roadrunners’ momentum until the clock ran out.
Mikayla Thielges finished with nine points and 12 rebounds for the Skyhawks, and Collins added nine points and three steals.
Logan scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half to lead the Roadrunners.
• Green Valley 56, Basic 37 — Jazmine Jarvis scored 16 points to help the Gators roll past the Wolves (19-14).
Though standout point guard Victoria Naylor was held to five points on 1-for-12 shooting, Green Valley coach Lorenzo Jarvis never saw a reason for concern.
“We’re a team,” he said. “We’ve played as a team all year, and it doesn’t matter who scores.
“Victoria is our leader, but it doesn’t matter if one girl’s off.”
Danielle Christenson nailed four second-half 3-pointers to finish with 14 points and 10 rebounds for Green Valley, and teammate Sarah Pickus had 13 points, 11 rebounds and three steals.
Though the Wolves kept the score close in the first quarter, poor outside shooting led them to a 21-14 halftime deficit.
“We knew they had some good shooters from outside,” Jarvis said. “So we decided to pressure them out there and make them earn it.”
The plan worked, as Basic shot 1-for-18 on 3-point attempts.
Marquichea Burns had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Wolves, and teammate Michaela Thomas added 10 points and 10 rebounds.