Tim Young's raspy voice could barely register a whisper Saturday afternoon.
That's nothing a couple days of rest can't fix, however. It was a side effect worth living with after Young's Vincennes Rivet High School girls basketball team defeated Southwestern 58-50 in a Class A semistate game Saturday at the Tiernan Center.
It is the fourth state finals trip in five years for fourth-ranked Rivet (22-4), which won its lone state title in 2011. The Patriots will play defending state champion Fort Wayne Canterbury for the title at 10:30 a.m. at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Ind. Canterbury beat Rivet for the championship in 2009 and '10.
It took a rally to get there, as the Patriots trailed by seven points entering the fourth quarter.
"I thought we showed a lot of composure," said Young, in his sixth season. "Our strength of schedule really paid dividends today. Our kids played like they'd been in that position before."
It was the second straight semistate heartbreak for unranked Southwestern (21-5), which lost 54-51 to Northeast Dubois in the same round a year ago. This one was perhaps even tougher to swallow, as the Spartans scored the final six points of the third quarter to take a 39-32 lead.
But then Rivet methodically attacked Southwestern's 2-3 zone, finding seams to attack.
"It never felt like we going to lose," Rivet junior Lauren Herman said.
Rivet took a 52-50 lead with 43 seconds left on a pass from Herman to Katie Donovan for a layup. After Southwestern's Annie Thomas missed a 3-pointer on the following possession, Rivet made six consecutive free throws in the final 30 seconds to close it out.
Thomas, a speedy 5-4 junior, led Southwestern with 21 points and junior Taylor Eversole added 12 points and eight rebounds.
The Spartans were dealt a blow when 6-1 junior Oda Shackelford went down with an ankle injury in the second quarter. Though Shackelford returned and finished with 11 points and nine rebounds, the injury clearly slowed her in the second half.
"She didn't have the mobility, obviously, that she had before and didn't have the strength," Southwestern coach Bill Taylor said. "But she still changes things defensively inside and gives us that inside-outside presence."
A silver lining in the loss is that Southwestern should bring back its entire team next season.
"We have a whole summer and fall to get better," Taylor said.
Senior Allyson Wehrheim led Rivet with 18 points. Herman and Kelsey Ivers each added 12.