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Girls basketball: Eureka's second half key to win in Div. IV North (watch video)

12:00 AM, Feb. 17, 2013 EST

The Division IV North region girls championship was decided over the final two periods, and Eureka came out the victor, 40-31, over Wells on Saturday at North Valleys.

Vandals sophomore wing Beth Damele came off the bench and went on a shooting streak to start the second half with an eight-point scoring spree that included two 3-pointers. Her final 3 tied the game at 24 heading into the fourth period.

"Beth got hot and hit those threes, and it just sent us off," said Eureka junior guard Natalie Norcutt, who finished with a game-high 15 points. "We just had to keep it going."

The momentum-building shot put Wells in a slump, and Eureka pounced with a 14-4 run for a 38-28 lead with about two minutes left to play.

Vandals freshman Taylor Usry led the charge with six points in the final period. She also finished with a team-high six rebounds.

"In the fourth quarter, I think we just kind of broke down because our team was spreading apart and getting mad at each other for not doing our jobs," Leopards senior Ericka Pengelly said. "But I think we'd rather have this loss than take one at state, so hopefully, we'll learn from this and do a lot better in Vegas."

Pengelly contributed nine points and a game-high three assists while her twin sister, Emily, added a team-high 14 points and six rebounds.

Wells maintained a steady lead for much of the first half, building a 17-13 advantage, but couldn't keep up to pace with Eureka's game plan change in the second half.

"(Wells) did a good job with defense and had us playing cautious in the first half, but we talked about changing our strategy a bit at halftime and going more aggressive on offense," Eureka coach Ken Fujii said.




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