Sesser-Valier's offense blistered Woodlawn for 47 points in the opening half on its way to a 81-66 win in the 1A regional final Friday night.
“The difference was in the second quarter where we were having a hard time getting any stops,” Woodlawn coach Shane Witzel said. “We probably got a little bit out of sorts, particularly offensively.
“When you're a competitor and you can feel things kind of slipping away from you try to create your own shot.”
Sesser-Valier's Jordan Gunter rained down the points in the opening half against Woodlawn. Gunter racked up 24 points in the opening half. He hit six straight shots in the opening period.
“Gunter had an outstanding game for them,” Witzel said. “And he was really the difference the entire night.”
Sesser shot 16 of 23 from the field in the opening half.
Woodlawn matched Sesser's high-powered offense in the first quarter. The Cardinals canned four 3-pointers and trailed 23-17 after the first. Sesser opened the margin up in the second quarter. The Red Devils started the second quarter with a pair of baskets to push its advantage to double digits. Woodlawn trailed 47-22 at the half.
Gunter led all scorers with 29 points. Four other players joined him in double digits for the Red Devils.
Jayson Hapeman paced Woodlawn with 19 points. Ross Owens and Chase Phelps added 13 points each.
Woodlawn chipped away at the Sesser lead in the third quarter and closed the gap to 12 at 53-41 when Phelps knocked down a 3-pointer.
“That's what we talked about at halftime is to chip away and try and give ourselves a chance,” Witzel said.
Sesser answered the run from Woodlawn with one of its own. The Red Devils countered with 10 straight points to move their cushion up to 63-41.
“About the middle of the third quarter it calmed everything down and then we got the lead back,” Sesser-Valier coach Shane Garner said.
Woodlawn ended the season 23-4 overall. Sesser-Valier advances to the Norris City sectional and will play Tuesday night in the semifinal