DeLaSalle used its length to make short work of St. Paul Como Park in a Class 3A, Section 4 semifinal played at East Ridge on Saturday.
The second-seeded Islanders, who have three starters who stand at least 6-foot, dominated the boards and the paint to build a 39-19 halftime lead and cruise to the victory.
"I think we have a great advantage in being so tall, because a lot of our players can post up — even a short guard," said DeLaSalle junior Nurjei Weems. "And on defense, our length is good for trapping."
Weems scored 18 points to lead the Islanders, who are ranked No. 3 in Class 3A by Minnesota Basketball News. Four other Islanders — Mary Claire Francois, Kiani Lockett, Sydney Runsewe and Mya Williams — scored nine points, while Nora Francois added eight, as they improved to 19-5 on the season.
Third-seeded Como Park (23-3) got big contributions from Ronnie Porter who led the No. 10-3A Cougars with 18 points, while teammates Shania Nichols, Kaylynn Asberry and Jada James each scored 11.
DeLaSalle used an early 7-0 run to build a 13-5 advantage with 12:10 still to play in the first half, then scored 11 straight points — thanks to back-to-back three-pointers by Runsewe and Lockett as well as a three-point play by Nora Francois — to expand that lead to 28-11 with 7 minutes, 43 seconds to go in the period.
Second-seeded DeLaSalle used a pair of first-half runs to build a big halftime lead, then hung on to beat No. 3 seed St. Paul Como Park 68-54 in a Class 3A, Section 4 semifinal contest at East Ridge High School on Saturday.
DeLaSalle, ranked No. 3 in Class 3A by Minnesota Basketball News, improved to 20-5 this season behind 18 points Nurjei Weems. Four other Islanders — Mary Claire Francois, Kiani Lockett, Sydney Runsewe and Mya Williams — each had nine points.
The Islanders used their size to control the paint, using an early 7-0 run to lead 13-5 just six minutes into the contest. DeLaSalle then exploded for 13 straight points to lead 28-11 with 7 minutes, 43 seconds still to go in the first half.
The Islanders scored 16 points in the paint in the first half to lead 39-19 at the break.
Como Park (23-3) did mount a bit of a comeback in the second half, but came no closer than 12 points with 2 minutes, 12 seconds left. DeLaSalle's biggest lead was a 43-19 margin after the Islanders scored the first four points in the second half.
The Cougars got big contributions from Ronnie Porter who led No. 10-3A Como Park with 17 points. Teammates Shania Nichols, Kaylynn Asberry and Jada James each scored 11 points.
DeLaSalle will face the winner of Saturday's second Section 4 semifinal game between Hill-Murray and Totino-Grace in the section championship next Thursday at East Ridge.
The MN Girls' Basketball Hub poll is for entertainment purposes only.