Ericka Mattingly was not going to lose.
The South sophomore didn’t say that Wednesday night in the Titans’ Class 6A quarterfinal game at Koch Arena. She didn’t have to.
Her actions were clearer than any words would ever be as she had a hand in South’s final 11 points to help the Titans escape with a 42-37 win over Washburn Rural.
South (22-1), the defending champion and winners of 44 of its last 45, will face Olathe South, a 59-57 winner over Shawnee Mission Northwest, in the semifinals at 6:30 Friday night.
What did Mattingly do?
“Just about everything,” Washburn Rural coach Kevin Bordewick said. “My God. The things she can do off the drive. She made a beautiful drive, finished with her left hand.
“Snuck in, got an offensive board, we didn’t check her off, she finished off that play. She just takes care of her business.”
South coach Antwain Scales declined a postgame interview and would not allow Mattingly to be interviewed.
Mattingly finished with a game-high 17 points, hitting 6 of 11 shots, including 3 of 6 from three-point range. She also had four rebounds and three steals.
South’s Patriece Dodson came off the bench to hit 3 of 4 three-pointers in the first half, finishing with 11 points, as the Titans took a 22-13 halftime lead.
South had a commanding 26-13 lead at the 6:12 mark of the third quarter.
But Washburn Rural went on a 21-5 run over a period of nearly 10 minutes for the 34-31 lead with 4:11 to go.
There was enough time, though, for Mattingly to take control.
She scored twice for the 35-34 lead.
South relies heavily on Kendrian Elliott inside, but Elliott was in foul trouble, fouling out with 2:49 to go with no points.
On Elliott’s final foul, Washburn Rural’s Lauren Biggs hit two free throws to retake the lead. It was the final time the Junior Blues led.
Mattingly had a defensive rebound and found Madison Northcutt for the easy basket and the lead. Mattingly had another defensive rebound, and an assist to Eledria Franklin for the 39-36 lead.
With 45 seconds to go, Mattingly got a steal and found Dodson on the break as part of the 11-2 run.
“She was pushed into a scoring role, and she knew that’s what her team needed, and she went out and did it,” Bordewick said.
So Johnson scored a game-high 19 points as she helped Maize (19-4) advance to Friday’s 3 p.m. semifinal against Manhattan (22-1).
“They were leaving me wide open,” Johnson said. “So if they’re going to leave me wide open, I’m going to shoot it and drive.”
She did what coach Jerrod Handy wanted her to do.
“Brianna’s not afraid to shoot it, and she’s a good shooter,” he said. “She’s there to win the game. If teams are going to sag off her, she’s going to make it. Teams have started to focus on Keiryn so much inside. We’ve got to have someone to step up and make shots. Brianna has just been phenomenal.”
Stopping Swenson, who has made an oral commitment to Tulsa, should be a point of emphasis for opponents because of her strong post moves and athleticism around the basket. And Daley Handy is a versatile player, too.
Maize obviously prefers to get the easy, inside shots, but BV North shut it down. Throw in first-half foul trouble, and Maize was facing an uphill battle.
“They were double-teaming, triple-teaming inside anything that we threw in there,” Jerrod Handy said. “We knew it. We knew that’s what teams were playing us like. They were daring us to shoot the outside shot.”
With Maize trailing 28-21 early in the third, Johnson hit a three, one of three, and then Daley Handy did, too.
It was in the final four minutes and trailing 43-42, though, that Maize took over.
“We were up one, and it felt like we were down 10,” BV North coach Ann Fritz said. “We had no energy. It was just the last three minutes, last two minutes, we didn’t execute, and it cost us the game.”
Handy got two free throws, then Saige Baalman got a steal and Swenson scored inside, was fouled and hit the free throw.
Seconds later, Johnson got a steal and scored on the break for the 49-43 lead. Handy hit two free throws and Brayden Byrd got a blocked shot.
“To see them be behind at halftime and come out and play the way they did I’m really proud of them,” Jarrod Handy said.
The fans, bands and dance teams:
Maize junior Daley Handy
Maize freshman Brianna Johnson
Maize coach Jerrod Handy