NORMAL – Carrollton junior guard McKenzie Ruyle was due to hit some free-throws.
During the second half in a supersectional win over Astoria on Monday, she was 1-for-9 from the free-throw line. In Friday's Class 1A state semifinal against Moweaqua Central A&M, Ruyle missed her first three tries.
"I had no confidence in myself [Monday] and it was just bad, but it worked out and we won and we’re here," Ruyle said. "But I knew I could do it [Friday]."
Ruyle made two of her four free-throw attempts in the final 40.2 seconds to lift Carrollton to a 40-38 victory over Moweaqua Central A&M at Redbird Arena. The Hawks (25-6) are seeking their third state title in school history against Annawan 2 p.m. Saturday.
Junior forward Maddie Struble led Carrollton with 19 points and 17 rebounds.
Ruyle, a 50 percent free-throw shooter, drilled one of her two attempts to give the Hawks a 39-38 edge with 40.2 left. Sixteen seconds later, she converted another to account for the final point. Moweaqua Central A&M’s Taylor Jordan (game-high 20 points) missed a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. Jordan shot 6-for-11 on 3-pointers.
St. Thomas More 63, Teutopolis 43: St. Thomas More sophomore center Tori McCoy's work in the paint is the main reason she's rated as one of the best players in her class nationally.
McCoy stepped out of her comfort zone Friday to deliver one of the key shots that stemmed a Teutopolis rally in a Class 2A state semifinal.
The 6-foot-4 McCoy drilled a 3-pointer near the end of the third quarter and finished with 17 points and eight rebounds to fuel a victory.
The Sabers (32-2), who finished second last season, will play in their second title game in school history Saturday at 8:15 p.m. against either Immaculate Conception of Prophetstown.
McCoy, who's ranked the No. 2 sophomore prospect in the country by Blue Star Basketball and No. 10 by ESPN HoopGurlz, picked up her third foul with 7 minutes, 35 seconds left in the third quarter.
Teutopolis (28-6) managed to cut the deficit to two after Chelsey Hardiek's basket with six minutes left in the quarter.