By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer
GRADY — A momentum swing late in the second quarter was all Des Moines needed.
The Lady Demons put together a 10-2 run in the final two minutes of the half, highlighted by sophomore Caitlin McGlaun’s trio of 3-pointers, and went on to beat Grady 46-43 on Friday in a first-round game of the Class 1A state tournament.
The late surge narrowed Grady’s 11-point lead to 26-23 at halftime.
“Caitlin hit those big 3s, and that gave us the momentum,” Des Moines coach Jim Doherty said. “And we started playing defense in the second half. That’s been our staple all year long.”
Des Moines (17-9) outscored Grady 17-8 in third quarter to take a 40-34 lead into the final eight minutes.
McGlaun finished with 15 points for the District 1-1A runnerup Lady Demons (17-9), and sophomore Amaris Newkirk added 11.
The eight Class 1A teams advancing Friday to the State Tournament in Albuquerque will be seeded for the quarterfinals.
Senior Jennifer Franklin netted 13 points for District 4-1A champion Grady (14-11). Junior Alora Pond tallied seven points.
“That little 22 (McGlaun) hit three 3s on us and it kind of got us a little rattled, and that was the end of it,” Grady coach Alicia Rush said. “They took over the momentum and we just couldn’t recover.”
Grady rallied from eight points down to tie the score 43-43 with under three minutes left when Pond converted a three-point play. Des Moines retook the lead on two free throws by freshman Audrey Green with 1:54 remaining.
After McGlaun added a free throw, Grady’s Katarina Grau saw her potential game-tying 3-pointer rim out at the buzzer.
Grau wormed her way into the lane for a layup and free throw to help Grady opened a 24-13 with 2:37 left in the half.
“We’ve had a problem all year coming out in the third quarter,” Franklin said. “It’s like we have to start all over again.”