In its regular-season final, Lincoln Lutheran shot 25 percent from the field and 12 percent from beyond the perimeter.
The result was a 12-point loss to a rated Auburn team.
But it's a new season, and on Tuesday, the Class C-1 No. 10 Warriors hit shots at key points in a 44-42 win against No. 6 Malcolm in a C1-8 subdistrict basketball semifinal game at Lincoln Southwest High School.
Seniors Gabby Mason and Paige Ravenscroft each hit two threes in the second half as the Warriors rallied. Ravenscroft's second three of the half, from the corner, gave the Warriors a 41-37 lead with 3 minutes remaining, and Malcolm was unable to recover.
"It felt good to get our groove back and start hitting some shots," said Ravenscroft, who finished with a game-high 17 points. "We know we're going to have to shoot like that to beat Christian (on Thursday), or shoot even better, but it was good to finally get our groove back because we started playing more like a unit than we have been the past couple of games."
While the offense got back on track, it was the Warriors' defense that impressed their coach. The Clippers made only five field goals in the second half.
"We played real good defense," Lutheran coach Rich Olson said. "Our interior people — Paige, Gretchen (Moll) and Kayla Steinbauer — all played extremely good defense inside, and then we made some shots. Bottom line."
Yes, Lutheran's offense found a groove in the second half, but it was a cut-down in turnovers that keyed the turnaround. The Warriors turned the ball over 14 times in the first half, and yet trailed by only three at the break.
The Warriors (15-7) will play No. 1 Lincoln Christian in Thursday's 7 p.m. subdistrict final at Southwest. Christian won the regular-season meeting by 15.
Lutheran will need to win the game to earned a state bid.
"What I said to the team before the game is … our season starts now," Ravenscroft said. "The whole season we just been preparing for this, we've just been practicing for this and now it's time for us to get it done. It's just one game off the list, we've just got to keep going.''
Malcolm (18-4), meanwhile, will be checking some scores Thursday night and during next's week district finals. The Clippers entered Tuesday sitting sixth in the wild-card points. They sit in good position, but they'll need a little help getting in.
"Now it's the waiting game for us," Malcolm coach Trudy Samuelson said. "We'll have to practice until we find out for sure."
Senior Jaela Zimmerman led the Clippers with 12 points.
Lincoln Christian 70, Raymond Central 35
No. 1 Lincoln Christian (19-5) drained threes, created turnovers and had a big edge on the offensive glass en route to the win.
Senior Super-Stater Chloe Dworak had 18 points and eight rebounds, Tessa Chicoine had 12 points and Olivia Hollenbeck added 10 points for Lincoln Christian.
"We got a lot of touches from everybody and we were scoring inside and out, so we were balanced and not one-dimensional," Christian coach Nick Orduna said. "And then I thought our defense was really good, too."
Ten players scored for the Crusaders.
Senior Ashley Heyen led Raymond Central with 11 points.