The Emmett High girls stayed just a step in front of Columbia most of the night Tuesday and stayed alive in a District III elimination game, 43-38. The Huskies advance to a second consolation elimination game at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening in Caldwell against Kuna. Kuna lost a semi-final matchup with Middleton, 54-45.
Emmett's first field goal of the game, a Gemma LaVergne three-pointer with 38 seconds left in the first quarter, gave the Huskies a 7-6 lead, a lead they would never give up though Columbia would never go away.
Aggressive defense by both teams forced turnovers throughout the night. Columbia was shutout for the first four minutes of the third quarter as Emmett used free throws to build a nine-point advantage – 23-14. The visiting Wildcats didn't fold, however, rallying to within two points twice in the fourth quarter.
Back to back three pointers from LaVergne helped Emmett ease away from a 30-28 lead early in the quarter. A pair of LaVergne free throws provided a two possession lead in the last minute after Columbia had closed the margin to 40-38 with fifty seconds to play.
LaVergne scored a team high 18 points, including three of six from behind the three-point arc. She also grabbed six rebounds, blocked a pair of shots and was credited with seven steals. Trinity Sammons added seven points and six rebounds for Emmett. Mia Nottingham led Columbia with 18 points.
Elimination games Wednesday evening at Caldwell High will pit Bishop Kelly against Vallivue at 6 p.m. prior to the Kuna-Emmett match up. The winners will meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday to vie for the right to travel on Saturday for a play-in game and a possible State tournament berth.
Top seeded Middleton and second-seeded Caldwell, each with State tournament berths secured, will meet for the District III title at 7:30 Thursday.