RICHMOND — Mt. Vernon is one win away from redemption.
The 3A No. 6 Marauders defeated No. 7 Rushville 59-51 Saturday at the Richmond Semistate to earn a berth in the State Finals.
MV (22-4) will take on No. 2 Hamilton Heights (23-2) at 6 p.m. Saturday at Indiana State University’s Hulman Center. The gold and black fell to Ft. Wayne Concordia 42-39 in last season’s state championship.
At Crown Point Saturday, HH beat No. 4 Benton Central 69-58 to claim its first-ever semistate title.
The Marauders and Huskies met on Nov. 21 in Fortville, with Hamilton Heights winning 70-61.
Saturday at the 8,100-seat Tiernan Center, Mt. Vernon sprinted out to a 17-4 lead after a quarter, increasing its margin to 18 in the second before taking a 33-18 advantage into intermission.
MV was out in front 42-31 after three frames. But, the Lions (22-4) made a run in the fourth.
Rushville got within five on three separate occasions, but the Marauders hit 15-of-19 free throws in the final eight minutes to seal the triumph over their Hoosier Heritage Conference rivals.
“It feels wonderful,” Mt. Vernon coach Julie Shelton said of MV’s third semistate crown. “I couldn’t be happier right now.”