SPRINGFIELD — Ashland's hopes for a play-in upset were dashed under a mountain of fouls in Class 5A girls basketball action Tuesday.
The Grizzlies were within eight points at the half and still within striking distance in the third, but were whistled for their seventh team foul before the start of the fourth quarter and could not recover in a 60-44 loss to Springfield.
The Millers (14-10) advance to the first round of the 5A state playoffs.
Junior post Michaela Dunn led Ashland (6-18) with 13 points, senior wing Hanna Greenberg added eight points and led the Grizzlies on the boards, and junior guard Georgia Williams and senior guard Sadie Kasiah tallied seven points apiece.
Emma Klym had 20 points and five assists to lead the Millers, who will play in the round of 16 on Friday. Hannah Eddens added 18 points and Hannah Durbin 15 for Springfield, which shot 22 free throws in the second half and 30 for the game (they hit 20).
"The girls really played well," Ashland coach Ashley Hafner said. "This is a really tough team — they were strong, really physical, really experienced in that intense playoff atmosphere. We had a couple pushes in the second and third quarters and just kept pushing through all the foul trouble."
Dunn, who battled foul trouble all night, drained three 3-pointers to help keep the Grizzlies close until about midway through the fourth, when Springfield pulled away.
ASHLAND (44) — Williams 7, Greenberg 9, Teixeira 2, Dunn 13, Sukles 1, Kasiah 7, Walker 0, Read 0, Turner 5, Rodriques 0, Altig 0, Tilley 0. Totals: 15 10-15 44.
SPRINGFIELD (60) — Fleiffner 0, Lyons 0, Baker 2, Klym 20, Durbin 15, Bingham-Doe 5, Eddens 18, Bladwell 2. Totals: 19 20-30 60.
Ashland 4 15 12 13 — 44
Springfield 9 18 16 17 — 60
3-point goals — Ashland 4 (Dunn 3, Kasiah 1), Springfield 2 (Durbin 2). Fouled out — Turner.
The Ashland High boys basketball team will travel to face Crescent Valley in a Class 5A play-in game tonight. The winner will advance to the first round of the 16-team 5A state playoffs, whcih begin Saturday.
Ashland enters the postseason 9-13 on the season, but has won three of its last four games.