BERNALILLO — Grady coach Alicia Rush knew it would be hard to beat Mosquero a fourth time this season.
Hard might have been an understatement.
Joni Lampley scored 18 points and Grady rallied in the final two minutes to beat Mosquero 51-47 Thursday in a Class B girls state semifinal game.
Grady beat Mosquero by at least 10 points in the teams’ frist three meetings.
“I just told the girls to keep pushing the ball,” Rush said. “We pressed the entire second half and I think we just finally wore them down.
“The majority of our points came off transition, steals and pushing the ball.”
Mackenzee Starbuck added 10 points for the second-seeded Bronchos (20-10), who face top-seeded Elida 2 p.m. today in the state title game.
Points were at a premium in the first half Thursday, which ended with Mosquero up 17-12. Sarah Daniels, a 5-foot-4 eighth-grader, hit a 3-pointer to start the second half to put the Pirates (14-13) up eight.
Rush said the Bronchos, who took their first lead of the game at the four-minute mark, were down by four with 1:53 to go.
Senior Mandy Rush scored on a layup to make it 48-47. Brenna Thomas his 3-of-4 free throws to seal the win.
Grady used a triangle-and-two on senior post Erin Hayoz and land sharpshooter Lynda Laumbach, with the idea of making Daniels beat them.
The move almost backfired as Daniels hit four 3-pointers and led the Pirates with 16 points. Hayoz added 14 points, most on putbacks.
“I have to give it to (Daniels),” Rush said. “She stepped up, especially for an eighth-grader.”