JACKSONVILLE, Ill. -- The halftime talk inside the Central-Southeastern girls basketball team's locker room probably had something to do with boxing out.
In the final 48.7 seconds of the first half of the Class 2A Jacksonville Super-sectional on Monday night, Breese Mater Dei went to the free throw line three times, grabbed four offensive rebounds and finally scored just before the buzzer to take a 19-18 lead.
After the first 16 minutes, Mater Dei outrebounded C-SE 17-9 and grabbed nine offensive rebounds.
"Every timeout, every dead ball we talked about blocking out," C-SE coach Matt Long said. "I just told them you have to block out. When there was a timeout with a minute left I told them this game was going to come down to if we could get defensive rebounds."
The Lady Panthers took that advice on the way to winning 43-36 and advancing to their second straight trip to the Class 2A state tournament.
C-SE outrebounded Mater Dei 13-9 in the second half, and outrebounded the Knights 5-3 on the offensive glass.
"Rebounding was a huge key for us all night," C-SE senior forward Brianna Hildebrand said. "We didn't do that well. But we worked on other things and came out with the win."
C-SE gets rematch in semis
For the second straight season, C-SE will play Byron in the state semifinals.
Last year, Byron defeated C-SE 55-31 on the way to winning the Class 2A state title. Byron enters the tournament as the No. 1 ranked team in Class 2A.
C-SE, however, is eager for the matchup.
"We've wanted this," Hildebrand said. "We want to go out there and leave it all out on the floor."