DURANT — Taylor Broadnax didn't want to spend tonight watching other teams playing for a district title in her home gym.
And the Durant senior guard helped will the third-seeded Cougars to a 54-50 win over No. 2 seed Tampa Bay Tech on Thursday night in the Class 5A-8 district semifinals. The Cougars (18-4) will face Riverview, a 66-31 winner over East Bay, in tonight's title game.
"We just had to believe in ourselves," said Broadnax, who led Durant with 22 points. "I thought they underestimated us, but when we beat them in their home gym I don't think they'd do that anymore. We had confidence and believed we could win."
Durant, which split the regular-season series with TBT, made every Titans pass an adventure with stingy defense and made life miserable for TBT's defense with timely outside shooting.
After Tampa Bay Tech (19-8) took an 8-2 first-period lead, the Cougars made a 16-7 run to end the half, capitalized by a 6-0 run near the end of the half.
"I think defense is our specialty," Broadnax said.
The Titans rallied to take a 32-29 lead midway through the third period, but Durant hit four straight 3-pointers — including three by junior Ashley Nelson (14 points) — to take a 41-37 lead early in the fourth.
The Cougars also received a strong post effort from Ashley Davis, who scored eight of her 12 in the second half.
TBT didn't go quietly, but missed its last five free-throw attempts.
Erica Young led TBT with 14.
In the first game, Riverview (24-2) held an 11-point halftime lead but took control in the second half, using a 21-3 third quarter to put away East Bay for the Sharks' ninth straight win.
Sophomore Faith Woodard scored 15 of her game-high 25 in the second half and added 11 rebounds, while sophomore Monet Williams added 23 points and a game-high six steals.
"There's something to be said about us staying with it," Riverview coach Lelani Gordon said.
Stephanie Williams led East Bay (12-12) with 16 points.