ST. PETERSBURG — Playing without much of an inside presence Thursday, Northside Christian looked to a perimeter scoring attack in the Class 2A region quarterfinal.
But once freshman standout Jessica Logemann got into early foul trouble, St. John Neumann pounded the ball inside to 5-foot-11 center Paige Driapsa, who scored 11 of her game-high 13 in the first half to help the Celtics to a 48-36 victory.
"That hurt when (Logemann) got those three early fouls," Northside coach D.J. Jackson said. "Jess does so much for us, scoring, distributing the ball, rebounding, defense, that it hampered us when she had to come out.
"We haven't played well from behind this year so it was tough for us once they built a lead."
Logemann was hit with her third foul two minutes into the second quarter after the Mustangs (18-8) had an 11-8 lead. Driapsa went to work in the post, scoring eight in the quarter as the Celtics outscored the Mustangs 11-0 to end the half.
The Celtics (21-7) built a 16-point lead early in the second half with a 9-1 run.
"They were a tough team and their size definitely hurt us," said senior guard Rachel Logemann, who led the Mustangs with 10 points. "It was a tough way to end the season but I'm happy with the way we battled back at the end."