Plant opened the second quarter with a 17-0 run and played the fourth period with a running clock in a 74-33 victory Friday over Hillsborough to advance to tonight's Class 5A District 10 championship against Middleton.
The Panthers (22-4) got strong performances from Sheldon Cooley (28 points) and Chandler Flom (26). After the first quarter ended in a 13-13 tie, Plant outscored Hillsborough 55-18 over the next two quarters.
Hillsborough (10-13) wanted to turn the game into a shooting contest and had some success early, but Plant's aggressive style on both ends of the floor forced sloppy offense from the Terriers. Michael Jimmerson led the Terriers with 13 points.
Plant did much of its damage from the free-throw line, going 29-for-40 from there, with Cooley getting 14. It was also the 200th career victory for Plant head coach Mike Phillips.
In the early game, Middleton defeated Chamberlain 65-45 behind a balanced scoring attack featuring Jay Bowie (16 points), Geric Leath (14) and Anfield Khiry (13).
Chamberlain (16-6) won both regular-season contests by a total of four points, but on Friday the Tigers stormed out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Mike Plummer lead the Chiefs with 11 points.
Middleton and Plant split their regular-season meetings, with the Tigers handing the Panthers their only district loss this season.