St. Anthony's Rebecca Musgrove dribbles through midcourt during the fourth...

St. Anthony's Rebecca Musgrove dribbles through midcourt during the fourth quarter. (March 1, 2013) Credit: James Escher

Down by 11 points to St. John the Baptist at halftime, St. Anthony's put the ball in the hands of its leader, Rebecca Musgrove.

The senior started knocking down shots from all over the court on her way to scoring 22 points and leading the second-seeded Friars to a 44-40 comeback win over the third-seeded Cougars in a CHSAA semifinal at St. Dominic.

"This is my last year, and I was not losing in the semifinals," Musgrove said. "I wasn't gonna let us lose this game so I decided to step it up myself."

Musgrove scored 15 points after the break and added eight rebounds and three steals.

"That's what she does," St. Anthony's coach Ken Parham said. "We expect that from her because she does it on a nightly basis, so I'm not surprised by it."

St. John the Baptist (14-12) jumped to a 28-17 lead at the half, thanks to junior guard Lauren Williams, who scored 15 of her 21 points in the first half and forced the Friars to make some defensive adjustments.

"We had to focus on keeping them out of the lane," Parham said. "They were getting into the lane at will and that was really creating problems for us."

It paid off, as the Cougars were held to just 12 points in the second half.

Musgrove started hitting jumpers, three-pointers and fast-break layups to help St. Anthony's get back into the game. Her transition layup with 5:09 left put the Friars in front, 38-37, their first lead since leading 6-5.

Second-leading scorer Chastity Taylor had been having a rough shooting night, but her teammates still looked to get her going. The junior hit a shot from the low post down the stretch and added a free throw to give the Friars a 42-38 lead with less than two minutes to go.

"It gave me more confidence, them still believing in me and telling me to keep shooting," said Taylor, who totaled nine points, 10 rebounds and four steals.

St. Anthony's (21-5) will face top-seeded St. Mary's in the CHSAA championship 2 p.m. tomorrow at LIU Post.

"They're a very good team," Parham said of the Gaels, who beat the Friars twice during the regular season. "I'm very excited to get to play them a third time, so let's see what the results are this time."

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