EMPORIA – Osborne High School girls’ basketball coach Brad Roadhouse was pleased with his team’s effort and play Friday night. Midway through the third quarter, the Bulldogs trailed Hoxie by just four points.

However, the Indians, long known for their fast-paced attack that wears down opponents, finished the game on a 32-11 run. Hoxie delivered a 67-43 victory in the Class 1A Division I state semifinals at White Auditorium.

The Indians – with a little help from some new bench dancing – won their 72nd straight contest (including byes) and improved to 25-0 this season. The Indians will play No. 2 seed Blue Rapids-Valley Heights (24-1) for the championship Saturday afternoon.

“We have just been together for so long, and as the game gets longer, we get stronger, and nobody can stay with us for four quarters,” Hoxie junior guard Carly Heim said.

No. 5 seeded Osborne (20-4) dropped into the third place contest against No. 3 seed St. Paul (22-3). Game time is noon for third place and 4 p.m. for the championship.

“Overall, I can’t be disappointed with how we played,” Roadhouse said. “I think they are a very good ball team. They get the ball up and down the floor quickly. Their transition buckets are what gets them going.”

Top-seeded Hoxie was sluggish in a first-round victory against No. 8 seed Spearville on Thursday.

After the game, the Indians watched a YouTube video of Colby (Maine) College’s “Unique Bench Celebrations,” a video that’s gone viral in the last several days. Hoxie’s bench did multiple moves, including dancing, spins and hand gestures.

“We decided that our team needs to be that loud and crazy, and so they did that,” Indian senior Kristina Farber said. “They were awesome.”

“Just kept us pumped and going,” Heim added.

Hoxie played with great energy against an experienced Osborne squad that starts four seniors, but only goes six deep.

The Indians finished plus-8 on the rebounding margin and forced 19 Bulldog turnovers, 11 more than Hoxie. The Indians led 9-1 early and 19-10 after the first quarter.

“We came out with a lot more intensity, and a sense of urgency,” coach Shelly Hoyt said. “It paid off for them early.”

Defensively, Farber delivered a tremendous effort against Osborne senior forward Jessica Princ, the Bulldogs’ leading scorer and rebounder. Princ finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds in the first round.

“Tina is always amazing, of course,” Heim said with a smile. “She just shut her down, and that’s what we needed.”

Princ had three fouls by the 6 minute and 24 mark of the second quarter, but stayed in the game. She played 31 minutes and finished with four points on 2 of 5 shooting and four rebounds.

“I knew I had to just get up in her and stay on her right hand, stop her from driving the baseline and look inside,” Farber said. “I was really focused on that. I feel like defense is kind of my thing.”

Osborne Senior point guard Baylee Wolters, who was just 8 of 14 on treys all year, went 3 of 6  from beyond the arc for nine points.

Senior forward Caitlyn Miller led the Bulldogs with 14 points, but most of those points came with the game out of reach. Senior Taylor Noel had 12 and junior Briley Pletcher finished 2 of 11 for four points.

“They didn’t guard Briley as much,” Roadhouse said. “I told Briley tonight, ‘If you get the ball, look to shoot the ball.’ ”

Hoxie led 31-21 at halftime, but Osborne trimmed the deficit to 35-31 after a Wolters trey with 3 minutes, 47 seconds left in the third quarter. Against Spearville, Hoxie led 37-27 in with two minutes remaining in the third quarter before it scored 23 of the next 32 points.

“Our kids are just used to the system, and they run our system very well,” Hoyt said.

Hoxie went on a similar run Friday. After Wolters’ trey, junior Lexi Schamberger added two free throws.

Then, freshman Brynn Niblock had a wide-open steal at midcourt and scored a layup.

“They just wore us down,” Roadhouse said.

Sophomore Terran Hoyt added a free throw and Farber scored a wide-open basket to complete a 7-0 run. In the first 4:38 of the third quarter, Osborne had six turnovers, Hoxie zero.

“Osborne has six kids,” Hoyt said. “We knew that we had to wear them down."

Hoxie 67, Osborne 43

Osborne (20-4)

Wolters 3-7 0-0 9, Princ 2-5 0-0 4, Taylor Noel 3-6 4-4 12, Pletcher 2-11 0-0 4, Caitlyn Miller 5-12 3-4 14, Brummer 0-0 0-0 0, Engler 0-0 0-0 0, A. Grabast 0-0 0-0 0, B. Grabast 0-0 0-0 0. Totals – 15-41 7-8 43.

Hoxie (25-0)

Spresser 1-9 0-0 2, Hoyt 3-10 1-2 9, Carly Heim 8-12 0-0 16, Kristina Farber 4-8 3-6 11, Lexi Schamberger 4-8 6-6 14, Niblock 3-3 0-0 6, N. Heim 0-0 0-0 0, Carter 0-0 0-0 0, Allmer 4-5 1-1 9, Washington 0-0 0-0 0, Geerdes 0-0 0-0 0. Totals – 27-55 11-15 67.

Osborne 10 11 13 9 – 43

Hoxie 19 12 13 23 - 67

3-point goals – Osborne 6-13 (Wolters 3-6, Princ 0-1, Noel 2-3, Miller 1-3); Hoxie 2-12 (Spresser 0-4, Hoyt 2-8). Technical fouls – none. Fouled out – none.

Rebounds – Osborne 24 (Miller 7); Hoxie 32 (Farber 7). Turnovers – Osborne 19, Hoxie 8.