Courtney Smith was once told she and fellow forward DeJour Young were the best one-two combination in the area.
The Concordia Lutheran senior-junior duo showed they could live up to that title Wednesday, combining for 34 points in the Cadets' 56-47 win over Bishop Luers in the Class 3A Garrett Sectional.
“Ever since then I've been in practice like 'Hey let's be the best 1-2 punch,'” Smith said. “We just work together. I know what she does and when she knows where I'm at on the court.”
Smith and Young both scored 17 points, but traded halves with each other on carrying the load for fifth-ranked Concordia (18-3). Young scored 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting in the first half to propel the Cadets to a commanding 31-13 halftime lead.
The second half was Smith's turn to dominate, scoring 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting as Concordia upped the advantage to as many as 26.
The duo combined to shoot 16-of-23 from the field, including a first half three-pointer from Smith.
“We're a two-man game basically,” Young said. “When we're both playing good, it's basically a dynamic duo.”
The two storied programs entered with sectional streaks on the line. Bishop Luers (16-5) had won 14 straight sectional games and six titles since 2007. Concordia had won 11 consecutive sectional games and four sectional championships.
The Knights took a quick 4-0 advantage to start the game, but Concordia responded with a 12-0 run and never surrendered the lead, ending the Knights' sectional run.
“I knew it'd be a tough game,” Bishop Luers coach Denny Renier said. “I never believed we'd get down like we did. It happened, but I just asked the kids to keep fighting.”
The Knights hit a barrage of threes in the final 1:30 of regulation to cut the lead to single digits in the final seconds.
Senior Erin Butler drained four triples in the second half and finished with 14 points. Sophomore Emma Wolfe added 15 points for the Knights.
Concordia coach David Miller said his team's fatigue late in the game allowed Bishop Luers to get open and make the threes.
“There was a little bit of fatigue, but they're dangerous,” Miller said. “There (are) three or four of them that can shoot the three. If they get a little bit of space and get hot, they'll go on a streak.”
But Concordia's offensive scheme was too much for Bishop Luers in the end as Young and Smith helped earn a third win this season over their SAC rival.
“They've got such quickness and we talked about how we wanted to attack off the dribble,” Miller said. “That was big for us.”
Concordia advances to the semifinal against Bishop Dwenger, which beat New Haven 52-48 in the second game of the evening.
The schools will face off Friday in the second game at Garrett. The first will pit Leo (17-4) against Garrett (21-0) at 6 p.m.