The Rubels shine as Notre Dame girls basketball advances to the Class 4 semis

Notre Dame sophomore Lexi Rubel (24) handles the ball while guarded by Rockwood Summit senior Julia Martens (10) during Notre Dame's 55-35 victory against Rockwood Summit in the Class 4 quarterfinals Saturday, March 14, 2020, at St. Vincent High School in Perryville, Missouri.
Jacob Wiegand ~ Southeast Missourian

PERRYVILLE, Mo. - In the intimate confines of St. Vincent’s High School gym in Perryville, Notre Dame (25-4) punched its ticket to the Class 4 Final Four Saturday with a convincing quarterfinal win over Rockwood Summit (26-4), 55-35.

Elder Rubel bounces back

Sophomore guard Lexi Rubel, who was held scoreless by the Falcons in the first half, came back roaring in the final 16 minutes to post 17 points, the most for either team.

“(Lexi) was battling some asthma stuff there for awhile,” said Bulldogs coach Kirk Boeller, “but we got her an inhaler and she was fine after.”

It was a tale of two Rubels – as Lexi’s kid sister, freshman Tori Rubel, put up 11 points, including two treys.

Getting to the post

Until intermission, Notre Dame had significant trouble penetrating a stifling Rockwood Summit defense.

“We talked about that at halftime,” said Boeller, in his second year as Bulldogs’ skipper. “We needed to get into the paint – and we did that in the second half.”

Notre Dame 'D'

For all the accolades accorded to those who put up points, Notre Dame’s defense sparkled.

Junior guard Delaney Dohogne came off the bench to nab six steals for Notre Dame, five of them in the first quarter.

“(Delaney) gave us a spark,” said Boeller. “It’s fun to watch (her).”

Senior forward Riley Burger was in a game-long battle with Rockwood Summit senior center Jasmine Manuel, six inches taller than the University of Louisville-bound Burger.

Early in the third quarter, Burger and the 6-foot-3 Manuel dove to the floor, scrambling over a loose ball.

Burger, who will run track in college, ended up on her back, scuffling with her larger opponent.

“I thought (Riley) was going to get up hurt (from that),” said Boeller, 32, “but she’s a warrior. She popped right back up.”

More Lexi

Boeller had much praise for the older Rubel after the game.

“When the game is on the line, (Lexi) doesn’t quit, she’s a champion,” said Boeller. “In the second half, Lexi stepped up and took over the game.”

Fingers crossed

If the Missouri High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) allows it, despite concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, Notre Dame will play in a Thursday semifinal against the Lincoln College Prep Tigers (18-9-1).

The C4D15 champion Tigers defeated Grain Valley Saturday, 63-45, to advance to the semis.

If the state sports governing board allows, the Bulldogs and Tigers will tip off at Missouri State University in Springfield.

Given the widespread cancellation of sports competition in the United States due to COVID-19 anxiety, Boeller is glad his team got a chance to play at all this weekend.

Strict attendance limit

Notre Dame and Rockwood Summit were each given 60 tickets to distribute for Saturday’s tilt in Perryville by order of MSHSAA.

On St. Vincent’s court, with a seating capacity generously estimated at 450, the contest had a junior high school gymnasium feel.

Asked how he would feel if MSHSAA suddenly pulled the plug on the postseason, Boeller said grimly:

“I’d be bummed (but) I hope we get a chance to go,” he said.

“We can control what we can control, we’ll prepare this week as normal – but I’d be heartbroken for the girls,” Boeller added.

Notre Dame 9 9 11 26 – 55

Rockwood Summit 4 8 14 9 – 35

NOTRE DAME (55): Lexi Rubel 17, Tori Rubel 11, Emily Kellum 8, Leah Jansen 6, Riley Burger 4, Delaney Dohogne 4, Allie Burnett 3, Alora Smith 2. FG 15, FT 19-25, F 14. (3-pointers; T. Rubel 2, L. Rubel, Jansen, Burnett, Fouled out: none.)

ROCKWOOD SUMMIT (35): Jasmine Manuel 14, Jayla McLemore 8, Raina Bryant 6, Abby Potter 4, Ashley Manalang 2, Ruth Vogel 1. (3-pointers: McLemore. Fouled out: Julia Martens, Bryant.)

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