CONNERSVILLE — Anderson High School junior Dabriona Williams gave her teammates a Valentines gift and herself a birthday present in the girls sectional semifinal here Friday night.
The Lady Tribe led most of the way and held off a determined challenge by Pendleton Heights to defeat the Arabians 68-55 to advance to tonight's championship game against Mount Vernon.
Williams could not have picked a more opportune time to give her team a boost. The Indians were not beaten but certainly battered coming down the stretch of Friday's game. They were already missing one starter in Chelsea Bentley, who suffered an ankle injury in Wednesday's win over Richmond and may not be ready to play tonight.
Williams took five 3-pointers in the first half and had 15 points at intermission as Anderson posted a 34-23 lead. She finished with a career-high 26.
Then, with under a minute to play in the third quarter, another starter, Ania Daniels, was hurt and the game stopped for over 20 minutes while trainers and eventually paramedics treated Daniels.
"She caught an elbow to the head going in for a layup," said Anderson coach Chad Cook. "It raised a golf ball-sized knot on her forehead. She couldn't see for a minute. I think she was scared too."
Before Daniels was taken away to a hospital just a couple of blocks away, she made one last contribution. She had scored 12 to that point in the game, eight of them coming in that third quarter.
"She wanted to talk to the team before she left," said Cook. "The team rallied around her." But not immediately.
Anderson's lead was nine at the time of Daniels' injury. But it was only 47-42 after the third quarter finally ended. The Arabians had put together a big push in that quarter, sparked by Kiawna Cottrell and powered by seven points from Taylor Siefken and five from Morgan Landes.