HURON -- Defense was the name of the game.
No. 2 Ethan held No. 6 Summit scoreless for more than a 12-minute span and held the Eagles to 13 percent shooting from the floor in the first half for 25 percent in the game.
The stellar performance led the Rustlers (25-0) to a 41-26 victory on Friday in the Class B state girls basketball tournament at Huron Arena. With the win, Ethan advances to play No. 1 Sully Buttes in the championship game at 8 p.m. today.
The two teams met earlier this year at the Parkston Classic, with Ethan handing the Chargers (24-1) their only loss on the season by a 48-42 score.
"It's going to be a great final against a great team," Ethan first-year coach Tom Young said.
Young praised his players' effort against Summit.
"It's been our focus from day one when I met these girls," Young said of his team's defense. "We didn't know for sure if we wanted to go man-to-man or our (1-3-1 zone), so we mixed it up and our girls executed it well, just like they have all year."
Ethan held a 12-6 lead after the opening period and then the defense took over. Summit wouldn't score another point until there was 3:57 left in the third quarter.
"We were prepared for the 1-3-1 defense, and they came out in the man-to-man and it kind of set the tone of the game," Summit coach Mark Amdahl said. "We were rattled the first possession, and hats off to Young for coming out and doing that."
During that run, the Rustlers built their largest lead of the night 26-6, then took a 28-16 advantage into the final stanza.
The Eagles managed to cut the Ethan lead to eight with 6:03 left in the game on two 3-point shots by Nicolette Kneeland. But when the Rustlers needed a basket, it was senior Darbi Gustafson who hit a key three-point play to push the lead back to 11.
The Eagles didn't come within 10 points for the rest of the game.
"I'm proud of our girls in the way we battled back and didn't let it get to us," said Gustafson, who led Ethan with 17 points. "We just needed to come out with defensive intensity right away."
Ethan was 12-of-30 for 40 percent from the floor and 17-of-24 for 71 percent from the free throw line. The Rustlers had 27 rebounds and committed seven turnovers.
Karissa Chamley led the Eagles with 10 points and Kneeland grabbed nine rebounds. Summit (21-4) was 8-of-32 for 25 percent from the field and 5-of-12 for 42 percent from the free throw line. The Eagles grabbed 21 rebounds and turned the ball over 12 times.
ETHAN 41, SUMMIT 26
SUMMIT (21-4): Ma. Zirbel 0-1 0-0 0, Perewboom 1-10 2-4 5, Redlin 0-21 0-0 0, Chamley 3-11 2-2 10, Bludorn 0-1 0-0 0, W. Zirbel 1-3 0-0 2, Kneeland 3-5 1-6 9. Totals: 8-32 5-12 26.
ETHAN (25-0): Hawkins 2-7 2-6 6, J. Gustafson 10-6 4-4 6, D. Gustafson 4-4 9-11 17, K. Gustafson 2-6 10-1 5, Hohn3-6 0-0 6, Bartscher 0-1 1-2 1. Totals: 12-30 17-24 41.
S 6 6 16 26
E 12 20 28 41
3-pointers: Summit 5 (Chamley 2, Kneeland 2, Pereboom 1). Rebounds: Summit 21 (Kneeland 9), Ethan 27 (Hawkins 5). Assists: Summit 4 (Pereboom 2), Ethan 2 (D. Gustafson 1, Hohn 1). Total fouls: Summit 20, Ethan 13. Fouled out: None.