The first time Millard West and Bellevue West played this season, the game went into overtime.

The rematch Tuesday night wasn’t nearly so close.

The visiting Wildcats rode a strong first half to a 58-43 victory in an A-1 district semifinal. Millard West advances to Thursday night’s district final at Millard South while the Thunderbirds’ season ends at 11-12.

Millard West, which never trailed, led 14-5 after the first quarter and 28-11 at halftime. It was a surprising start considering the Dec. 29 game between the teams, won by the Thunderbirds 62-57 in overtime.

“We hit our shots and we guarded them like crazy,’’ Wildcats coach Marc Kruger said. “To hold a team like that to 11 points in the first half is something.’’

Bellevue West was 2 of 20 from the field in the first half, sinking one basket in each quarter.

“I felt like we were sleepwalking,’’ Thunderbirds coach Rick Mintken said. “We just seemed to have no energy.’’

Mintken said he didn’t see the lethargic start coming.

“We had a good week of practice,’’ he said. “But they’re playing well and they made all of the plays tonight.’’

It didn’t get any better for Bellevue West in the third quarter as the Wildcats extended their lead to 22 after a seven-point run by Taylor Farrell. The junior guard finished with 19 points, one of four Millard West players in double figures.

The Thunderbirds also weren’t getting much production from top scorer Akili Felici, who averages almost 16 per game. She was 0 for 8 from the field in the first three quarters before breaking through with a strong fourth.

Felici scored 11 of Bellevue West’s 12 fourth-quarter points but it wasn’t enough. The Thunderbirds closed to 48-38 with 3:40 left but could draw no closer.

“We waited too long to turn on the jets,’’ Mintken said. “We made a run but just didn’t get there.’’

The Wildcats also did their part to wreck any comeback hopes, sinking 15 of 16 free throws — 10 for 10 in the fourth quarter.

“I thought we did a better job of limiting Akili this time around,’’ Kruger said. “And we had Nicole (Hruby) this game, and she didn’t play the first time.’’

Hruby, a 5-foot-10 senior, helped slow  Bellevue West center Laura Jurek. Hruby finished with 11 points and six rebounds while Jurek, the school’s career rebounding leader, had eight points and six rebounds.

Jenna Bohaty chipped in 13 points for Millard West while Chaise Pfanstiel added 10. The Wildcats shot 46 percent from the field and 93 percent from the foul line.

Felici scored 15 to pace the Thunderbirds, while Meleah Turner had 11.

The Wildcats, who have won 10 of their last 11, move on to play at top-ranked Millard South at 7 p.m. Thursday in the A-1 district final.

“All the pressure is on them,’’ Kruger said. “We really feel as though we have nothing to lose.’’

Millard West (13-10)...........14 14 18 12—58

Bellevue West (11-12)............5 6 20 12—43

MW: Chaise Pfanstiel 3-8 4-4 10, Taylor Farrell 7-14 3-3 19, Lindsay Adams 0-1 0-0 0, Katelyn Osborne 1-5 0-0 2, Honnah Leo 1-5 0-0 3, Jenna Bohaty 4-6 5-5 13, Nicole Hruby 4-4 3-4 11. Totals 20-43 15-16 58.

BW: Akili Felici 4-12 4-4 15, Asja Woodard 1-5 0-0 2, Heather Richard 0-2 0-0 0, Emma Mullendore 2-4 0-0 4, Meleah Turner 4-11 1-4 11, Kayla Elmore 1-3 0-0 3, Morgan Braun 0-2 0-0 0, Bri Hoffman 0-1 0-0 0, Laura Jurek 2-5 4-4 8. Totals 14-45 9-12 43.

3-point goals: MW 3-16 (Farrell 2-5, Leo 1-4, Pfanstiel 0-3, Osborne 0-4); BW 6-19 (Felici 3-7, Turner 2-4, Elmore 1-2, Richard 0-1, Woodard 0-2, Braun 0-2). Rebounds: MW 34 (Osborne, Leo, Bohaty, Hruby 6); BW 23 (Jurek 6). Total fouls: MW 13; BW 14. Turnovers: MW 12; BW 10. Field-goal percentage: MW .465; BW .311. Free-throw percentage: MW .937; BW .750.

Mike covers high school sports, primarily volleyball in the fall, girls basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring and summer. He also reports on horse racing for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @MPattersonOWH. Phone: 402-444-1350.

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