Friend controlled the second half against North Platte St. Pat's on Friday on its way to a 42-29 victory in the Class D1 semifinals of the state basketball tournament at the Devaney Center.Friend (27-1) will playHumphrey St. Francis for the state championship Saturday.
St. Pat's (21-5) will play Emerson Hubbard at 2 p.m. for third place. That game is at Lincoln Southwest.
The No. 2 seed Friend jumped out to an 8-2 lead. But the Lady Irish got back into it and they took an 11-10 lead on a free throw by Peyton Irish that ended a seven-point run.
Both teams traded baskets and St. Pat's led 13-12 at the end of the first.
The second quarter was a battle and the score was deadlocked at 18 all at halftime.
Friend started the second half with a 6-0 run and the Bulldogs took a 24-18 lead after a pair of free throws by Taylor Menke.
The Irish were outscored 15-5 in the third quarter as they trailed 33-23 going into the fourth. That was pretty much the difference in the game as St. Pat's couldn't make up any ground in the final period.
Friend is the favorite for the title in D1. Emerson-Hubbard upset the No. 1 seed, O'Neill St. Mary's, in the first round on Thursday.
Humphrey St. Francis, the fifth seed, advanced by defeating No. 4-seed Boyd County in the first round.