WATERLOO -- For a while Monday, Prattsburgh appeared determined to do something rival Jasper-Troupsburg could not - make a serious four-quarter run at knocking off undefeated Romulus.
Although Prattsburgh's early 5-0 lead didn't last long, the Vikings still held their own against the state's second-ranked team, trailing by just four late in the first half of the Section V, Class D Far West regional qualifier.
But in the second half, Romulus' superior size, speed and athleticism quickly turned a close game into a rout. The Warriors overwhelmed the Vikings over the final 16 minutes of play and pulled away for a 63-39 victory.
"I'd be surprised if they don't win states," Prattsburgh head coach Jeff Gilbert said of Romulus, which improved to 22-0 following the win.
Romulus simply had too many weapons for Section V, Class D2 champion Prattsburgh (17-5) to contain. If the Warriors weren't capitalizing on second, third, fourth and sometimes even fifth chances on the offensive boards with three starters standing at least 5-11, they were beating the Vikings in transition or a quick move to the basket.
"Romulus is so big, athletic, fast and deep, that you couldn't just key on one girl," Gilbert said. "If you did, someone else would beat you."
The Warriors' full-court pressure led to 14 Prattsburgh turnovers in the opening half, but the game remained close in part because of Romulus' shooting struggles early on. The Warriors hit on just 4-of-19 shots from the field in the first quarter, before eventually hitting their stride in the fourth quarter, when they connected on their first five shots.
Romulus' Jenny Tompkins pumped in three 3-pointers and led all scorers with 19 points, while teammate Maegann Mein came off the bench and added 18 points. Zoe McDonald chipped in with 10 points.
The Warriors used a 13-4 run late in the third quarter to help blow the game open.
Hannah Robbins dropped in three 3-pointers and finished with 13 points to lead Prattsburgh. Teammate Morgan Stratton chipped in with eight points and Allison Gilbert added six points for the Vikings.
Prattsburgh couldn't have asked for a better start, jumping out to a 5-0 lead on buckets from Stratton and Robbins, who unleashed a 3-pointer from the right wing.
But the lead was short-lived as Romulus answered with a 15-0 run that spilled into the second quarter. Still, Prattsburgh persevered and pulled back within four after Gilbert knocked down a 12-footer to trim Romulus' lead to 19-15 late in the first half.
The Warriors, though, were able to open up a 26-17 lead at halftime, before expanding that lead to 44-27 to start the fourth quarter.
Despite the loss, Gilbert was happy about his team's accomplishments as Prattsburgh won the program's first sectional title in 11 years.
"We had a great season and I'm proud of the girls and optimistic about the future," Gilbert said, noting the Vikings will lose a total of three players and just one starter to graduation.
Romulus will move on to play Section VI champ Pine Valley at 5 p.m. Saturday at Finger Lakes Community College.
Girls Basketball Section V, Class D regional qualifier Romulus 63, Prattsburgh 39 Prattsburgh (17-5) Allison Gilbert 2 2-2 6, Hannah Robbins 5 0-0 13, Tori Squires 0 0-1 0, Shana Egresi 1 0-0 2, Kasey Socola 0 1-3 1, Harley Hoad 0 2-2 2, Anna Presher 2 1-1 5, Megan McAllister 1 0-0 2, Morgan Stratton 4 0-0 8. Totals 15 6-9 39. Romulus (22-0) Jenny Tompkins 4 6-8 19, Olivia Bradow 1 2-4 5, Zoe McDonald 5 0-0 10, Cheyenne Howe 1 0-0 2, Breanne Berlin 1 0-0 2, Maegann Mein 8 2-2 18, Jessica Rhone 3 1-2 7. Totals 23 13-18 63. Prattsburgh 5 12 10 12 -- 39 Romulus 10 16 18 19 -- 63 3-point goals: Prattsburgh 3 (Robbins 3), Romulus 4 (Tompkins 3, Brandow).