Morgan Kuehnle scored a career-high 22 points to lead Coginchaug to a 51-43 victory over Hyde in Monday night's Shoreline Conference quarterfinal matchup in Durham.
The junior's aggressive play in the second half set the tone for the Blue Devils who trailed the Howling Wolves by three points at halftime.
"It was a game that we really needed to step up and win," said Kuehnle. "At halftime we were talking about how we wanted to make a impact on Shoreline and this is how we had to do it."
The No. 4 seed Blue Devils struggled to find any rhythm in a first quarter marred by fouls and it seemed that Hyde was intent on payback following the Howling Wolves' two losses to Coginchaug in the Shoreline and state tournaments last year.
But midway through the second quarter point guard Kim Romanoff scored on a pull-up jumper, then stole the ball for a layup and hit Mikayla Wyskiel cutting to the basket to send Coginchaug into the locker room down just three, at 25-22.
Kuehnle took over in the second half, scoring 16 of her career-high 22 points including a layup and foul that gave the Blue Devils a 46-36 fourth quarter lead.
After missing two free throws in the second quarter, Kuehnle went 8-9 from the free throw line down the stretch.
Romanoff finished the game with 11 points while Trayneice Mims led Hyde with 14 points.
Coginchaug will play No. 1 seed Cromwell at home on Thursday at 7:45 p.m in a Shoreline semifinal match-up.
Cromwell is undefeated this season and has already beaten the Blue Devils twice this year, 45-30 on Jan. 4 and 67-40 on Feb. 7. The Panthers were also the only team to defeat last year's state championship winning team, something they managed to do twice.
"What drives me to beat them is last year we could have had a perfect season but Cromwell upset us. I want to try to upset their season. They've worked really hard and they're a really an excellent and talented team, I'll give them that but I think we're pretty talented too and we've grown as a team," Kuehnle said.