The Hannibal girls basketball team couldn't match the physicality of St. Dominic during a 48-27 loss in the Class 4 District 8 semifinals.

Kaylee Falconer spun through the lane late in the first quarter to give the Hannibal girls basketball team its first lead of the game against St. Dominic.

Upset-minded No. 5 seed Hannibal moved past five turnovers in the first two minutes by scoring three unanswered buckets to lead the top-seeded Lady Crusaders 8-7 through the opening period.

“At that point in time you start to see in our eyes that the belief is there, the determination is there and that the girls thought this is something that could become a reality,” Hannibal coach Ben Jamerson said.

The Lady Pirates advantage lasted just 1:59.

They never got it back.

St. Dominic overcame a sluggish shooting performance Tuesday night to churn out a 48-27 win over Hannibal in the Class 4 District 8 semifinals at Korf Gymnasium. 

St. Dominic improved to 18-6 and will play Mexico in the district championship on Friday night.

Hannibal finished the season 8-18 one day after lighting up the scoreboard for a 72-64 win over Liberty in the quarterfinals. 

“After last night and the effort and energy that we gave, we just didn't have enough in the tank to continue fighting the way we needed to against that caliber of a team that was rested and ready to go,” Jamerson said. 

After Falconer put Hannibal ahead with 37 seconds left in the first quarter, the Lady Pirates managed just one field goal the remainder of the first half.

Brianna Morrow, St. Dominic's 5-foot-9 senior center, restored the Lady Crusaders lead with 6:38 until halftime. The post presence scored eight points in the win and controlled the glass for a game-high 19 rebounds.

Morrow helped St. Dominic out-rebound Hannibal 40-27.

“Morrow has been like that all year,” St. Dominic coach Jeff Menke said. “That girl works and works and works. She doesn't look to score, but she loves to rebound the basketball, which is kind of cool.”

Despite shooting just 6 of 41 from the field in the first half, the Lady Crusaders outscored Hannibal 10-4 in the second quarter to lead 17-12 at halftime.

Hannibal was hurt by 11 first-half turnovers and 21 overall.

The Lady Pirates turned the ball over on five of their initial six possessions out of the intermission to leave the door open for St. Dominic to launch a 12-3 run.

Audrey Hermann, who recorded eight points and four steals, made the first of St. Dominic's three third-quarter putback baskets to extend its lead to 25-13 halfway through the period.

St. Dominic led 29-15 entering the fourth.

“It seemed like every missed shot they were grabbing the rebound and putting it back up and in,” Jamerson said. 

Maddie and Mackenzie Ballard came off the bench to provide St. Dominic a jolt with 14 combined points. 

Ella Kasubke, one of five senior starters for St. Dominic, led the Lady Crusaders with nine points. 

“We've got seven seniors on my team and I think that was the biggest difference,” Menke said. “They don't want this to end. They realized they needed to pick it up or we're going to lose tonight.”

Autumn Bigsby scored seven of her team-high 10 points for Hannibal in the final period, but the Lady Pirates could trim their deficit no slimmer than 12.

Bigsby pulled down seven rebounds in the loss, while teammate Abby Baumann had eight boards.

Falconer recorded eight points for Hannibal.

Emma Deien, who scored 19 points in the Lady Pirates quarterfinal win, was held to four, while Baumann added three and Keri Bareis had two.

St. Dominic took care of the ball, committing just four turnovers to keep the game in its control. 

Madison Miller chipped in five points and four steals in the win. Julia Kimack added four points. 

The season-ending loss for Hannibal brings an end to Jamerson's tenure, who announced in January he would be stepping down as coach after three seasons.

Hannibal won 23 games the past three seasons combined after just five total victories in the two years before his arrival.

All nine Lady Pirates who played Tuesday are underclassmen.

“I would like to be able to tell whoever comes in that you're not just taking over kids who are progressing in the game of basketball, but the quality of human beings that they are is something that I always compliment them on,” the Lady Pirates coach said.