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ST. CHARLES • The game plan Saturday for St. Joseph’s was to attack the inside against Hazelwood Central in a Class 5 girls basketball state quarterfinal.

Angels senior center Alex Kerr delivered with the game of her life.

The 6-foot-2 Kerr scored 46 points and added 12 rebounds to lead St. Joseph’s to a 79-67 victory at Lindenwood University’s Robert Hyland Arena and to the state semifinals for the second consecutive season.

Senior post AnnMarie Tyson added 15 points as the Angels (23-6, No. 6 in STLhighschoolsports.com large-schools rankings) made their living in the paint and ended a 17-game winning streak for the Hawks (21-7, No. 2 LS).

“That's definitely the most I have ever scored in a game,” said Kerr, whose 46 points was the best for an area girls player this season. “I know we needed to get points in the post and I knew my team could get me the ball. It just all worked out. I am really thankful for my guards who could get the ball into the post and to AnnMarie for creating space.”

St. Joseph's, which finished fourth in Class 5 last season, will play Kickapoo in a state semifinal at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at JQH Arena in Springfield on the campus of Missouri State.

Kerr, a Missouri S&T signee who is averaging 18.7 points per game, had 21 points at halftime as the Angels led 33-32. The first half featured 13 lead changes and six ties.

Angels coach Julie Matheny said she definitely saw difference between the Angels on Saturday from when they fell 51-47 to Hazelwood Central 51-47 on Dec. 23 in the opening round of the Visitation Christmas Tournament.

“We really felt like they weren't matching up with our inside presence with AnnMarie and Alex,” Matheny said. “They were putting pressure on our wings, so we wanted to isolate (the post). AnnMarie and Alex complement each other so well. Central is extremely athletic and well-coached. I thought we rebounded and executed so much better than we did last time. Alex has great hands and great finishes. It was almost like she was a magnet to the ball.”

In the third quarter, Kerr elevated her game even higher with 16 points as St. Joseph’s pushed out to a 52-46 lead.

In the game's final quarter, St. Joseph's extended its lead because of Kerr's ability to find Tyson through multiple defenders guarding her and through Tyson's ability to finish the chances she was given.

“She really, really helped us get the lead and keep it,” Kerr said. “I'm really proud of her for finishing and I knew she could do it when I passed it to her.”

Central had three players finish in double figures, led by 25 from senior forward Kelsie Williams.

The guard tandem of freshman Nariyah Simmons and senior Kourtney White wound up with 18 and 16 points, respectively.

“Kelsie has had an amazing four years here,” Central coach Chantel Polk said. “Not only to score 1,000 points but to deal with the adversity of having a new coach her senior year, Kelsie will continue to do amazing things in college with my support.”

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