It looked as if the Lady Orioles were going to play spoilers to the Thunderbirds in the opening round of substrate play.
Taking advantage of Circle turnovers Augusta stormed out to a 15-7 lead over the Lady T-Birds and looked in control of the game after the opening eight minutes of play.
Circle had other ideas however and fought back with vengeance in the second quarter outscoring Augusta 13-4 in the quarter to take a 20-19 lead at the halftime break.
After ceding the lead to the Thunderbirds Augusta was not going to go out without a fight. A back and forth third quarter amounted to both squads matching each other point for point in the frame with 13 points each. Circle's Leah Metzger hit a buzzer beating shot to give Circle the advantage. Circle clung to a 33-32 lead over Augusta heading to the fourth quarter.
Both squads opened up offensively in the fourth quarter looking to advance to the championship game. Circle closed out the game late with some crucial free throws to help the Lady T-Birds outscore Augusta 21-18 in the fourth and win 54-50.
Circle was 20-33 from the line and Augusta was 13-18 from the stripe.
Circle was led offensively by Kate Wilson with 15 points that included a 3-pointer and going 8-13 from the line. Leah Metzger poured in 14 points and going 2-4 from the line. Caylie Kifer dropped in eight points and was 2-4 from the line. Katy Frankenberry added six points and Talia Highbarger had five points. Allison Kirkham added three points, Reagan Wilson had two points and Allyssa Kirkham had a point.
Augusta was led offensively by Casady Marlnee with 24 points that included a 3-pointer and going 7-10 from the line. Kylie Westbrooks had nine points and went 3-3 from the stripe. Katy Nordman added eight points that included two 3-pointers. Brooke Eberhardt had six points, Morgan Kirk had two points and Bailey Reichardt added a point.
Circle will play Andover Central Saturday for a berth in the state tournament.