Two numbers really stood out Saturday: Franklin shot 10-for-53 from the field and was outscored, 21-3, from behind the three-point arc.
“That is not us,” Dutcher said of team’s 19 percent shooting. “They played man-to-man and it was pretty physical. I really felt we kind of got banged around early and didn’t get calls and that took us out of our rhythm.
“On another night when we shoot better, we could win this game,” he continued.
Franklin led, 9-8, after one quarter, an advantage that could have been larger if not for 1-for-6 free throw shooting in the period.
Then Hamilton hit four three-pointers while outscoring the Purple Devils, 17-7, in the second quarter. Weeks and Nolan hit two three-pointers apiece during the run.
As the Emerald Knights took a 25-16 lead into halftime, 18 of their points came on three-pointers.
“They were huge shots for them,” Dutcher said. “Three of the threes came from the Nolan girl. We knew she was a decent player, but we didn’t anticipate she’d be so hot.”
Nolan had six three-pointers on the season entering Saturday.
The teams played to an 11-all deadlock in the third quarter and then Franklin made a mini-run on baskets by Beers and Cawley to get to 39-33, with 6:09 to play.
But Hamilton 6-footer Dow answered with a pair of baskets and Welsh went 6-for-6 from the free throw line to help Hamilton seal its first trip to the state semifinals.
Welsh also drew the defensive assignment on Beers.
“Welsh and Weeks, we knew they were quick, but we didn’t know how quick they really were,” Dutcher said. “They had (Welsh) stay on (Beers) and anytime she looked for a gap, they doubled immediately.”
Cawley’s night included 20 rebounds and Beers finished with 10.