For the Princeton girls basketball team, beating the Hamilton Big Blue for a third time was supposed to be a formality.
Somebody forgot to tell Hamilton’s Jillian Spurlock.
Princeton escaped the Division I sectional tournament matchup at Lakota East with a 51-44 triumph but not before Spurlock put on a show, pouring in a game-high 37 points.
Unofficially, Spurlock’s total was a single-game Big Blue record.
Hamilton finishes the season 7-17 and bids farewell to Spurlock, who will continue her career next season at Miami University.
Princeton, the Greater Miami Conference runner-up, beat Hamilton in the regular season 75-39 and 65-40.
The Vikings were led by Kelsey Mitchell’s team high 17 points while Carlie Pogue added 10 points.
Spurlock had 18 first-half points, including a trey with four minutes left to give Hamilton a 18-17 lead. But Princeton responded with a 11-2 run to snare a 28-20 halftime bulge.
Spurlock didn’t let up after the break, scorching Princeton for 14 third-quarter points, including a leaner to close the gap to 39-35 entering the final stanza.
Tayra Gilbert gave Hamilton its last lead, 41-40, with a deep trey with 6:30 left.
Nursing a 45-43 lead with five minutes left, Princeton decided to hold the ball for three minutes before turning it over.
Gilbert hit one of two freebies to close the gap to 45-44 but Mitchell put the game away with four free throws and a layup.
In addition to her 37 points, which came on 13-of-24 shooting, Spurlock led Hamilton with seven boards while also tallying two blocked shots.