It was halftime, the offense was sputtering and the stakes were high.

Time for Eastview coach Molly Kasper to pull out some words of wisdom, some whiteboard wizardry to get things back on track for the undefeated Lightning.

"The biggest thing we said was, 'Can we just start having fun again?' " Kasper said.

Eastview did, starting the second half with a 13-3 run, turning a 14-11 halftime lead into a comfortable 40-25 victory over Apple Valley in the Section 3, 4A championship game Wednesday at Concordia of St. Paul's Gangelhoff Center.

With the victory, Eastview remained perfect on the season, 29-0, and qualified for the state tournament for the seventh consecutive season.

The Lightning had defeated Apple Valley twice during the regular season, but Kasper acknowledged that circumstances had conspired to put some unexpected weight on Eastview's collective shoulders.

"It's a crosstown rival, a team you're playing for the third time," Kasper said. "And it's a section final; they've got nothing to lose. It's going to be a tough game …"

While Eastview's offense had trouble getting started, its defense never wavered. It held Apple Valley to just 11 points in the first half and forced 19 turnovers overall.

"We rely on our defense," she said. "We average only giving up about 40 points per game."

Eastview junior Macy Guebert hit a three-pointer just before halftime. The Lightning went into the locker room on a high.

"I think that was the momentum we needed going into the second half," said Guebert, who finished with a team-high 14 points.

Eastview's star forward Megan Walstad got on track after halftime, scoring eight of her 10 points in the decisive run.

"Macy's shot just before halftime got us going," Walstad said. "We started to play like we've been playing the whole year."