ADA — A few minutes after Clay Stephens’ Frontier club posted a front-running 65-47 victory over Perkins-Tryon in Thursday’s second semifinal of the 29th Bertha Teague Mid-America Basketball Tournament, the words “Be careful what you wish for” were starting to sink in for the coach of Class A’s top-ranked girls team.

Thursday’s win — Frontier’s second in as many days over a previously undefeated team from a higher class — earned the Lady Mustangs a third straight showdown with an unbeaten club in tonight’s Mid-America title game. But in the Mustang Lady Broncos (ranked No. 2 in 6A), Stephens and his team will finally face the 600-pound gorilla that has been lurking in the other half of the bracket since the tournament began.

“Obviously they’re bigger and more physical than we are,” Stephens said of the Lady Broncos, who overpowered Class B No. 1 Dover in Thursday’s other semifinal to improve to 7-0. “They manhandled Dover, and our team is similar to Dover.”

Although Mustang — which has a stable of outstanding post players and the most physical backcourt rotation in the tournament — will be a decided favorite tonight, the championship game is the dream match-up that tournament officials have unofficially hoped for since the Mid-America began.

The Lady Broncos have the brawn in a front line that averages six feet and depth in the backcourt, but Frontier has the most exciting player in the tournament — and perhaps in the state — in 5-3 point guard Jenna Plumley.

“Jenna has played in a lot of AAU games, and she’s seen just about everything,” Stephens said of his senior sparkplug, who followed her 33-point effort in Wednesday’s victory over Elgin (No. 3 in 4A and 8-0 when the Mid-America began) with 19 points, nine assists and four steals Thursday.

Plumley scored nine points (on two 3-pointers and a conventional 3-point play) in the first quarter as Frontier (8-2) raced to a 19-10 lead, then she took just seven shots the rest of the game as the Lady Mustangs went on cruise control and steadily added to their lead.

“We got the lead right off the bat, and that helped,” Stephens noted. “When you’re behind by 10 points or so, it changes the way you play.

“They (the Lady Demons) were probably pressing a little bit after the first quarter,” he added. “And we were in a comfort zone.”

Senior forward Amber Swan, who had 12 points and six rebounds in the win over Elgin, had another solid game Thursday, scoring 18 points to complement Plumley. Swan had 10 points in the first half as Frontier extended its nine-point first-quarter lead to a 32-17 advantage at intermission, then Sharon Forte scored nine of her 13 points in the third quarter and teamed with Swan (six points) and Plumley (who hit her eighth 3-pointer of the tournament) to score all of Frontier’s points in the period.

“Amber is a key for us,” Stephens said of Swan. “We need for her to score in the paint.”

The Lady Mustangs, who outrebounded the Lady Demons, 42-30, held Perkins without a field goal for a span of 5:20 in the third quarter before Laiken Lester hit her only 3-pointer of the game at the buzzer to trim Frontier’s largest lead of the night (50-25) to 22 points heading to the fourth.

“I thought our defense was pretty good, and we got a lot of offensive rebounds,” Stephens noted. “Those are usually two of our weaknesses. Sometimes we’re kind of passive.”

No Perkins player scored in double figures, and only two — Haylea Harper and Courtney Bayhylle — shot above 50 percent. Harper and Annie Buck (who led the Lady Demons with six rebounds) had eight points apiece to share team scoring honors, while Bayhylle and Laiken had seven each in the loss.

Perkins plays Dover today at 4:30 p.m. in the third place game.