Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

February 16, 2014

Girls BB: Western wins sectional title

Panthers beat Bison in rematch of '13 final.

RUSSIAVILLE — Winning is ingrained in the DNA of the seniors on Western’s girls basketball squad.

Five of the seven seniors on the current roster entered high school after running the table with an undefeated record in their middle school days.

After a run to the Class 3A semistate as sophomores, last season’s 40-36 loss in the sectional championship game to host Benton Central was a burning memory they never allowed to fizzle out.

“We definitely took that and learned from it,” senior Carley O’Neal said. “Last year was a test of whether we were ready or not. We weren’t.”

Saturday night’s sectional final rematch with the Bison at Western’s Richard R. Rea Gymnasium was about redemption. The No. 6-ranked Panthers made the most of it.

Western rebounded from a nine-minute scoreless stretch in the first half with a smothering defensive effort, hounding the No. 8 Bison at every turn in the second half of a 43-33 victory in the seniors’ final game on their home floor.

Carley O’Neal led the Panthers (19-3) with 13 points and eight steals. She scored 11 points in the second half to help erase the memory of a first half that saw Western build an early 10-2 lead before foul trouble took it out of synch on both ends of the floor, aiding BC’s 15-0 run to help the Bison take a 17-14 lead into halftime.

“Honestly, I wasn’t worried. I knew we’d work through it,” Carley O’Neal said. “We overcame it, and I took it upon myself because I knew we were a better team than that. We’ve worked so hard for everything we’ve earned this year. I wasn’t about to let our team come to the end of the road [Saturday] night.”

Western starters Caitlyn O’Neal and Jessica Givens were both saddled with their second fouls in the first 5:30 of the first quarter and exited. Their absence took a bite out of Western’s full-court pressure, and as a result, it’s offensive firepower with so much of its scoring predicated on steals and transition buckets. The Panthers missed their next nine attempts from the field.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • SPL - KT082014 - Western football preview - pic FOOTBALL: Western preview Western's football team ran the ball on 575 of its 634 offensive plays last season. Three players combined to account for 424 of the rushing attempts. Expect a much different look from the Panthers under new coach Ronnie Jankovich.

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT082014 - Cass football preview - mug FOOTBALL: Cass preview Lewis Cass may lack experience entering this season, but not moxie. The Kings return just a handful of starters from last year’s team that finished 5-5, one of the few teams in recent program history that did not win more games than it lost.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT082014 - County boys XC preview - pic BOYS CROSS COUNTRY: Howard County preview Western's boys cross country team is ready to chase after more championship hardware. The Panthers are four-time defending Mid-Indiana Conference champions and two-time defending Logansport Sectional winners.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep roundup for Wednesday, Aug. 20 Taylor's boys soccer team got its season off to a flying start with a 5-1 victory over Western on Tuesday night, highlighted by a hat trick from Hunter Stephens. It marked the first time the Titans had beaten the Panthers in Mike Shane's tenure as coach.

    August 20, 2014

  • Sports briefs for Wednesday, Aug. 20 Visiting Judson University swept IU Kokomo 25-22, 25-22, 25-23 in NAIA volleyball action Tuesday night, spoiling the Cougars' home and season opener. Lindi Thomas led IUK with 16 kills on a .351 hitting percentage. She also had 10 digs.

    August 20, 2014

  • SPL - KT082014 - Ken de la Bastide column - column sig DE LA BASTIDE: Chase field is taking shape Lost in the media furor surrounding Tony Stewart was the fact that A.J. Almendinger recently qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Almendinger, driving for a single-car team, became the 12th different driver to score a win this season, qualifying the team for the championship hunt.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • TV Redskins Name Football [Duplicate] Simms, Dungy likely not to use 'Redskins' on TV NEW YORK (AP) — Two influential NFL voices — including CBS lead analyst Phil Simms, who will handle Washington's Week 4 game — said Monday they likely won't use the term "Redskins" when discussing the franchise. "My very first thought is it will be

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - KT081914 Northwestern football preview - pic FOOTBALL: Northwestern preview Northwestern's football program graduated a large senior class of more than 20 players from a 7-4 squad, leaving a fresh team that will play on different strengths. Coach John Hendryx said the Purple Tigers are a "pretty athletic group, and they're great kids. They're very, very coachable, they want to learn."

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT081914 - Tipton football preview - mug FOOTBALL: Tipton preview Tipton football players are fully aware outsider expectations for their season are low due to massive graduation losses. But the confidence and motivation that comes with tradition isn’t shaken that easily.

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT081914 - County girls XC preview - pic GIRLS XC: Howard County preview Eastern's girls cross country team continued its winning ways last season. The Comets won their fifth straight Mid-Indiana Conference title and also their fifth straight Logansport Sectional title. Western was the Comets' closest local challenger. The Panthers were runners-up in the conference meet. They finished third in the sectional.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
SportsKT twitter
More kokomotribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Deadly Landslides in Japan Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Arrests Witnessed in Ferguson Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Heavy Rains Flood Arizona Roads US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing FBI Director Addresses Ferguson Shooting in Utah Raw: Police at Scene of St. Louis Shooting Police: 2 Calif. Boys Planned School Shooting NOLA Police Chief Retires Amid Violent Crimes
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.