By TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — With the game tied at 24-24 with 1:58 to play, Cass’ Macie Maupin connected on a runner in the lane before knocking down a 3-pointer, sparking a Kings 10-0 run to close out the game, lifting the visitors to a 34-24 victory over host Taylor in Saturday Mid-Indiana Conference girls basketball action.
The Titans fell to 2-8 overall and 1-3 in MIC play with the loss. Taylor played without leading scorer and rebounder Brie Boehler, who is on the mend from surgery, and was down another player due to a funeral.
“The last 1:58 was the difference in the game,” Taylor coach Dennis Bentzler said. “We were down a couple players, but we’re proud of the six or seven girls who played. We’re not going to cry at all and will keep going about our business. I thought the kids played extremely hard and put us in a position, but Maupin took over and they were able to finish.”
The squads were tied at 12-12 at the half before Cass (5-5, 2-0 MIC) took a 19-17 lead into the fourth quarter.
Maupin led the Kings with 12 points and five rebounds. Savannah Thompson added 10 points in the win, while Olivia Collins added seven points and five boards.
Kaitlynn Good paced the Titans with seven points and 10 rebounds. Savannah Delgado added seven points as well.
“Defensively in particular, we’re starting to get better and figure things out,” Bentzler said. “We have to get healthy with five tough games upcoming, including a Western Boone team that’s undefeated [10-0] and ranked [No. 8 in 3A), as well as the county tourney. We’ll keep working to get better, but I’m extremely proud of our effort against Cass. I keep telling the kids we have to keep fighting and clawing and getting back up. We’re still young and our time is coming, so we’ll keep doing the right things, and I believe we’re doing that.”
MARION 60, KOKOMO 39
Shooting woes and foul trouble spelled doom for the Lady Kats, who fell to 4-4 on the year and 1-2 in North Central Conference play after the loss at Bill Green Athletic Arena.
Kokomo foul trouble helped Marion post players Deja Cyrus and Julia Cardwell feast inside in the first half as the Giants (5-5, 1-1 NCC) built a 31-20 lead by intermission.
The Kats then struggled from the field in the second half, connection on 5 of 27 from the floor in the fial 16 minutes. Kokomo was 1 of 19 from 3-point range for the game.
Alanis Jones led the Kats with 15 points, while Jasmine Love added 11 points and seven rebounds.
Cardwell paced the Giants with 19 points and 10 rebounds, Cyrus added 17 points and nine rebounds, and Vironnica Drake chipped in with nine points and 10 boards. Marion outrebounded Kokomo 47-37.
“It’s Christmas break now and we have a little time off,” Kokomo coach Jason Snyder said, “so, we’re going to go back and look at some things we need to do to make ourselves better. We’ve challenged the girls to continue to work to improve their game individually, and we need to play better as a unit.”
EASTERN 54, MACONAQUAH 34
A strong first half offensively helped Eastern (3-7, 1-2 Mid-Indiana Conference) build a 35-24 lead by the half, before the Comets tightened down defensively, holding the Braves to 10 points in the second half en route to the 20-point victory in Greentown.
Ally Oyler and Jessie Sprinkles each scored 15 points to lead the Comets, while Taylor Holliday added 11 and Emily Richards finished with nine.
“I know it’s a lot better to win than it is to lose going into the break, and we don’t play again until Jan. 3,” Eastern coach Justin Coomer said. “We have a little streak going here with two wins in a row, and hopefully we’re building some positive momentum going into the second half of the season.”
Kaleigh Atchley led Maconaquah (0-10, 0-3 MIC) with 11 points, and Jalyn Windsor added eight.
TRI-CENTRAL 50, SHERIDAN 48, OT
Taylor Davis scored 17 points and Cecelia Rayl added 14 to lead the Trojans past the visiting Blackhawks in Hoosier Heartland Conference play.
Sheridan (8-2, 1-2 HHC) led 34-31 at the end of the third quarter, but TC (5-3, 1-1) forged a 42-all tie by the close of regulation and then won the game in overtime.
“The girls played with heart. We’ve been asking for it,” TC coach Kyle Stage said. “Against [Clinton] Prairie earlier this week, in our first conference game, I’m not sure we knew how to win and [Saturday], I’m hoping we figured that out. We played smarter at the end of the game and we rebounded like crazy. Any time a shot went up on either end, we had our hands on it and we refused to let them tie us up.”
Hadley DeWeese led the Trojans with 13 rebounds.
One of the differences in the game was free-throw shooting. TC made 12 of 17 attempts while Sheridan made just 5 of 13.
Kokomo finished third in the event at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis with 43 points, behind champion Columbus North, which edged out Bloomington South 128-125 for the team title. Lafayette Jeff was fourth with 32 points.
The Wildkats grabbed five third-place finishes. The team of Logan Hawk, Jordan Bousum, Nathan Banush and Caleb Cook took third in the 200 medley relay in 1:52.4.
Blake Brookshire was third in the 50 free (:23.6) and 100 free (:52.48), while Bousum followed closely behind in fourth place in the 50 free in :23.8.
The team of Cook, Bousum, Brookshire and Phillip Heilman took third in the 200 free relay, but a clock malfunction prevented times from being tabulated. Banush, Bousum, Brookshire and Hawk added a third-place finish in the 400 free relay in 3:37.94.
“There were some pretty tough teams there in Columbus North and Bloomington South,” Kokomo coach Jay Glick said. “Those types of teams are pretty tough to get ahead of, but it was a good experience for our guys to see that level of competition and know it’s out there. This was a good chance for us to see that.”
Kokomo placed fourth with 26 points. Columbus North was the winner with 157 points. Bloomington South was second (103), and Lafayette Jeff was third (36).
Hannah Reecer was the top Katfish with a third-place finish in diving.
“It is good to learn, and swim against some of the top notch swimmers in the state,” Kokomo coach Donita Walters said. “We will get back to the pool and train after Christmas. We did see some times drop, but we were not competitive at the level of the two schools that we were up against [Saturday].”
TWIN LAKES INVITATIONAL
Western finished fourth in the tournament-style invite, behind champion Peru, second-place Cass and third-place Twin Lakes.
The Panthers posted a pair of champions. Caleb Maddox went 4-0 to claim the title at 120 and improve to 17-0 on the season, while Corey Hinkle went 4-0 at 182 to take top honors and up his season record to 14-2.
Dustin Hinkle (145), Russell McDorman (195) and Dante Graham (220) each went 3-1 to take second place, with McDorman moving to 14-2 on the season.
Skylar Braden (3-1) was third at 152, Peyton Lechner (3-1) took fifth at 106, and Mason Shepherd (3-2) finished seventh at 126 to round out Western’s placings.
“It was a really good day,” Western coach Chad Shepherd said. “It was probably the best day we’ve had so far this year. We wrestled without our 113- and 170-pounders [Saturday], so we took 12 guys and finished fourth as a team. That’s pretty difficult to do, so I’m pleased with that. Our younger guys are out what we’re trying to work on, and our older guys are carrying their weight and working hard.”
Kegan Kern (132), Peyton Sturgill (138) and Evan Loe (145) were class champions for Peru, while Connor Quin was second at 120 and Erik Hobbs third at 220.
Kokomo posted a 3-2 record in the eight-team invitational. The Wildkats posted victories against Andrean (63-18), Manteno, Ill. (37-17) and Lebanon (42-36), and dropped decisions to Kankakee Valley (48-26) and Lowell (51-25).
“We’re banged up right now. We had seven guys out of our lineup so we went into it kind of just focusing on individuals,” Kokomo coach Ryan Wells said. “We didn’t expect to do as well as we actually did team wise. We forfeited 106, 113 and 138 [weight classes] so we were giving up 18 points off the top. Considering that, I thought we did OK.”
The Kats had three individuals post 5-0 records — A.J. Nelson at the 120-pound weight class, Chad Gaddis at 152 and Fletcher Miller at 220 (3-0) and heavyweight (2-0).
Also for the Kats, Wyatt Lowe at 126, Szhantrayle Roberson at 132 and Daniel Culbertson at 220 and 285 all finished with 4-1 records.
Gaddis and Miller both pushed their season records to 19-0. Wells noted Gaddis had a big-time victory over Lowell’s Alex Mavros.
“Mavros is ranked seventh in the state right now. Chad is ranked fifth,” Wells said. “It was a close match, but Chad controlled it and really kind of proved himself to be a top-level 152-pounder in the state.”
Twin Lakes Invitational
Cass placed second in the invitational out of 16 teams. Gabe Welch (152) and Blaine Elliott (220) won their respective classes with perfect 4-0 records. Both Welch and Elliott each have 15-0 records.
Jarrett Carden (126) and Brendan McGehee (160) each had second-place finishes. Drake Hall (113) and Brock Reish (Heavyweight) had third-place finishes, and Kolbie Cox was fourth.
“Cass has been going to this meet for 20 years, and this is the highest we have ever placed,” Lewis Cass coach Nate Burrous said. “Welch has earned his 100th career victory.”