By TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
Western’s girls basketball team used a dominant defensive effort to beat Twin Lakes 42-21 in the semifinal round of the Class 3A Benton Central Sectional on Friday night.
The No. 8-ranked Panthers (19-4) pitched a 10-0 shutout in the opening quarter to take control. The Panthers took a 24-16 advantage into halftime, then held the Indians (12-11) to just five points the rest of the way. The Panthers led 32-17 after three quarters.
“The first quarter was excellent,” Western coach Chris Keisling said, noting the big lead allowed the Panthers to spread the floor and conserve energy over the remainder of the game.
Western showed its usual offensive balance. Jessica Givens hit two 3-pointers and scored 12 points to lead the charge, Raven Black followed with 11 points and Allison Lindley had seven points. Black had a team-high seven rebounds and Lindley had six.
The Panthers committed just two turnovers.
“Everybody contributed,” Keisling said. “The young ladies did a fantastic job.”
Western will face No. 4 Benton Central (19-3) in the title game at 7:30 p.m. today. The Bison beat Hoosier Conference rival West Lafayette 55-41 in the opening semifinal, snapping the Red Devils’ 10-game winning streak.
Western is the defending sectional champion. BC ruled the sectional in 2009-11, going on to a state runner-up finish in 2011.
The squads met during the regular season with the Panthers taking a 43-41 win on the Bison’s home floor. Black’s buzzer-beating jumper gave the Panthers the win.
“We get the pleasure of trying to beat a really good team on their home floor twice, but I like our matchups,” Keisling said. “I think we have a heck of a shot of getting another sectional championship if we go in and play our game. We have to handle the ball, limit our turnovers, and we have to make sure we find [Caitlyn] Tolen and [Cassidy] Deno on defense. If we take care of business, I think we’ll have an excellent shot of coming out with a win.”
Tolen is an IUPUI recruit.
Lafayette Catholic 64, Tri-Central 41
The Trojans held a 14-12 lead after the opening quarter, but the Knights took control in the second quarter and maintained it the rest of the way in the Class A Rossville Sectional semifinal. Catholic scored 19 points in the second quarter for a 31-22 halftime lead. The Knights went on for a 48-33 lead after three quarters.
Cecelia Rayl and Hadley DeWeese led TC (5-17) with 13 points and six rebounds apiece.
Cameron Onken led Catholic (14-9) with 17 points and nine rebounds.
Around the area
In the semifinal round of the Class 2A Fountain Central Sectional, Delphi beat Clinton Central 46-23, and Seeger edged Carroll 31-30.
Brown shines at state
Western junior Summer Brown turned in a pair of school-record performances in the preliminary round of the IHSAA State Finals at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis.
First, Brown turned in a time of 1:49.84 in her heat of the 200-yard freestyle, lowering her own school record and earning the No. 2 seed for today’s final. Next, the Panther standout posted a time of :51.40 in her heat of the 100 freestyle, again lowering her own record. She earned the No. 8 seed in the 100.
The preliminary round featured 16 swimmers in each individual event. The swimmers with the top eight times in each event earned spots in the finals.
“Our only goal [Friday] was to make the top eight in both events. You have to swim really smart and a really hard race to make it in because there are so many girls so close to you. The school records are just icing on the cake,” Western coach Brad Bennett said. “She is going to be in a really great position to do really well in the 200 [as the No. 2 seed]. In the 100, she will be in an outside lane, which is going to make it hard for her to see the entire field, but it also has an advantage because everyone can’t see her, too.
“She is swimming really well and I think had a great feel for the water [Friday] and is poised to do well [today].”
In the 200 free, Carmel freshman Claire Adams earned the top seed with a time of 1:48.19. Adams and Brown swam in the same heat.
“[Brown] said she really liked the way she felt and really surprised herself with her time. She wasn’t expecting to go under 1:50. She was really happy about that,” Bennett said.
Penn senior Addisynn Bursch took the top seed in the 100 free with a time of :50.71.