By TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — The O’Neal sisters led the way as Class 3A No. 5-ranked Western blasted Northwestern 55-28 in a Mid-Indiana Conference girls basketball game Tuesday night at Richard R. Rea Gymnasium.
Caitlyn O’Neal finished with 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Twin sister Carley had 16 points, three steals and two assists.
They led the way as Western bolted to a 30-10 halftime lead.
“Carley had 13 points in the first half and Caitlyn had 10. They had five [3-pointers] between them including some deep ones. They were just on fire,” Western coach Chris Keisling said.
“Our defense created turnovers that led to some points early,” he added. “We had the 20-point lead at halftime. In the second half, we did some experimenting with some kids coming off the bench and we worked on some parts of our game.”
Western improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the MIC.
Also for the Panthers, Jessica Givens had seven points and six rebounds and Brooklyn Campbell had six points.
“Jessica Givens had a nice floor game,” Keisling said, noting Givens avoided the foul trouble that had slowed her in the Panthers’ first three games. “Kaysie Mukley did a nice job defensively inside and rebounding.”
Brooke Treadway led Northwestern (0-5, 0-1) with nine points and 11 rebounds. Sydney Zeck also had nine points.
KOKOMO 54, HARRISON 42
The Lady Kats took control in the first quarter and led the rest of the way in a matchup of Class 4A Sectional 7 rivals — and future North Central Conference rivals. Kokomo (2-1) led 17-10 at the close of the opening quarter, 25-17 at halftime and 38-27 after three quarters.
“I’m very proud of the way the girls came out at the beginning of the game with great intensity,” Kokomo coach Jason Snyder said, noting the squad was coming off a loss to Class 4A No. 6 Logansport on Saturday and had little time to prepare for Harrison.
“The aggressiveness in the first half was excellent, and then in the second half we were able to step up and hit shots when we needed to,” he added.
Jasmine Love scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Red and Blue.
“Jasmine hit some big shots in the fourth quarter and was a good leader,” Snyder said.
Kokomo played without its other senior leader, forward Alanis Jones, who suffered an injury against Logansport.
In Jones’ absence, Allie Lowe and Sierra Langley gave Kokomo good play inside. Lowe had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Sierra Langley had 11 rebounds in just 13 minutes.
“Allie played an unbelievable game. Had great intensity,” Snyder said. “Sierra did an excellent job with 11 rebounds playing her first major varsity minutes.”
Harrison dropped to 3-2.
TIPTON 70, EASTERN 39
The Class 2A No. 4-ranked Blue Devils (3-0) built a 26-9 lead through the first eight minutes and upped it to 38-16 by halftime, cruising to victory over the Comets in Greentown.
Senior Kacie Juday led four Tipton players in double figures with 19 points. The Stony Brook recruit added 12 rebounds, seven steals and six assists. Macie Lively added 18 points for the Devils. Morgan Mahaney hit four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points, and Molly Mahaney added a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards.
“We got the pace of play going in our favor early,” Tipton coach Nick Comer said. “Missing Lela [Crawford], I wasn’t sure how we’d defend, but we got the tempo established, and although they took better care of the ball than our first two opponents, we forced them into a 26-percent shooting night from the field. I think that’s a tribute to the pace of play. We got them on their heels. And, although we didn’t turn them over a lot, and we forced them into shots they weren’t comfortable taking.”
Jessie Sprinkles led the Comets (0-3) with 16 points and five rebounds. Abbie Elkins added nine points and five boards. Abby Oyler added five points and five rebounds. Kelsey Richards pulled down a team-high eight boards.
“They jumped on us early, and we did a better job of breaking the press [as the game went on], we just missed a lot of shots inside,” Eastern coach Justin Coomer said. “They are a very good team, tough to stop, but we kept battling. But, they made it difficult early.”
Eastern 40, Muncie South 38
Five Eastern wrestlers recorded pins, scoring six points apiece, helping the Comets edge the Rebels.
Ty Swisher (106-pound weight class), Phoenix Brown (113), Taylor Arnold (145), Andrew Turner (160) and Evan Ellis (220) pinned their opponents. Also for the Comets, Chris Biddle (170) won by a major decision. Eastern also picked up a win by forfeit.
“It was a great win,” Eastern coach Bob Jarrett said. “Muncie South is a great team. In fact, they finished three spots ahead of us at the Tech tournament last Saturday. They were third. So, our kids came back and wrestled extremely well.”
Jarrett pointed to Brown’s win at 113 as a pleasant surprise and a key to the win. The Comet freshman is new to the sport. He did not wrestle in junior high.
“Phoenix Brown has never wrestled before and he stepped out on the mat and picked up a win for us with a pin,” Jarrett said, noting how big that played in the team score. “That was a great way for him to start his high school career.”
WESTERN 114, CLINTON CENTRAL 71
The No. 19-ranked Panthers improved to 3-0 in dual meets with the win in the Bulldog’s pool.
Senior Summer Brown was a quadruple winner for Western, giving the Vandebilt recruit 11 blue ribbons in three meets.
Brown took top honors in the 200 IM in 2:13.60 and the 100 freestyle in :53.85. She teamed with Brittany Lake, Claire Casner and Lilly Armour to win the 200 medley relay in 2:02.87 before joining with Armour, Casner and Anna Constable to win the 400 free relay in 4:00.95.
Casner was tops in the 100 butterfly in 1:04.84, and Lake paced the field in the 100 backstroke in 1:11.97.
Tori Riggleman, Danielle Pate, Ally Purvis and Hattie Johnson teamed to win the 200 relay in 1:54.03 to round out the Panthers’ winners.
“It was a good meet,” coach Brad Bennett said. “Seeing [Central] so close to Northwestern [earlier in the season], we know they had some swimmers. We swim against them in the summer also, so we knew they had some tough girls. We overcame them with dept. We won our share of events and so did they, but we managed to outscore them in almost everything by taking second, third and fourth in the events they won. At the same time, our girls swam well. The majority of our swims were season-bests. As a coach, it’s nice to see our girls responding well to what we’re doing in practice. They girls are happy but not satisfied, so we’re looking to build on what we’re doing.”
EASTERN 105, FRANKFORT 80
Avery Ewing was a quadruple winner for the Comets (2-1), leading the way to victory in the Hot Dogs’ tank.
Ewing won the 50 free (:28.15) and 100 free (1:04.04). She also swam anchor leg on two victorious relay teams, joining with Alicia Eckart, Callie Burnett and Katie Swartzendruber to win the 200 medley relay in 2:26.08 before teaming with Eckart, Swartzendruber and Madie Vint to win the 200 free relay in 1:55.12.
Burnett added blue-ribbon performances in the 500 free (6:18.56) and 100 breast stroke (1:18.52), and Elena White was tops in the diving portion (138.65) to round out Eastern’s winners.
“It was a really nice win,” coach Dana Culp said. “The girls swam well, and several had better times over our previous meet. It’s a nice way to start the year, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We’re looking forward to continuing to improve.”
Northwestern 129, Pioneer 53
Quadruple winners Kindra Gingerich, Savannah Gamester, Jordyn Harrison and Addie Roth and double winner Jenna Harrison led the way for Northwestern in the win at Pioneer.
Individually, Gingerich won the 100-yard freestyle (1:01.63) and 100 backstroke (1:09.39), Gamester was tops in the 50 freestyle (:26.97) and 100 butterfly (1:08.55), Jordyn Harrison won the 200 freestyle (2:09.15) and 500 freestyle (5:46.39) and Roth won the 200 individual medley (2:29.38) and 100 breaststroke (1:14.74). Also, Rachel Johns won the diving program (234.55).
Gingerich, Roth, Gamester joined Jenna Harrison in winning the 200 medley relay (2:02.82). Jenna Harrison, Jordyn Harrison teamed with Mariah Roberts and Megan Floyd to win the 200 freestyle relay (1:55.30), and Gamester, Gingerich, Jordyn Harrison and Roth combined to win the 400 freestyle relay (4:05.40).
“We had some awesome times,” Northwestern coach Cindy Britten said. “We had a couple of girls close to records. Roth’s time in the 100 breaststroke was her best time. Johns was two points away from a diving record. Underclassmen are dropping time. I am proud of all of them, and they are really swimming hard.”
Northwestern 123, Pioneer 54
Quadruple winners Griffin Longshore and Gray Longshore led the way as Northwestern won its opening meet against host Pioneer. Drew Harris was a triple winner and Will DeVaul and Kyle Miller were double winners.
Gray Longshore was tops in the 200 freestyle (2:02.90) and 100 freestyle (:55.18). Griffin Longshore won the 200 individual medley (2:22.24) and 100 backstroke (1:07.90). Drew Harris was tops in the 100 breaststroke (1:14.46). DeVaul won the 100 butterfly (1:01.17) and Miller took first in the 500 freestyle (5:53.8).
Griffin Longshore, DeVaul and Will Harris teamed with Darren Curry to win the 200 medley relay (1;56.07). Gray Longshore, Will Harris, Drew Harris and Joel Austin joined forces in winning the 200 free relay in 1:41.52, and Gray Longshore, Miller, Drew Harris and Griffin Longshore combined forces to win the 400 free relay (3:52.83).
“This was our season opener, and all and all, our guys did a great job,” NW coach Britten said. “We have some new guys that have come a long way from the first day of practice. Our veteran guys did a great job of responding.”