(Fort Wayne)- Canterbury’s Tabitha Gerardot scored 16 of her 27 points in the fourth quarter, including 10-of-12 from the free throw line, to lead second-ranked Fort Wayne Canterbury to its third consecutive Class A state title with a 69-65 victory over No. 1 Vincennes Rivet.
The Lady Patriots held Canterbury’s senior center off the board and the glass for the entire first quarter, but were unable to keep her out of the paint the rest of the day, and Gerardot finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds to go along with 8-of-13 shooting from the field. The contest was a rematch of the 2009 state title game, won by Canterbury in overtime, 72-66.
Vincennes Rivet came out of the gate strong, led in part by 6 first-half points from junior sharpshooter Sara Young. Senior guard Chelsea Meeks, the only starter on either team who did not start last year’s title game, grabbed 6 first-half rebounds to go with 5 points, and the Lady Patriots led 25-23 at the midpoint.
After the break, Canterbury senior Cassie Kreiger, who was 0-for-5 from the field in the first half, scored the first 6 points to give the Lady Cavaliers a quick lead, and combined with Gerardot for 33 of Canterbury’s 46 second half points. Kreiger finished the contest with 14 points.
Meeks, who tallied 18 points, was the high scorer for Tim Young’s Vincennes Rivet team, and Sara Young added 15 on 5-of-10 shooting from behind the 3-point arc. The Lady Patriots had their 26-game winning streak snapped in the final game of the season and finished the year 26-1. For Scott Kreiger’s Lady Cavaliers, the win caps an 18-game winning streak and put the wraps on a 25-2 campaign.
(Fort Wayne)- The No. 8 Fort Wayne Concordia Lutheran Cadets opened Saturday’s Class 3A state championship game with a scorching 10-0 run, fueled by six early points from senior center Erynn Meiklejohn, and that proved to be the difference. The Cadets held off multiple comeback attempts by No. 1 Rushville to win, 59-48, and earn the school’s first girls basketball state title.
Meiklejohn, who finished as the Cadets’ leading scorer with 16 points, was a dominant presence inside early, while senior guard Angela Doerffler was nearly her equal on the perimeter, and Concordia led 14-13 after one period.
Rushville, however, was unwilling to yield their No. 1 ranking without a fight. Senior forward Shelbie Justice scored 10 of her game-high 18 points in the first half, and her 6-of-6 free throw shooting pushed the Lady Lions to a one-point advantage at the break.
The second half was dominated by the Cadets, under the leadership of guard Andrew Newbauer, who filled the stat sheet with 11 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. Newbauer’s steal, coast-to-coast drive for a layup, and free throw after a foul on the shot extended Concordia’s game-changing run to 9-0 and a 46-37 lead after three. Junior Anna Goeglein also contributed 10 of her 12 points in the second half.
Melissa Marlow’s Rushville Lady Lions, who drop to 25-3 on the season, also received contributions from senior Alexa Bess, whose two fourth-quarter three-pointers kept hope alive for the Lady Lions, and guard Morgan Herbert, who dropped in 10 points. The Cadets, under the direction of head coach Dave Miller, finish the year with a record of 24-3.
(Fort Wayne)- Chelsea Jones scored 4 of her game-high 23 points in a back-and-forth overtime session to lead the No. 2 Austin Lady Eagles to their first girls basketball state championship, a 70-65 victory over Fort Wayne Bishop Luers in the Class 2A title game.
Jones was part of a balanced attack that saw three players score in double figures, including 19 points from senior guard Katy McIntosh and 18 from senior forward Michelle Goodin. The trio helped Austin fend off Fort Wayne Luers’ attempt to win their state-record sixth state championship.
It was Bishop Luers that jumped out to an early 14-10 advantage, led by six first-quarter points from sophomore forward Brooke Ridley, but the Lady Eagles battled back to take a 29-26 halftime lead.
Although Austin stretched its lead to nine points by the beginning of the fourth quarter, Luers fought back with strong play both inside and out. Four straight baskets by center Miracle Woods and two threes from Hilary Watts helped the Lady Knights overcome the deficit to take a one-point lead with just over a minute to play in regulation. After two free throws from Brierra Young, Austin got the ball in the hands of their leading scorer, and McIntosh didn’t disappoint. The senior drove hard to the basket, made the runner, and got fouled. Her converted free throw sent the game to overtime, tied at 59-59.
The extra session saw both teams start out hot, but Jones and McIntosh went a combined 3-for-3 from the field to give the Lady Eagles and head coach Jared Petersen the push they needed to finish their state championship season with a 26-2 record.
For Fort Wayne Luers, the contest marked just the second time the team has lost in seven state finals appearances; Denny Renier’s team finishes the year with an 18-8 record. Woods led the Lady Knights with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Young finished with 12 points and 4 assists.
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